Science

HTC Vive Introduce New Vive Wave Open Platform

The goal of Vive Wave was to provide a unified interface and set of tools for developers to provide content for the HTC Vive Focus, as well as other mobile virtual reality (VR) devices. Unlike some other standalone VR headsets, you don't need your 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. With the Vive Wave SDK, vendors can integrate accessories - be it a Leap Motion, gloves or even outside-in solutions for 6DoF input (and potentially eye-tracking solutions as icing on the cake). HTC said that 12 hardware partners have already signed up to take part in Vive Wave. Focus uses an open platform called Wave VR and can access the Viveport VR content. "As the VR industry leader in China, it is our duty to help reduce market fragmentation and provide content developers with more ways to make money".

HTC Vive report it is concerned by the continuing fragmentation of the VR market, particularly in China.

The HTC Focus aims to offer something like the best of both current VR worlds - you get a premium experience as with higher end virtual reality headsets, but with the same portability as things like Gear VR that use a phone to eliminate wires.

We already knew that the Focus packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with instant on support, and now we're told that it also features a "high-resolution" AMOLED screen plus a rotational head strap that's similar to the Vive's Deluxe Audio Strap. With over 35 content creators, based in China and across the world, involved in creating content for Vive Wave, HTC seems to be banking on the open platform unifying VR.

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. The representative that we spoke with declined to discuss the full specifications of the hardware and would not say how much the Vive Focus would cost or when it would be available.

Predictably, the Vive Focus headset is fully compatible with the Vive Wave open platform and Viveport content distribution system.

The HTC Vive Focus's release date hasn't been stated, but developers can apply for a dev kit. The company said that it handed out 500 priority vouchers to developers who were present at VDC 2017.



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