Last Week at the Mobile World Congress 2019, HTC released its new Vive focus plus which is a self-contained headset. The most prominent update Vive has got is its controllers, instead of a single one you will get two controllers. More importantly, both the controllers support 6 degrees of freedom DoF rather than the 3DoF found on the original.
The controllers can be tracked while moving around, as we compared with the original controller the number of buttons on it has also increased. Instead of a simple trackpad and single trigger, you now get two triggers, a trackpad, and two face buttons. PC connected headsets like the HTC vive and Vive pro able to track the controller movement using external base stations. Whereas in the Vive focus plus all the tracking done by the headset itself.
With the ability to walk around means that Vive focus plus shows you which virtual areas are safe for you to move around. The gadget will do by rendering blue gridlines in the air if you walking out of your playspace. PC connected Vive controller lets you manually decide the areas using one of the controllers, while the focus plus creates automatically a zone around you. When you wear the headset the focus plus interpret that you are in the center of your playspace so it generates a barrier around you.
if we talk about the internal specs, the features of Vive focus plus is the same as that of Vive Focus. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, it has the same AMOLED 3K display with a resolution of 2880 x 1600, and it charges over USB-C. The company further claims that you will get three hours of battery life from a 30-minute charge. Moreover, a representative from Simforhealth demonstrated a thirty-minute video in which he talks about the things he experienced.
The external design of the headset has been changed a little because for your forehead to better distribute its weight. Removing the need for an external base station while offering 6DoF controllers. To be clear, the software is meant for nurses and other health care professionals who want to learn new tools and techniques in a safe guided environment. For the most parts, the controllers worked well, the experience tasked with assisting the patient following proper hygiene conditions and changing the elements in the correct order.
In the Demonstration, there is a lot of bending and picking up things, interacting with a virtual patient, and teleporting around the virtual environment. Later in this video demonstration, you have to wash your hands pulled on a pair of gloves and remove the patient bandages. Later prepare two syringes and administered some suitable doses. One of the discomforts created when teleported outside of what Vive focus plus considered was the safe play space.
However, Trade shows like MCW is a difficult place to demonstrate products like these. As there is a lot of radio interference plus the show floor is a mix of brightly lit booth and shadowed places. It is a kind of mess where any headset would struggle to track itself. But whatever the reason, Vive focus plus did not track well during the demonstration. Apart from the tracking issue, the overall graphical quality of the headset is good considering it was running on a mobile processor.
Both of the VR experiences been shown by the HTC for the focus plus were only for the sake of professional use. The company clarified that these headsets are for the targeted users instead of being used for entertainment purposes. HTC is targetting different businesses users and giving different priorities to the Vive focus. The headsets might be taken to a new location for onsite training or installed in a conference room for one-day training.