HTC unveils standalone, wireless Vive Focus with 'world-scale' tracking

HTC has cancelled the standalone Daydream headset which was announced at Google I  O earlier this year

HTC Vive Focus is a new stand-alone VR headset, this means there are no wires what so ever.

The Vive Focus is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 platform and comes with a high-resolution AMOLED screen.

Developed for standalone headsets like the HTC Focus, Google WorldSense is essentially Google's way to track the world around you and apply the movement to the digital world.

While this headset looks almost identical to the early renders we saw at I/O, this one isn't running on Daydream, but rather HTC's new "Vive Wave" VR platform.

The launch of a standalone HTC VR headset for Google's Daydream platform is no longer happening in the United States, according to TechCrunch and now confirmed by Clay Bavor, Google's VR boss. This, Pao said, is where HTC's Vive Wave can patch things up. On the software side, not only is it about optimizing performance for medium-level hardware to ensure sub-20ms latency, but it's also about making it as easy as possible for developers to port from Vive, Daydream or Samsung Gear VR. To showcase this headset, virtual reality (VR) videogame Spark of Light from Pillow's Willow VR Studios was displayed, and in a press release the developer confirmed that the HMD will launch in 2018, first in China followed by the rest of the world "later that year".

The Vive Focus will launch as both a consumer product and a demonstration of what can be achieved with the Vive Wave platform, HTC has confirmed, though presently as a Chinese exclusive. The VR industry has been leaning towards standalone headsets for the past month with Oculus recently announcing the Go with a price tag of $199.

The platform also features an open interface that allows interoperability among numerous mobile VR headsets and accessories.

Separately, HTC has issued an invitation to VR and augmented-reality developers worldwide to participate in its Viveport Developer Awards, which are to recognize creativity and innovation in the field, as the company continues its efforts to build its own VR ecosystem. More importantly, this is the first hardware implementation of the new Vive Wave platform. It also features a rotational head strap that's described as being similar to the Vive's Deluxe Audio Strap.

Going back to the Focus, one potential use case that intrigued me the most is that it can be hooked up to other HTC headsets - be it the Focus or even the original Vive - for social interaction.

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