Like most other non-Chinese mobile and PC hardware manufacturers, Taiwan-based Asus had a relatively poor Q3 2016 financial showing, and although the ZenFone 3 family, ZenPad 3S 10 and ZenWatch 3 are due to spread worldwide this quarter, they’re only expected to generate a small profit.

In the long (-er) haul however, there are a few avant-garde products reportedly in the pipeline likely to boost the company’s profile as a global industry innovator. In addition to that very inconspicuous leather-strapped VR headset quickly showcased at Computex a while back, and one of those low-cost Windows 10 PC-compatible HoloLens alternatives, Asus is also working on a so-called “all-in-one” virtual reality device.

This would stand out from the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift-led pack with “built-in cameras, sensors and controllers”, not needing a connected computer or smartphone to immerse you into a parallel universe.

It remains to be seen now if Asus can meet its self-imposed Q3 2017 deadline for the AIO VR headset’s release, and whether or not Google or Samsung might get a head start in a no doubt potential-brimming market segment.

But first, it seems CEO Jerry Shen spilled the beans on the ZenFone AR’s debut during January’s CES Las Vegas event, with the “competitively priced”, super-advanced smartphone following in Lenovo Phab 2 Pro’s Google Tango-supporting footsteps.

We don’t know an awful lot about the world’s looming second ever augmented reality phone, just that it’s coming several months before the ZenFone 4 lineup with “enhanced cameras.” Color us intrigued.

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