HTC Officially Announces Vive Focus, Its Standalone VR Headset

It’s time to cut the cord.

Today at Vive Developer Conference in Beijing, HTC announced its long-awaited standalone headset, called Vive Focus. Since we first started hearing about the prospect of a Vive standalone a few months ago, the VR community has been eagerly awaiting its public release.

Now it’s here. And it’s 6DoF.

Vive Focus takes us from room-scale to “world-scale” tracking. Users don’t need any lighthouses or sensors to move about and operate in the virtual worlds of Vive Focus.

At the event, Vive China President Alvin Graylin took the stage to deliver the keynote. He took a look at the state of VR over the past year, as well as highlighting the work being done by Vive X, Viveport, and Vive Studios to grow the industry.

In particular, he showed how the Vive ecosystem has brought about 6000 pieces of new content since its launch in 2016.

He addressed concerns of the VR industry’s growth, highlighting the fragmentation in the headset market; in China, HTC estimates there are over 400 different HMD options, yet Vive makes up 82% of the Chinese VR market. He also shone a spotlight on some of the Vive X companies working to creating the future of VR, building toward a look to the future of VR, particularly into 2018.

Then, with a knowing grin, he said, “Shall we dim the lights?” After which, he emerged with the Focus in hand.

Over 40 pieces have been developed as part of Vive Wave for Vive Focus. As was announced in September, the Focus will host Viveport content in China, and will run on the newly announced Vive Wave.

Vive Wave marks a push by HTC to expand the scope of the Vive platform and unite its community.

According to the official website, Vive Wave “an open platform and toolset that will enable easy Mobile VR content development and high-performance device optimization for third party partners. The VIVE Wave VR SDK offers an open interface enabling interoperability between numerous mobile VR headsets and accessories, supporting mainstream game engines. This allows players with different VR devices an easy access to your extraordinary content.”

In 2016, Vive became the first room-scale VR system, and singlehandedly changed the VR landscape. With Vive Focus and Vive Wave, HTC is poised to again completely shift the landscape—this time for true mobile, world-scale VR.

Image Credit: VRScout

About the Scout

Jesse Damiani

Jesse Damiani is Editor-at-Large of VRScout and Deputy Director of Emerging Technology at Southern New Hampshire University. He's also Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press) and the author of @endless$pectator: The Screens Suite #loliloquy (BlazeVOX, 2017). Other writing can be found on Adweek, Billboard, Forbes, Quartz, and The Verge.

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