November 14, 2017 // 11:48 a.m.
HTC's Vive subsidiary has announced the launch of the Vive Wave VR Open Platform, and the first product to use it: the Vive Focus standalone VR headset with full inside-out tracking.
For those hoping HTC's announcements at the Vive Developers Conference this week would include something for the PC crowd, there was disappointment: The two biggest proclamations of the event were the launch of Vive Wave and the Vive Focus headset, both of which are designed for the Chinese market in mobile VR.
'We are taking another huge step in driving the most vibrant ecosystem for VR forward,' claims HTC's Matthew Gepp of the Vive Wave launch. 'Vive Wave will open up the path to easy mobile VR content development and device optimisation for third-party partners. Vive Wave is a clear step forward in bringing together the highly fragmented mobile VR market that has cropped up in China the last several years. It enables developers to create content for a common platform and storefront across multiple hardware vendors.'
While Gepp boasted of twelve Chinese hardware partners signed up to support Vive Wave, HTC isn't leaving its success to chance: The company also announced Vive Focus, the company's long-teased, wholly-mobile, self-contained VR headset. 'Vive Focus offers enhanced comfort for extended use, easy on-off capabilities, and is the first commercial standalone device to deliver inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom tracking (6DoF) which Vive calls "world-scale",' explains Gepp. 'Without the need to be attached to a PC or a phone, Vive Focus provides unlimited freedom of mobility while reducing the total cost for users to own a premium VR device in China. Its high-resolution AMOLED screen delivers the best possible VR experience, with low latency and unmatched clarity.'
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. At the same time Google's Clay Bavor confirmed via Twitter that HTC had cancelled plans to release a standalone headset compatible with the Daydream platform - seemingly in order to concentrate on Vive Wave.