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HTC reveals Vive Focus, a VR headset that cuts the cables

14 November 2017

Instead, the unit intends to tread the lines between power, portability, and affordability, which puts it in competition with some recently announced Oculus headsets, in particular the Project Santa Cruz and more affordable Oculus Go. Also announced today is the Vive Wave VR open platform, which is basically Daydream for China with 12 hardware partners already signed up, including Quanta, Pimax, Nubia, iQIYI and more.

HTC and Google both confirmed to TechCrunch that a Daydream-branded HTC standalone headset will no longer be coming to the USA market.

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The platform is created to simplify development and enable support for multiple, cross-platform VR devices. Vive Wave is a toolset that lets developers support third-party mobile VR HMDs on HTC's Viveport content distribution system.

While the U.S. has been a slow struggle platform-wise for Vive, China has been a different story where the company has already grown its smartphone-based mobile VR brand thanks to a software launcher tied to its Viveport content store. With the Vive Wave SDK, vendors can integrate accessories - be it a Leap Motion, gloves or even outside-in solutions for 6DoF input (and potentially eye-tracking solutions as icing on the cake).

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"In the past, standalones have always kind of represented a mediocre balance, where you don't have much content and you can only do rotational, and it's not that much different than Cardboard except now you have one individual machine", HTC Vive's China President Alvin Wang Graylin told Engadget.

Beyond the Vive headset, Google had announced that they were also working with Lenovo on a wireless Daydream headset. While Oculus executives have outright noted that they are not particularly interested in making money off of hardware sales, there aren't many other options for HTC which has done a poor job of becoming a platform company in the USA despite being first-to-market. The Vive Focus is a head-mounted display equipped with 6 degrees-of-freedom, and world-scale tracking.

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Predictably, the Vive Focus headset is fully compatible with the Vive Wave open platform and Viveport content distribution system. The company said that it handed out 500 priority vouchers to developers who were present at VDC 2017. In fact, HTC is offering Vive Vision headsets along with Vive Wave developer kits to qualifying developers.

HTC reveals Vive Focus, a VR headset that cuts the cables