Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

HTC Focus standalone VR headset splashes overseas

HTC Focus standalone VR headset splashes overseas

HTC today cut the cord on virtual reality hardware by introducing the Vive Focus, a standalone VR headset that does not need to be tethered to a personal computer or smartphone. Price and availability of the headset will be announced later.

HTC has officially revealed the Vive Focus, its all-in-one VR headset.

Google doesn't seem to be perturbed by HTC backing down from the Daydream partnership.

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IN the meantime, we can also expect additional features to get rolled out as hinted by Google in its announcement last month. Initially, it's available only in English and to residents in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

While HTC is no longer producing a Daydream headset for Google, Lenovo is still planning on launching its own. As rumoured, the Vive Focus comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and features an inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) "world-scale" tracker. It also features a rotational head strap that's described as being similar to the Vive's Deluxe Audio Strap. It says porting to Vive Wave is "easy". But on the other hand, building an ecosystem is far more complicated than building hardware, which is why HTC has taken the safer approach to focus on building up Vive Wave, and exclusively for China. What will make the Focus stand out from its ARM-powered adversaries like the Cardboard and Daydream headsets, is its VR content optimized for VIVE Wave available from Viveport. It will be released in China only, at least initially, and runs games/apps built on the Vive Wave VR open platform.

Unity will also now be able to use Vive's in-app payment and VR advertisement functions, with an initial focus on the Chinese market, thus opening up revenue for VR developers and content creators.

With 12 third-party hardware partners already supporting the platform, and over 35 developers already creating content for the platform, Wave's future is looking bright... at least in China. It is basically Google's Daydream platform, but for the Chinese market. At the time, HTC confirmed that it would be releasing a Vive-branded standalone device under this initiative. Commenting on which, Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC, said in a press statement, "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".

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