The Vive Focus virtual reality headset is now on sale outside of China, available in 37 other countries, including the U.S., where HTC priced the device at $599.
Announced almost a year ago, the Vive Focus is meant for the workplace rather than as a consumer-facing device. A standalone headset, the Focus does not connect to a computer or rely on an inserted smartphone.
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Instead, the headset's processor, battery and displays are all integrated, making it far simpler to use than the $499 Vive and $799 Vive Pro, which are PC-powered.
Despite being much cheaper than the Vive Pro, the Focus offers the same display resolution of 2880 x 1600, plus internal speakers, a headphone jack, and an SD card slot for adding up to 2TB of storage.
However, with no connection to a high-end gaming PC, as used by the Vive Pro, the Focus has to make do with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, as found in smartphones like the year-old Samsung Galaxy Note 8. This year's flagship smartphones mostly use the more powerful Snapdragon 845.
HTC claims battery life for the Vive Focus is three hours, which may not sound like much but is probably enough for most VR apps and experiences, especially in the enterprise space where gaming marathons are unlikely.
Upgrading the HTC Vive's 'room-scale' system to 'world-scale,' the Vive Focus uses cameras positioned on the headset and facing outwards to map the environment and let the user navigate through virtual worlds, even if they are in a confined space.
With the older Vive, users had to mount two base stations approximately 6ft in the air at either end of where they wanted to use the Vive, severely restricting its ease of use.
Despite being similar to the $199 Oculus Go VR headset, the Vive Focus is not aimed at consumers or gamers. Instead, HTC is pitching the device at the enterprise market, where companies will be able to use it for simulator training (for pilots, for example), and in industrial design studios.
We can also see architects and property developers using the Vive Focus to design new homes and show off their creations to potential buyers.
Continuing its pivot from consumer to enterprise, HTC also announced Vive Sync this week. Vive Sync is an enterprise collaboration tool where up to 20 Vive wearers can all enter the same virtual space and collaborate together.