An interesting news has emerged about the Google Daydream Virtual Reality platform which could have a significant impact on the future of the VR and VR headset industry. According to the reports, HTC may come out with their first Google Daydream VR headset called the “Vive Focus” in the very near future. We already know of Google’s partnership with HTC and Lenovo to design a premium standalone VR headset, and the Vive Focus may just be the first of those.
We have previously covered the VR industry in great detail, and the issues it is currently plagued by. The original HTC Vive launched back in 2016 and was critically acclaimed. However, despite this, it was a commercially flopped product, sold only around 420,000 units in 2016. The reason for this lukewarm response was a multitude of problems that continue to plague VR as a platform. The first generation of VR headsets was quite expensive. On top of this, they required a powerful computer or console like the PlayStation 4 to even work. This made the barrier to entry sky high and limited VR’s exposure.
The high-end VR experience also suffered from other issues, like tethering and excessive wires leading to restricted motion and freedom. On the flip side, entry-level VR was markedly lower quality. It often required a clip on the smartphone to function and lacked meaningful content.
HTC’s Vive Focus could be the revolutionary device that fixes a lot of these problems. It will reportedly be a completely standalone device, and will not need a computer or smartphone to function. It will likely be powered by its own Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. This significantly reduces the barrier to entry for VR.
Another game changer is the Vive Focus’ WorldSense technology. WorldSense will allow for inside-out tracking. This will eliminate the need for external sensors and tethers allowing for complete freedom of movement. This will help make VR experiences feel much more natural and accessible.
The VR industry is one that has immense potential. According to some estimates, the total shipments of VR headsets may cross 67 million by 2021, representing a 5-year CAGR of 48.7%! Of course, Google and HTC are not the only ones those have the recognized VR’s potential. Samsung is planning to release their own high-end VR headset and capitalize on the success of Gear VR. Facebook-owned Oculus is also working on a wireless mobile VR headset for a completely untethered experience. However, it looks like Google and HTC just might beat them to the punch, and we could see the HTC Vive Focus unveiled as soon as 4 October 2017.