Saturday, 18 November, 2017

HTC Vive dropped its Google Daydream headset to focus on China

Engadget Engadget
Cecilia Poole | 15 November, 2017, 00:50

Today, during this year's Vive developer conference in China, HTC has unveiled their next VR headset: the HTC Vive Focus. At the moment, the device, which was initially teased at Google I/O 2017 in May, will be available exclusively in China. "What's more, with the new Vive Focus, we are excited to bring high-quality 6DoF VR experiences, which were previously only available on tethered devices, in a more convenient and portable form factor", stated Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC.

The Vive Focus features an AMOLED display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor to power the show.

Of particular interest, however, is what HTC has made with Google Daydream, shifting the support to be more than just another Daydream headset and supporting a new technology called Google WorldSense.

There's little doubt that the world of virtual reality is here to stay, and while areas like augmented reality and mixed reality continue to help drive the area forward, igniting the embers of change on how we work and play, virtual reality mostly works to that latter one, the entertainment side.

The Vive Wave VR is utilized by the Vive Focus and features content built specifically for the platform by more than 35 Chinese and global VR content developers. It's unclear why HTC abandoned the Daydream partnership, especially when you consider that the company already finalized the headset design.

Confirmed, no Daydream standalone from HTC, but we remain great partners. 12 hardware partners also announced their support for the integration of Vive Wave, as well as the Viveport content platform, into their future products, including Baofengmojing, Idealens, Pico, and Pimax.

In May, Google announced a new line of standalone devices running on its Daydream mobile VR ecosystem.

Unity will also now be able to use Vive's in-app payment and VR advertisement functions, with an initial focus on the Chinese market, thus opening up revenue for VR developers and content creators.

No release date has been pinned for the Vive Focus, nor has a price been revealed. Other similar use cases include Second Life-like social platforms, or it can be something as simple as watching movies with friends in a virtual cinema - not an entirely new concept but now you can do so pretty much anywhere you want. A rather basic-looking touch and motion tracking controller also looks to be part of the Vive Touch package.

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