Xiaomi teases VR headsetlaunch on August 1

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Old 29-Jul-2016
Xiaomi teases VR headsetlaunch on August 1

If you own a Xiaomi device, you must be sore at the fact that none of the currently available virtual reality (VR) headsets are optimized for MIUI. The Chinese powerhouse is about to fix that by launching its first-ever VR headset on August 1, going by the company’s latest teasers.

Xiaomi is well-known for its aggressively-priced smartphones and wearables, but most consumers are unaware that it also offers IoT and smart home automation products, such as air-conditioners and bedside lamps, in China. With VR becoming the buzzword in the consumer tech industry, Xiaomi was also expected to soon jump on the bandwagon. Cheap Google Cardboard-inspired devices, as well as highly expensive VR headsets such as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, have already arrived in the market, though none of them are optimized to work with Xiaomi’s devices which run the MIUI.

There have been rumors of Xiaomi working on its own version of a VR headset, which was recently confirmed by the company’s general manager Tang Mu in media reports. Tang Mu also confirmed that Xiaomi’s VR headset would be compatible with Google’s Daydream VR platform and optimized to work with its smartphones running the MIUI.

The company’s latest teaser posters on its Weibo account suggest that its new VR headset could officially arrive on August 1. Xiaomi certainly appears to be on a roll, given that it had officially taken the wraps off its long-rumored laptop, the Mi Notebook Air, and the Redmi Pro smartphone just a couple of days ago.

There are no technical details available at the moment, though what seems certain is that Xiaomi’s VR headset will work only with its own devices, since this strategy is being adopted by the other manufacturers. For instance, Samsung’s Gear VR headset released last year works only with some of its smartphones, like the Galaxy S7 lineup. There are reports that Xiaomi is making efforts to ensure that its users will have sufficient VR content when its headset finally hits the market, by releasing a ton of software and audiovisual content, though we can’t confirm that yet.

But what you can definitely count on is that the upcoming Xiaomi VR headset will be aggressively priced and will be much cheaper than the Gear VR, which sells for $99. The Chinese text on the company’s latest teasers indicates that it plans to launch the VR headset in its home country, and there’s no word yet on whether it would eventually find its way into markets outside China. We’ll be keeping an eye on the developments and keep you posted.

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