Facebook will try to "get a billion people," by appealing to a company in the world's most populated country: China.
In the middle of a Qualcomm press conference where tech jargon flew at a rat-a-tat rate, up jumped a familiar face in the tech world to announce the surprise: Facebook VR brand Oculus will partner with up-and-coming devicemaker Xiaomi to build a standalone VR headset for China.
The face in question belongs to Hugo Barra, Oculus' VP of VR, himself a former Xiaomi executive who brought the brand some recognition by leaving his executive position within Google's Android team.
The Xiaomi Mi VR stand-alone headset will be built exclusively for China, using a Qualcomm chip and Oculus' mobile software bundle for developers.
Xiaomi's Vice President of the Mi ecosystem, Thomas Tang, also known as Mu Tang (pictured above), teased the product.
Xiaomi, a Chinese company that brands everything from inexpensive rice cookers and air purifiers to high-end smartphones like the, will leverage its brand recognition in its homeland to help spread Oculus' platform, as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, a chipset most often found in smartphones.
The Mi VR headset is a rebranded-- a $200 gadget that doesn't require a phone or PC to use -- for the China market.
"Mi VR Standalone shares the same core hardware as Oculus Go," Oculus said in a press release.
Mi VR headset details
- 2K LCD screen
- Spatial audio tech from Oculus
- 360-degree videos and games through the Mi VR Store
Xiaomi didn't have anything to show off, but we're promised more details about the Xi VR headset "soon" -- perhaps at the Mobile World Congress show next month?
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