The next phase of virtual reality (VR) hardware will be standalone devices, with both Oculus VR and HTC Vive having announced new head-mounted displays (HMDs) with on-board computational capabilities. HTC Vive was first out of the stalls with an announcement of a partnership with Google at Google I/O earlier this year, but has since remained tight-lipped about the device. Now it appears that the Chinese launch of this new standalone HMD could be just weeks away.
HTC Vive will be holding its annual conference Vive Developer Conference (VDC 2017), Beijing, on 14th November 2017. According to YiVian, an invitation to the event suggests that HTC Vive’s standalone HMD has been confirmed for launch at the event. You can see the conference poster embedded below.
The Chinese edition of the HTC Vive standalone HMD will have access to Viveport for content distribution exclusively, while the western edition will be a Daydream compatible device. Only yesterday VRFocus reported on comments from Rikard Steiber, President Viveport and SVP, who confirmed that there would be two different editions of the HMD for the Chinese and western markets in an interview.
The HTC Vive standalone headset will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 platform and will feature six degrees of freedom (6DoF) for head movement and come with a single 3DoF controller. The inclusion of a single controller obviously being to accommodate existing Google Daydream software as the Daydream View HMD itself has only ever shipped with one controller. The device will be using Qualcomm’s inside-out tracking technology as seen in the company’s reference design for the 6DoF head movement tracking.
The Chinese edition of the HMD is currently thought to be known as ‘Vive M’ thanks to a trademark registration from HTC itself. VRFocus has previously reported that the western release of the HTC Vive standalone HMD is thought to be known as the ‘HTC Vive Focus’ due to the reveal of a trademark registration. Beyond that, little else is currently known about the device.
Despite a trickle of rumours surrounding the device – both its western and Chinese launches – HTC Vive has continued in refusal to confirm any further details. With the VDC 2017 event scheduled for 14th November 2017, it may only be a couple of weeks until all the information becomes available, and VRFocus will of course keep you updated.