HTC Introduces 6DoF Controller Developer Kit for Vive Focus

HTC has also teased hand tracking for Vive Pro.

When HTC launched its standalone headset, the Vive Focus last year, featuring on board processing and forward facing cameras for its tracking, one of the disappointments leveled at the device was its 3 degrees of freedom (3DoF) controller. Recently the company has unveiled plans to improve the immersion on Vive Focus and other headsets using the Vive Wave platform by introducing a 6DoF Developer Kit.

Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC Deliver Speech at the HTC Vive Ecosystem Forum of World Conference on VR Industry (WCVRI)

Speaking at the HTC Vive Ecosystem Forum during the World Conference on VR Industry (WCVRI) in NanchangJiangxi Province, China, Alvin Wang GraylinChina President, HTC said: “We are excited to collaborate with the IVRA (Industry of VR Alliance), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China and Jiangxi provincial government to host the first ‘World Conference of the VR Industry’. It’s been amazing to see the rapid pace of advancement in the VR/AR space and the broad-based support of industry, academic and government leaders gathered here at the event,” said Graylin. “Today, we are taking the spatial computing industry to yet another level as we announce the availability of the full 6DoF developer kit for the Vive Wave open ecosystem, and a host of new 6DoF content and technologies to more easily bring users into fully immersive virtual worlds.”

So now studios can apply for the Vive Wave Full 6DOF Controller Dev Kit, which includes two 6DoF controllers and a tracking attachment that works with any existing Vive Focus devices and a suite of related software tools. This will give the same kind of control scheme as the normal HTC Vive just without the sensors, although at present few technical details have been released regarding how it all works.

Currently the best has been this Twitter post showcasing Graylin demoing the controllers. Easily noticeable is the controller design, looking similar to the new Oculus Touch devices for Oculus Quest, Vive Focus’ main direct rival due to appear in Spring 2019.

In addition to the 6D0F controllers, HTC also showcased development on hand tracking for HTC Vive Pro, using no additional accessories. This is achieved using the front-camera and HTC’s proprietary AI computer vision technology to directly track hand and finger movement, allowing for natural interaction with a virtual environment. This technology will become available via the Viveport SDK in the future.

On top of all this HTC announced the soft opening of the first HTC Vive Flagship Store, located at the Consumer Electronics Exchange/Exhibition Center (CEEC) in Shenzhen. It will deliver VR arcade experiences together with premium offline retail and service center. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.

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