Virtual Reality

Hands-on the Vive Focus (Standalone VR Headset)

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I got to try the Vive Focus last week at the NYU VR Meetup where Dario Laverde (Sr Developer Evangelist at HTC Corp) brought a bunch of headsets. First impression is that it’s a solid standalone VR headset, with a great sharpness (resolution is 2880 x 1600) and good tracking (headset and 1 controller). The FOV is the same than the Vive/Oculus and it’s nice to be able to walk around. I had it on for about 10 minutes and felt very comfortable playing at Flock and exploring the Home menu and settings. The Focus runs on Android and is available for the Chinese market only at this time. We don’t know yet if the Vive Focus will ever hit the US market but if ever you’d like to play with it you can apply for a Developer Kit and the Unity Wave VR SDK (which contains all the latest Vive Input Utility asset) via their platform Vive Wave.

The photo above is a bit confusing but the Vive Focus IS indeed a fully untethered HMD. I must admit I’ve appreciated the higher screen resolution but it didn’t drastically improve my experience (let’s say compared to the Pimax headset I tried last year). What really did improve my experience though is to be able to walk around without feeling a cable in my back. I’m curious to see what games the developers come up with for the standalone headsets because after the Vive/Rift it’s hard to go back to one controller only.
I’d like to see this headset in festivals, museums and VR cinemas as I believe the Focus is a great substitute to the current Gear VR (no overheating issue, long lasting battery life, standalone/all in one) to showcase 360 degree videos and seated/stand still interactive VR experiences.

Below are the specs of the Vive Focus as shown on the official website:

VIVE Focus headset

Tracking technology&sensors: World-Scale tracking(inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom),9-axis sensors, proximity sensor
Display: 3K AMOLED, resolution 2880 x 1600
Refresh rate: 75 Hz
FOV: 110 degrees
Adjustable IPD: Supported
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 835
Storage: MicroSD™ slot,up to 2TB MicroSD™ external memory
For data and device charging: USB Type-C
Audio input/output: Built-in microphones, built-in speakers, 3.5mm stereo audio jack
Wireless: Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, support to transmit contents to Miracast™ compatible devices
Power and battery: Built-in rechargeable battery, QC3.0 fast charging, up to 3 hours* of active use time, over one week* standby time

VIVE Focus controller

Sensors: 9-axis sensors
Buttons: Touch pad, app button, home button, volume +/- button, trigger
Power and battery: Two AAA batteries, up to 30 hours* of active use time
Featured photo: Dario Laverde (Sr Dvpr Evangelist at HTC Corp)  showing the Vive Focus at the NYU’s Future Reality Lab, Feb 15, 2018.

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Alecz is currently initiating HIGHWAY101, Experiential Techgnology Community, a VR-focused hub based in NYC that represents visionary creators in NYC, builds a network of industry influencers, and actively participates in industry events and festivals. He's co-organizer of The Virtual Art Collective Meetup in NYC that focuses on painting, sculpting and animating in VR.

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