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HTC holds conference in virtual reality amid coronavirus pandemic

HTC holds conference in virtual reality amid coronavirus pandemic
In one presentation about the coronavirus pandemic, virtual coronavirus particles were released, and participants found themselves dressed in protective suits. (Picture: HTC)

Several international conferences have been canceled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. Some tech companies have live-streamed launches online, but HTC came up with a novel solution: Let all attendees participate in its Virtual Vive Ecosystem Conference using VR headsets at home -- preferably the brand’s own Vive headset.

HTC said that about 2,000 people from more than 55 countries registered for the online event, which took place on Thursday. Everyone was able to create a custom avatar to use to interact with others. Participants say that they could shake hands and hug in in the virtual environment, but some also said the experience was occasionally buggy.

HTC said that after the coronavirus pandemic, extended reality -- which includes virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality -- will be a “must-have” technology because of its ability to help remove physical barriers between people. In 2019, HTC had 13% of the VR device market, behind Sony and Facebook, according to Statista.

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