As Microsoft readies its push to “democratize VR” by releasing affordable VR headsets which can be used on mid-range PCs, HTC is also getting ready to cut its Vive headset’s ties to the PC market with a stand-alone VR headset which does not need a PC.
Details regarding HTC’s stand-alone headset has leaked some time ago, so we know for example that it is powered by a Snapdragon processor and will support Google’s Daydream Mobile VR platform with six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking with 3DOF motion controls and have access to the wide range of content already on Daydream such as games like Eclipse: Edge of Light and apps like Google Street View.
Now a trademark filing at the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent And Trademark Office has been uncovered by Lets Go Digital naming the head mounted display as the Vive Focus. The application is recent, dating only to last week.
The headset may be revealed at Google’s upcoming October 4th event, where the new Pixel smartphone, which is also expected to support Daydream VR, is also expected to be released. HTC’s teaser site for the device can be seen here.
In some ways the coming clash this holiday season is a battle of ecosystems, with Microsoft and Intel on the one side with the Windows Mixed Reality platform, which should offer better performance but which would be tethered to PCs, and on the other side Google’s Daydream platform and Qualcomm, which created the reference design HTC is using, which offers a lower cost mobile solution with lower quality. The battle, of course, plays out in the context of unclear consumer demand for VR in general, making it not obvious if investments made over the next 6 months will pay out in actual usage over time.
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