HTC unveiled the Vive Focus, a standalone virtual reality headset that does not require wires, a smartphone, or a high-end PC,
Alongside the new VR headset, HTC also announced the Vive Wave, an open platform content that will make it easier for developers to dive into virtual reality.
HTC Vive Focus VR Headset: What We Know
HTC first teased a standalone VR headset earlier this year, and at the Vive Developers Conference in Beijing, the device was finally unveiled.
The Vive Focus features inside-out 6-degrees-of-freedom "world-scale" tracking. This means that it does not require connections to accessories such as base stations like the HTC Vive VR headset.
The appeal of the Vive Focus goes beyond its standalone capabilities though. According to Alvin Wang Graylin, the China President for HTC Vive, the Vive Focus will allow wearers to do most of the things that they could do with a VR headset on a high-end PC.
The Vive Focus will be able to offer the best of both worlds in the virtual reality industry. Users can experience premium virtual reality like what they can get from the high-end systems such as the HTC Vive, but with the portability provided by smartphone-powered options such as the Samsung Gear VR.
At the Vive Developers Conference, one of the suggested applications for the Vive Focus was for education. The standalone VR headset can be connected to other units for social interaction, and in a classroom setting, this could be used for teachers doing demonstrations.
The Vive Focus will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and will feature a high-resolution AMOLED screen. The headset also comes with a 3-degrees-of-freedom controller.
HTC, however, has kept the other details of the Vive Focus under wraps, including its price and release date. Given its angle as an education tool, however, interested customers can expect it to be on the cheaper side of things.
HTC Launches The Vive Wave VR Open Platform
The Vive Wave, as an open platform for virtual reality content, will look to bring together the fragmented mobile virtual reality market in China. It is basically Google's Daydream platform, but for the Chinese market.
The platform will make it very easy for developers to port content made for the Vive to the Vive Focus, with VR game Spark of Light for example only taking three hours. In addition, content made for the Google Daydream View and the Samsung Gear VR will take less than a week to bring to Vive Wave.
In a press release accompanying the announcement, HTC revealed that it had already signed up 12 hardware partners which will all integrate the Vive Wave platform into their future products.