The new VR headset is called the Vive Focus, and unlike the regular Vive, offers a stand-alone, untethered VR experience. It should be the first standalone six-degrees-of-freedom VR headset to see release, though HTC isn't saying exactly when it'll be available. HTC said that 12 hardware partners have already signed up to take part in Vive Wave. Content from Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR is also said to arrive on Vive Wave soon. It's a standalone VR headset that doesn't require a PC or mobile phone. Choice is great, of course, but when each device has its own content platform, it's hard for developers to support all systems, paving the way for one platform to dominate. The company unveiled its standalone device at an event in China this evening, explaining that its new VR device gives people the freedom to enjoy virtual reality content wherever they are.
Earlier this year, HTC was forced to drop the price of their Vive VR system from $799 to $599 after Oculus dramatically sliced the price of its similarly capable VR system from $798 to $399.
Beyond the Vive headset, Google had announced that they were also working with Lenovo on a wireless Daydream headset. As previously announced, the Vive Focus runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip and uses inside-out positional tracking. "The combination of Snapdragon's ultra-low power, high performance VR coupled with the new Vive Wave VR open platform will help content developers deliver best-in-class mobile VR experiences to users".
But that's not to say that developers can't add 6DoF hand input to the Focus.
Going back to the Focus, one potential use case that intrigued me the most is that it can be hooked up to other HTC headsets - be it the Focus or even the original Vive - for social interaction. HTC is also accepting applications for Vive Wave developer kits through the Chinese Vive developer hub.