After announcing it in July, HTC on Monday officially launched its standalone VR headset and gave it a name - the Vive Focus. Unveiled at the Vive Developer Conference in Beijing, the Vive Focus is being touted to offer "world-scale" tracking through inside-out, six-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) support. Unfortunately for now, no price or availability has been disclosed.
Unlike the HTC Vive, the Vive Focus doesn't require any PC or mobile device to deliver you an immersive experience. HTC stated that the independence from external hardware enables "unlimited freedom of mobility while reducing the total cost" borne by end users. Further, the headset has a high-resolution AMOLED display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. There are built-in water-repellent padding and instant-on support. It comes with a 3DoF controller.
As for content, HTC has released its native Vive Wave VR open platform and toolset to bring new developments for the Vive Focus headset. The list of initial partners includes companies like Quanta, Pimax, and Nubia among others. Additionally, the Taiwanese company has released its View Wave SDK to help third-party vendors integrate their accessories with the new hardware.
At the event, HTC showcased 14 live demos that gave a glimpse of the VR content developed for Vive Wave. The company also announced that over 35 Chinese and global content developers have already build VR content optimised for its native platform that is presently limited to the Chinese market.
"As the VR industry leader in China, it is our duty to help reduce market fragmentation and provide content developers with more ways to make money. Vive Wave will assure a higher consistency in the user experience on a variety of mobile VR devices across various price points, making quality VR more accessible to the mass market. What's more, with the new Vive Focus, we are excited to bring high-quality 6DoF VR experiences, which were previously only available on tethered devices, in a more convenient and portable form factor," said Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC, in a press statement.
HTC has additionally partnered with VR development platform Unity Technologies to enable one-click publishing of VR content on to Viveport library, through which the developments will directly debut on the Vive Wave platform.
The details about the price and availability of the Vive Focus are yet to be announced officially. The headset is likely to be piloted in China for some time before its arrival in the global markets. In the meantime, companies like Facebook and Google are preparing their competitive offerings. Facebook already has Oculus Go to take on the latest HTC model. Similarly, Google is enhancing its Daydream platform to make it the soul for future VR headsets.