Vivecon keynote event. With a new focus on business VR, the two-day conference dove into the company’s latest supports for remote collaboration. The headsets would tie into easy-to-use VR business solutions through 5K displays, advanced motion tracking and an open app store for downloading company-made tools.
On day one, HTC officially announced the Vive Focus 3 as their next enterprise-heavy headset. It sports an all-in-one system with built-in cameras for controllers, room scale movement without external sensors and an all-black body. Its strap also compensates for headset weight with extra padding around the back of the skull. Like its other HTC Vive family headsets, the Focus 3 is integrated with some business tools, including virtual meeting rooms and presentation floors.
The Focus 3’s software will be part of a Vive Reality ecosystem, which offers companies an open source for building solution-based apps. This lets other users gather remotely while using their hands to project screens, holograms and other 3D assets in a virtual space. The Focus 3 can also be used to power manufacturing apps, with users being able to build full scale products before they reach the assembly line. HTC also outlined the Focus 3 for job training, specifically in health for surgeons and nursing. This includes COVID-19 simulations to instruct staff on administering vaccines for patients.
Its apps can also be distributed through Vive Business AppStore, letting companies and users download a variety of meeting rooms and even full job training programs. Users can also access Vive Sync, the first party work chat app that puts teams into custom conference rooms with virtual presentation screens. Companies can choose to commercially share their tools and VR programs to the public. HTC added its business platforms will also be integrated with Viveport, which serves as the gaming portal for existing PCVR headsets.
HTC added its Vive system will be made “from the ground-up” as a platform for training sites and workplaces. This starts with the new and upgraded Focus 3, which builds off the Focus Plus’ features for high fidelity standalone VR. Users can now receive a 90Hz display with a future proof 5K resolution from both eyes combined (4896×2448). This comes with a 120-degree field of view for natural peripherals in training environments, while adding immersion for large scale virtual meetings.
The Vive Focus 3 expands on some quality of life hardware changes, including a removable snap-on battery pad for quick power management. Users can also spend longer sessions with a lighter headset. Its frame is built with a new alloy for durability and lightness. This also takes away some pressure towards the front and rear. The Focus 3 includes its own built-in audio which simulates headphones without touching a user’s ears.
The HTC Vive Focus 3 now includes traditional touch controllers, with a tracking ring on the top and joysticks. Face buttons are also included, looking closer to the Oculus Touch controllers. Like the Focus 3, the new controllers will be fully wireless without Base Stations or any wires. HTC also teased their Focus 3 will make use of the headset’s four inside-out cameras for hand tracking via updates. This will all be powered with an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, packing a PC-level experience into a mobile based system.
The HTC Vive Pro 2 was announced as the successor to its original high-end PCVR headset. It now features a 120 field of view, 120Hz refresh rate, 3D audio and 5K resolutions for both enterprise and core gaming. Each eye features a 2.5K resolution, with a combined 5K display. This adds sharper pictures in worlds, suggesting users have an easier time spotting details in cockpits for games like Microsoft Flight Simulator. The new headset keeps the same form factor as its original Pro headset for consistency. This makes it compatible with older accessories including the wireless adapter, deluxe audio straps and the Vive Facial Tracker which brings expressions into VR.
The Pro 2 features two front cameras for easier wireless tracking, though users will still rely on Base Stations for room tracking and walking around. Players will also benefit from the Pro 2’s updated headphones, which now include 3D audio for 360-degree listening. As a PCVR headset, the Vive Pro 2 is rooted in gaming with SteamVR support. Of course, this lets players enjoy Half-Life Alyx with upgraded visuals with less ghosting, motion blur and latency through its tracking.
The HTC Vive Focus 3 launches as a business-based VR headset on June 27, 2021 at $1300 USD. The flagship PCVR HTC Vive Pro 2 releases on June 4, 2021 for $1399 USD. Users with a current Vive headset can also upgrade to the Pro 2 at a discounted $749 USD.