HTC has just officially presented its new HTC Vive Focus, the independent and wireless version of its virtual reality glasses. It is a joint project with Qualcomm which we already had some clues last July, VR glasses exclusive for the time being for the Chinese market that go between projects such as Google Daydream and the original HTC Vive.
Its main characteristic is its tracking system of 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF). It comes to be a system that does not need external stations or sensors, since according to HTC is able to track the position of the user anywhere, including trains or planes. In this way, HTC believes that its device manages to distance itself from the rest of the market’s independent alternatives, which it considers as little more than a Cardboard without cables.
“In the past, independent glasses have always represented a mediocre balance, where you do not have much content and you can only rotate, and they are not very different from Cardboard except for having an individual machine,” said Alvin Wang. Graylin, president in China of HTC Live media. “Now you can basically do most of the things you could do on a high-end machine in a standalone version.”
These are the Vive Focus
Until now, basically we just knew that these new virtual reality glasses would fit a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. But now we also know that this will be accompanied by an AMOLED screen, as well as a rotating strap to adjust it to the head quite similar to the HTC Deluxe Audio Strap system.
The new glasses of HTC also incorporate a few controllers of technology 3DoF, that are the same that we have seen in other devices VR of low cost like the last version of the Gear VR of Samsung. Despite being a lower tracking technology, from HTC say they will be able to give “a very good experience” to be used next to the new Vive Foscus with 6DoF technology.
Another of its most important features is that you can synchronize with other live models of HTC, whether Focus or Live original. This will allow social interactions, such as social networks to Second Life or to be used in class for the teacher to make a virtual demonstration to all their students and that everyone can see in their glasses.
And to give all the possible content to the new device, HTC has also announced the open Vive Wave VR platform. Basically it is the equivalent of Google’s Daydream for China, with several manufacturers from that country who have come on board to be able to integrate their devices and accessories in 6DoF technology through the Vive Wave SDK.
In this way, developers will be able to port the original Live content to any device in the Vive Wave environment. They can do so by choosing to keep the 6DoF technology with the need to use additional drivers, or adapting it to be used with the 3DoF controllers of the lower cost devices.
At the moment only for China
The bad news is that at the moment these new virtual reality glasses will be destined solely to the Chinese market, and this will continue to be at least for the rest of the year. On the future plans have not said anything, and in fact not even has been given a final price for its launch in China.
We will have to see how HTC measures the times, because we can not forget that Facebook has already made a similar move presenting its new Oculus Go a month ago. It is an independent virtual reality glasses, and although it uses only 3DoF technology will go on sale next year for just $200.