HTC attended its ViveCon virtual reality conference to introduce two new VR headsets tailored to meet professional and business needs. From the standalone Vive Focus 3 to the PC-based HTC Vive Pro 2, HTC VR owners will benefit from some major upgrades this year.
The company cited PwC's study that VR and AR will add more than $ 1.4 trillion to the global economy by 2030 to highlight the importance of virtual reality. According to HTC, it is about creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in all industries and sectors.
To prepare companies for the VR revolution, both new HTC Vive headsets have been updated to offer a wider 120 degree field of view (FOV) for a more natural and comprehensive view of the virtual world, improved frame rates and a dual element lens design and a total resolution resolution of 5K. The company claimed that both headsets are comfortable to wear, which is important for long VR sessions.
"The solutions HTC Vive will unveil today are designed from the ground up for businesses, businesses and professionals," said HTC executives during the company's keynote presentation. “We improved a few areas to get the best results. The easiest to run and the fastest, most compliant deployment. "
The company said it connected with users and heard feedback, and in response, the HTC Focus 3 and HTC Vive Pro 2 were developed.
HTC Vive Focus 3
HTC made some big changes to make standalone virtual reality experiences more immersive and natural, and the company spent a significant portion of the Focus 3 launch talking through the headset's screen.
New this year is a dual 2.5K display that gives a combined total resolution of 5K. HTC claimed this was a 260% increase over the previous generation all-in-one headset. The company also stated that the sub-pixels have also been increased and there are now 400% more sub-pixels across the entire display.
"But what are the advantages of a higher resolution?" Asked Dan O’Brien of HTC Americas rhetorically. “Such a rich display allows for more natural interactions: you don't have to get closer to reveal more details, so everything can be made more realistic. You no longer have to worry to consider the loss of fidelity. Now, the amazing healthcare professionals graduating from their apprenticeship can see the writing on the instruments and tools at a glance instead of having to physically get closer. "
The Vive Focus 3 also expands the field of view to 120 degrees this year and increases the refresh rate from 60 Hz to 90 Hz. O'Brien claimed that this level is on par with many PC-based virtual reality headsets.
Since the Focus 3 is intended as a stand-alone solution, HTC designed the battery to be easily replaceable. The rear-mounted battery acts as a counterweight for added convenience instead of pressing the VR's screen against your face. The battery can also be charged quickly and, according to HTC, reaches 50% in just 30 minutes.
"Our research shows that, on average, people use VR more often and for longer sessions," said O & # 39; Brien. “The Focus 3 is therefore durable and light. It has a magnesium alloy frame that is 20% lighter and 500% stronger than conventional plastic. The Focus 3 was designed for comfort and has a new belt for weight distribution and an intelligently designed battery that curves at the back of the head and provides a natural counterweight. "
Other features include an adjustable IPD to adjust the distance between screens to suit your eyes, as well as lifelike open-back audio, noise-canceling microphones, and an AI-powered inside-out tracking algorithm designed for use with the headset four High field of view cameras.
"Data protection is paramount for all tracking data that is stored in an encrypted partition on the headset. It uses a method that is virtually impossible to reverse engineer," said HTC.
The Vive Focus 3 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR chipset with 8 GB of RAM. The headset is kept cool with a heat pipe and a single fan.
HTC Vive Pro 2
For users who need more power than a standalone solution, HTC has also introduced the updated Vive Pro 2. Like the stand-alone Focus 3, the Vive Pro 2 also has a wide 120-degree field of view, a 5K display with combined resolution. and a focus on comfort and ergonomics.
The special thing about the Vive Focus Pro 2 is that it supports a faster refresh rate of 120 Hz compared to the 90 Hz of the Focus 3.
"Vive Pro 2 offers smooth and sharp graphics with breathtaking clarity," HTC executives said during the keynote presentation. "It has two 2.5k screens and the new two-lens configuration seen on the Focus 3."
The result is an increase in resolution of 260% and an increase in the number of subpixels by 400%.
"With Vive Pro 2, you can see an amazing amount of detail that compliments the crisp screen," said HTC. The immersive graphics are complemented by the spatial 3D audio support with the integrated headphones.
To achieve this image sharpness, HTC worked with Nvidia and AMD. The Pro 2 is the first headset to use Display Stream Compression technology, which allows all visual data to be losslessly compressed while maintaining backward compatibility with DisplayPort 1.2, HTC executives said.
"That said, if your PC was compatible with the original Vive Pro, it will also be compatible with Vive Pro 2," HTC explained. “If your graphics card does not support the compression of display streams, you can still benefit from the new, massively reduced screen effects of the panel. All of this means more details and complex models, or staying sharp and clear even as you move. "
As with the original Vive Pro, comfort still plays an important role in the design of the headset. Padded seals work with glasses, adjustable IPD, and more.
The company also introduced a new Vive Facial Tracker to bring empathy into the virtual world.
"One of the reasons VR is so good for social interaction is because of how empathetic it is," said HTC. “With VR, you can focus and interact with each other in a more natural way. Vive Facial Tracker helps bring VR to life. This is a huge success since we launched it a few weeks ago. By capturing 38 different hybrids on the face, you can create expressive characters and convey those important non-verbal cues like the subtleties of smiling. "
According to HTC, the Vive Pro 2 is backward compatible with existing trackers and the hardware ecosystem, so you can mix and match your setup.
The HTC Vive Pro 2 will go on sale on June 3rd. Pre-orders start today. The Focus 3 will go on sale on June 24th. HTC did not reveal prices for either headset during its keynote presentation.
Vive software solutions for companies
HTC announced a range of solutions for businesses. However, the main software package for businesses moving to remote work is that the Vive Sync application is no longer in beta. With Vive Sync, teams and organizations can share experiences such as meetings and birthday parties through virtual reality. The app is now part of the Vive XR Suite.
The company also announced the Vive Business App Store to help users find curated apps and is building an ISV program to bring more VR tops to the store. So far, more than 50 ISV partners have registered.
"Thanks to the Vive ISV program, we can provide companies with easy access to trusted developer partners for their customized VR needs," said HTC. "The ISV program is a priority for us in developing Vive Business."
For companies that manage a fleet of Vive headsets, HTC also announced the Vive Business Device Management System, which works like an MDM system. Instead of letting users buy individual apps, IT managers can manage licenses and seats with the business device management system.
"There's an entire corporate VR network at your fingertips," stated HTC executives. “You can manage licenses, send proprietary content or buy content to devices, assign programs to individuals or groups. You can also perform a batch configuration to efficiently set up new devices, securely manage software updates, and get analytics on the performance of your devices and accessories. "
The HTC Vive Focus 3 offers six months of free access to the Business Device Management System and Vive Sync Enterprise.
The company also announced Vive Business Training, a tablet-managed tool designed for group training. The trainer has access to what each person in the group sees on their headsets through various windows on the tablet and can highlight an item or move a user through a section.
HTC calls this "the total solution of software and services for a company, whether large or small, in order to get into virtual reality in a scalable, compliant and secure manner."