At the Vive Developers Conference (VDC), Beijing, earlier this week, HTC revealed the company’s first standalone head-mounted display (HMD), the Vive Focus. Targeted for release in China in 2018, the Vive Focus was presented with no discussion of a western launch. However, later that day developer Pillow’s Willow VR Studios let slip that the device may well see a launch globally in 2018.
Since VRFocus reported on these details, HTC has been in contact to clarify the situation. Patrick Seybold, Vice President, Communications & Social Media at Vive, offered the following comment:
“Our effort has been on bringing some other devices, including the one we announced to markets like China. We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to western markets on Daydream. We’re looking closely at our hardware roadmap, and will share when there is more to come for Western users next year.”
Herein, Seybold has confirmed that the Google partnership originally announced at Google I/O back in May is no longer part of Vive’s plan for a standalone HMD rollout. However, Seybold did not offer comment on what content distribution channels such a device would use. The current speculation revolves around the further usage of Viveport, for which Vive recently announced three new subscription models.
The Vive Focus itself is a standalone HMD which does not require tethering to a PC nor the insertion of a smartphone handset. Instead, the standalone HMD includes an AMOLED display and is powered by an on-board Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The HMD also features inside-out tracking with six degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) head-tracking and a 3DoF controller. You can see more about the Vive Focus in a close examination through pictures and video.
No specific release date nor price point has yet been announced for the Chinese release of the Vive Focus, and as stated by Seybold information regarding a western rollout for a Vive standalone HMD will be available in 2018. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details on the Vive Focus, and any details on a western standalone HMD.