HTC Vive, one of the leaders in consumer virtual reality (VR), has announced the Vive Focus Plus, a standalone VR headset designed for enterprise users.
Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC), the Vive Fovus Plus is intended to provide a premium VR experience without needing to be tethered to a high-powered computer, meaning it is significantly more portable than the company’s main headsets.
The headset is an improvement on the Vive Focus, which was first announced in November.
The primary improvement the Vive Focus Plus offers over the Vive Focus is in its controllers.
While the original Focus came with a single controller offering three degrees of freedom, the Focus Plus is packaged with two controllers supporting six degrees of freedom.
This means that the new controllers can be tracked as they are moved, rather than just as they rotate on a single axis.
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Like the original Vive Focus, the new headset also offers six degrees of freedom, and features a 3K AMOLED display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.
Standalone VR headset wars: Vive Focus Plus is a rival to Oculus Quest
The headset is a direct rival to the Oculus Quest, the premium standalone VR headset launched by HTC Vive’s main rival, the Facebook-owned Oculus.
The announcement puts the focus on advancing VR primarily on these standalone VR headsets, reflecting previous predictions from industry experts that high-end standalone products would be key to the ongoing evolution of the platform.
However, when it comes to consumers, the industry has significant maturation to go through. VR understanding and brand familiarity has dropped over the past year among consumers, indicating that this is not a market due for an imminent surge in adoption.
HTC Vive focuses on enterprise VR
The fact that the Vive Focus Plus is targeted at enterprise users rather than consumers is a strong indication of where the major players in the industry see near-term revenue coming from.
This is reflected in some of the features of the new headset.
“At Vive, the announcement of Vive Focus Plus furthers our commitment to rapidly iterate and refine the VR market for both businesses and consumers,” said Daniel O’Brien, General Manager Americas, HTC Vive.
“This rollout of Vive Focus Plus leads the way for deeper immersion, more realistic training and simulation, and easier porting of experiences from PC to the stand-alone category.”