HTC Vive Focus Drops Daydream, Features Inside-out Positional Tracking

HTC Vive Focus

image source: anandtech.com

HTC just announced that the HTC Vive Focus, its new VR Headsest is set to launch into the Asian market and it will no longer be part of Google’s Daydream like what was told before. The company has confirmed that those plans won’t likely see the light of day. The name ‘Daydream VR’ never once came up during the Vive Focus event. This was strange because if we look back, it was teased to feature the platform. HTC says it still has a good relationship with Google. It’s just the collaboration that was supposed to happen is cancelled.

Development

The Vive Focus made its debut at Google I/O 2017. Although it was planned to be part of the Daydream platform, recent reports suggest otherwise. It would be based on Viveport which is owned by the company. This decision upsets some fans, but Clay Bavor confirmed that the Lenovo version is still coming, probably this year. The cancellation is indeed surprising because the device will be released in just few weeks. It makes people wonder if the decision has to do with Oculus’ plan to release its own headset. As we know, the company is also preparing the launch of its affordable headset, the Oculus Go. It’s set to launch next year and sold for $200. It’s not the only headset it’s working on. There’s another one called the Oculus Santa Cruz Prototype II that comes with incredible features like inside-out positional tracking.

HTC Vive Focus 2

image source: roadtovr.com

Features

The HTC Vive Focus will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It also boasts inside-out positional tracking. It’s paired with a three-degrees-of-freedom controller which looks pretty straightforward. Meanwhile, the trackpad provides comfort, the experience is comparable to other Vive devices. Design-wise, the HTV Vive Focus looks nice. There are some parts where it reminds us of the Playstation VR and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap. The color is another interesting part. When many VR headsets come in black, the Focus looks fantastic with its blue shade. As a standalone headset, it doesn’t rely on a host PC since everything that makes it work is included, such as a display, a battery, compute, etc. Besides, it also has its own cameras for the inside-out tracking feature mentioned earlier.

Comparison

The HTC Vive Focus isn’t the only VR headset that incorporates inside-out tracking technology. Others like the Windows VR headsets also have it. The difference is the Focus works with a simple controller. And the trackpad will just track rotation. While it was originally expected to run Daydream, Vive Wave is ready to take the crown. Vive Wave is basically Daydream for China, an open platform meant for easy mobile VR content development. It’s a good thing given the new device is going to hit the Asian market.

Vive Wave is needed more than ever to consolidate a vast library of VR content. It’s a way to standardize software and hardware, which will eventually benefit manufacturers. As for the complete specs, we still have to wait because none has been announced. There’s a lot we have yet to know, like the resolution, battery, field of view, and others. The screen is probably AMOLED because it has been addressed before.

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