HTC launches standalone VR headset Vive Focus with 6DoF tracking support

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HTC is still on track to release the first standalone "world-scale" headset with the Vive Focus, but don't expect to see one outside of China any time soon.

The HTC Vive Focus, promoted as the first of its kind to actually reach the market, has a wireless, tangle-free design and comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, a high-resolution AMOLED display and "6-degrees-of-freedom" (6DoF) tracking. Per the device's website, the headset supports something called WorldSense which support six degrees of freedom, allowing for natural movements like ducking, leaning, and peeking.

Alongside the new VR headset, HTC also announced the Vive Wave, an open platform content that will make it easier for developers to dive into virtual reality. Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC Vive's China President has said HTC is only focusing on China for now with the Vive Focus headset.

HTC launches standalone VR headset Vive Focus with 6DoF tracking support

As the company focuses its efforts on its new headset and platform, it's presently shelving plans for its Google Daydream headset at the moment. 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). Instead HTC is getting together with 35 Chinese and global content developers to produce Vive Wave optimised content. 12 hardware partners have already signed up to the platform, including 360QIKU, Baofengmojing, Coocaa, EmdoorVR, Idealens, iQIYI, Juhaokan, Nubia, Pico, Pimax, Quanta and Thundercomm. The Vive Focus is specifically created to appeal to a mass market audience. There is also a single handheld controller for interacting with games and menus.

HTC is yet to reveal details about the Vive Focus' pricing and availability.

In May, Google announced a new line of standalone devices running on its Daydream mobile VR ecosystem. As such the Vive Focus is firmly cemented between mobile-powered VR and higher-end PC-powered headsets like its older sibling the HTC Vive VR. It also features a rotational head strap that's described as being similar to the Vive's Deluxe Audio Strap. Having the same advantage over the Oculus Go could make the Vive Focus much more popular in turn.

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