HTC's standalone VR headset comes with 'world-scale' tracking.
HTC teased a standalone VR headset for the Chinese market earlier this year, and the company has now unveiled the product at a media event in Beijing. Dubbed the Vive Focus, the headset is the "first commercial standalone device" with inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF), which means it doesn't need a base station to track your movements.
The "world-scale" tracking — made possible by front-mounted cameras — lets you use the headset anywhere, and as the device is powered by a Snapdragon 835, you don't need to tether it to a PC or a phone. The Vive Focus features a "high-resolution" AMOLED screen with "low latency and unmatched clarity," along with a rotational head strap and a Bluetooth controller that offers 3DoF.
HTC also announced Vive Wave, a VR open platform that lets developers easily create content for mobile VR devices. With Daydream not available in China, HTC is positioning its Viveport store as the default gateway for customers looking to access VR content. The company picked up 12 hardware partners for its platform — including the likes of 360QIKU, Nubia, Pico, Quanta, iQIYI, and others — and HTC is betting on interoperability between VR devices as the differentiator for Vive Wave.
From Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC China's regional president:
We're delighted that the VIVE Wave VR open platform is receiving such strong industry support from both hardware partners and developers.
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.
HTC hasn't detailed pricing or availability yet, but the Vive Focus will be sold initially in China. The Taiwanese manufacturer has stated that it is looking to attract a mainstream audience, and considering Oculus' $199 standalone VR headset is set to arrive sometime next year, it'll be interesting to see where the Vive Focus slots in.