An ongoing theme, in terms of the development of virtual reality (VR) hardware throughout 2017 so far, has been the ongoing push towards head mounted displays (HMDSs) without any form of physical tethering to a console unit or computer. We’ve seen this in the continue development and push for conversion devices such as TPCAST; a wireless solution initially for the HTC Vive that developed out of the Vive X Accelerator in 2016 and that is now working on a similar wireless support module for the Oculus Rift HMD. Likewise Oculus themselves now have two lines of development: The Santa Cruz headset, which was first revealed in a very basic but workable form at Oculus Connect 3 in 2016 and the Oculus Go standalone HMD that was revealed (along with an update on the Santa Cruz) at Oculus Connect 4.
Now, after last night at the HTC Vive Conference 2017 in China, we’ve had our first glimpse of the HTC Vive Focus. Revealed by HTC President Alvin Graylin, the Focus marks the first of two standalone devices for the company with the Focus being for the Chinese market specifically. A variation of the Focus, which HTC confirmed to VRFocus would be “similar” is also in production for the European, North American and potentially other global markets and is rumoured to be called the HTC Vive Eclipse, based on reports relating to trademarks for the name made by HTC throughout the world. There has though been no official confirmation of this as of yet, though Eclipse or not a press release earlier today did indicate the Focus itself would be coming westwards.
The HTC Vive Focus was one of a series of announcements, another being the introduction of several new packages for its Viveport subscription service, whilst the Vive Focus itself will be utilising Vive Wave: a new open VR platform by the company.
HTC has now made available a video showing the headset in better detail on the Chinese video hosting service Youku and you can find it below, along with a selection of other images released by the company on their website. The push towards a wireless, standalone future is set to continue throughout 2018 and when we have more information about it and the forthcoming announcement from HTC, then VRFocus will, of course, let you know.