HTC Rolls Out an Easier VIVE Focus Plus VR Headset for Enterprise Customers
An Easier VR but only for the enterprise customers.
HTC Vive has unveiled the VIVE Focus Plus, an all-in-one hardware unit for enterprise users. The new product will soon be highlighted at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) slated from 25 February 2019 to 28 February 2019.
HTC has over the years been directing its efforts at the enterprise market and has been seeing good progress with developers. Many enterprises across the board have been pioneering virtual reality and augmented reality platforms from the leading the technology vendors such as Google, HTC, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Oculus. The innovations have been happening across a broad spectrum of areas including hardware, software and in the technological services.
HTC has now upgraded the VIVE Focus Plus with the incorporation of the dual controllers enabling users to deploy the device as they would a PC-based virtual reality device. It will also be possible for developers to port their existing PC-based virtual reality content into HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus.
It’s a major step towards an easier-to-use VR. Users ideally prefer a VR device that is wireless and which has an inside-out tracking. A wireless device means that you are no longer limited by your device’s umbilical cord tied to a game console or computer. With the inside-out tracking, you will no longer have to grapple with wall-drilling and cable routing that is a part and parcel of the setup of external trackers.
HTC has been delivering this wish-list to users over the recent years with its wireless adapters for the Vive and Vive Pro products which it began selling the last year. The company also launched the standalone Vive Focus virtual reality headset which gives users a 6-degrees of freedom immersion. The initial devices were a considerable improvement but they were still not adequate for the needs of many users. While a Vive Focus headset cost $499, a user still had to purchase an adapter that set them back some $299, a significant cost for the vast majority of users. Also, the Focus’ immersion was only limited to the headset and the hand controllers could only be tracked rotationally.
With the Vive Focus Plus headset to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress this week, users can look forward to Easier VR. The headset will be standalone sequel to HTC’s previous headsets and promises users a full immersion on top of the hand controllers and eye tracking capabilities.
On paper, HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus looks quite impressive. It will have a 3K AMOLED display which is similar to the Vive Pro’s 2889 x 1620 resolution. It will also have eye tracking function which was only recently unveiled for the Vive Pro Eye headset. HTC is literally going to have a headset for every pixel display by the time the CES 2020 comes about.
The company is keen to market the Focus Plus headset as a product for the enterprise market. It’s mainly targeting the corporate and institutional customers who are more interested in the performance rather than the price. The mainstream consumer market is generally more price-oriented.
HTC’s announcement on the launch of the two headsets also included testimonials from two of the company’s executives who already using the new headset in safety simulation and medical training. These re some of the “enterprise” applications that the company expects its new premium headsets to be deployed to.
HTC has gone out of its way to try and address the comfort issue in the headsets like most of the current VR hardware vendors by going for a design that will rest on the users’ heads. The comfort factor is particularly crucial for many enterprise customers that generally require employees to wear these devices for an extended duration of time in order to accomplish highly demanding projects. The Vive Plus Focus headset will likely compete with the Oculus Quest in the enterprise market thanks to the performance factor. Oculus Quest is currently the dominant player in the enterprise market and has won lots of accolades in various enterprise deployments with major firms, including Walmart. With the new competitor in the market, developers now have more options and they will be hedging their bets between the two premium headsets.
The VIVE Focus Plus will have a gaze support function, a kiosk mode along with device management tools that allow users to remotely monitor and manage multiple headsets. These are key features that will be crucial for enterprise deployments.
The company will release the Vive Focus in the second quarter of 2019 across 25 markets. The product will come with an enterprise license without additional costs. The company has cited various uses cases for the product in areas such as safety simulation and medical training.
Some of the Focus Plus device specs include the following:-
- A 3K AMOLED display
- 2 ultrasonic 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) controllers
- A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile VR Platform