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HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with 'world-scale' tracking
14 November 2017, 11:10 | Brandon Parsons
Created to be an all-in-one device, the Focus won't need to be hooked up to a powerful desktop PC in order to run and won't have the same interactivity constraints that mobile VR now has.
HTC suggests that multiple computing platforms are supported by Wave, but clearly states that this VR platform is optimised for the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform. Developers who are already using Unity will enjoy the added benefit of the new one-click process to publish to Viveport, along with in-app payment support starting with China.
Supporting this headset and the VR world in general is Vive Wave, which is, according to HTC, "an open platform and toolset that will enable easy Mobile VR content development and high-performance device optimisation for third-party partners". HTC are hoping that this open platform will prevent the fragmentation of VR standards, and and as such are integrating the existing Viveport platform into Vive Wave. "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". By eliminating both the PC and the phone requirements, users aren't dependent on any other device for their VR experiences.
While at least a couple of Chinese manufacturers have announced standalone 6DoF VR headsets before, HTC claims that the Focus will be the first of such kind to actually hit the market. At the same time the company appears to have dropped plans to release a VR headset running Google's Daydream. Today, the company announced that the headset would be known as the Vive Focus. Alongside that reveal was the news that it would be supported by a new open platform called Vive Wave.
Going back to the Focus, one potential use case that intrigued me the most is that it can be hooked up to other HTC headsets - be it the Focus or even the original Vive - for social interaction. The representative that we spoke with declined to discuss the full specifications of the hardware and would not say how much the Vive Focus would cost or when it would be available. In fact, HTC is offering Vive Vision headsets along with Vive Wave developer kits to qualifying developers.
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