What we know about the HTC Vive Focus
Recently, the tech giant HTC released new information regarding their upcoming standalone Virtual Reality (VR) headset from the Vive series. This could mean that its completion may not be too far away. Here’s what we know so far.
Although the standalone VR headset (based on Daydream VR) was first mentioned at Google I/O in May and again in July at ChinaJoy 2017, a more detailed update or perhaps some official declarations should be available on October 4th when the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones will be revealed. HTC and Google have not confirmed anything yet, there is reason to believe that the new headset will be called Vive Focus, as this is the name put in the recent trademark papers HTC filed for both the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The documents say “head-mounted display for computer simulated reality”, so it is safe to say we know the name.
We don’t know much about the precise specifications and design features; however, some mysteries are not too hard to uncover. There is even an image of how the Chinese version will look like, and it’s supposed to be identical to other versions, apart from the software. While HTC is responsible for the design side of the project, tech giant Qualcomm is helping with the hardware. In fact, Google already confirmed that the VR headset will run on their Daydream platform and will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 VR platform which uses the same Snapdragon 835 chip that’s inside the HTC U11. This means that the Vivie Focus will be completely untethered – unlike the HTC Vive, which requires bulky cables that connect to a high-end PC.
Additionally, the ability to move around freely with the VR headset should also enhance gameplay, providing a more entertainment and convenience without the need to prepare special conditions like, for example, special rooms with outside-in tracking. But it can have an interesting effect, just like Virtual Reality in general, on the games in which interaction between users plays a huge part. This is true for all kinds of social games, especially card games, in which the more you can connect with your opponents, the better you can read them. And although there are plenty of nice Android apps about poker and other casino games for your smartphone, most of them free and available in the Google Play store, VR certainly has a potential to take experiences such as reading your opponents at the poker table to the next level. While Vive Pre already has the mechanism that allows you to adjust the distance between the lenses and the user’s eyes, which maximizes the device’s field of view, while being, quite literally, the sight for sore eyes for those who need to make extra room for their glasses, there is no reason to expect any less from the new model.
There’s no guarantee that the Vive Focus will actually be making an appearance at Google’s event on October 4th, but Google has publicly stated that the first standalone Daydream VR headsets would make their debut in 2017. And then there’s always the topic of pricing. Since the Vive Focus will have a high-end processor, it’ll likely have a high-end price to go along with it. We’re hoping it’ll cost less than $300, but we expect we’ll be disappointed.