“Now you can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine on a standalone,” says Alvin Wang, HTC Vive China’s President.
There are a lot of VR headsets out there, but all of them require at least an external base station and sensors. There are also 6DoF standalone VR headsets announced, but HTC Vive Focus is the first one to make it to the market.
What is HTC Vive Focus?
In sum, HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset that offers 6DoF “world scale” tracking. Because it is a standalone device, it only means you can use it anywhere and still get positional tracking.
It comes with a controller, which is surprisingly supporting only 3DoF. But Richard Lai of Engadget was told it should work with the 6DoF headset just fine.
HTC Vive Focus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with instant support. It also has a high-res AMOLED screen and a rotational head strap.
What is HTC Vive Focus for?
Stupid question, we know. But we would like to emphasize that one of the functions this standalone VR headset has is social interaction. That means that it may be connected to other HTC headsets and these individuals can experience the same virtual space.
In the education setting, for example, a teacher can let his or her students wear these headsets and they can share virtual objects and see each other in the same space.
Going back to the 6DoF and 3DoF dilemma earlier, HTC also announced that they are launching Vive Wave VR for developers. This will then allow them to port their Vive content and choose whether they the 6DoF by using additional accessories or the 3DoF hand input. Vive Wave is an open platform.
Hence, again the HTC Vive Focus “can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine.”
How much is HTC Vive Focus?
Pricing and availability have not been announced yet although the company is pretty clear that HTC Vive Focus will be available only in China at least for this year.
So either we wait for it to be available to the rest of the world or get the 3DoF Oculus Go which will be available next year.