HTC Unveils Standalone Vive Focus VR Headset & New Platform

November 14, 2017 - Written By Manny Reyes

HTC has introduced a couple of new technologies during the company’s Vive Developers Conference in Beijing, China, as part of its latest virtual reality push. At the event, HTC launched the Vive Wave VR open platform in a bid to further advance its VR ecosystem. The goal of the service is to help developers of mobile VR content streamline their projects for a single platform and marketplace consisting of several hardware storefronts in China. That means HTC aims to centralize the mobile VR market in the country, seeing how such a segment has seen significant fragmentation over the last couple of years.

On the hardware side of things, the Taiwanese consumer electronics company also debuted the Vive Focus, the firm’s first VR headset that does not rely on PC or a mobile device to function, meaning that users will have more freedom of movement. That is in addition to a standalone VR headset powered by the Google Daydream platform that HTC announced in May. The headgear is targeted at the Chinese market and is also built with Vive Wave support. The headset boasts 6-degree-of-freedom tracking, making Vive Focus the first commercial standalone headset to offer such a capability. Its key features include a high-resolution AMOLED screen and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC.

Additionally, Vive Wave is intended to help optimize devices for third-party hardware partners in China, which include 360QIKU, Baofengmojing, Coocaa, EmdoorVR, Idealens, iQIYI, Juhaokan, Nubia, Pico, Pimax, Quanta, and Thundercomm, the Taiwanese company said. These hardware vendors will combine their products with the Viveport VR content platform in the future as part of the partnership. HTC also announced that more than 35 content developers in China and across the world have already developed VR content that works with Vive Wave. And to allow for quick publishing of VR content on the Viveport for VR developers supporting PC and mobile platforms, as well as standalone VR headsets, HTC has teamed up with Unity Technologies. The graphics engine company will help developers take advantage of the Vive Wave VR SDK and incorporate Viveport into its platform so that VR content can be immediately published on various devices and standalone headsets. Also, to help VR developers generate revenue from their work, Unity has combined its development platform with Viveport’s in-app payment system and VR advertising capabilities. The first market to benefit from this opportunity is China, though it remains unclear when HTC plans to expand it to other territories.