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Black Box VR Developers Share Thoughts on the History and Future of VR Fitness

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The 5K, 120° FoV HTC Vive Pro 2 Starts From £659, Available June

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It’s the start of ViveCon 2021 and as expected HTC Vive has some big hardware news lined up. With reports initially teasing a possible HTC Vive Pro 2 the keynote today has confirmed its existence as well as plenty of juicy details including price, launch date and some very exciting specifications.

HTC Vive Pro 2

The Vive Pro 2 will be HTC’s new flagship virtual reality (VR) headset. It’s still tethered to a PC but it comes with a range of improvements to enhance your gaming experience. So yes, the Vive Pro 2 is going to be for consumer and enterprise customers alike. Mostly retaining the same shape and style as the original Vive Pro, the 2021 model now comes with a striking Black/Blue design – two colour combos seem to be a new fashion trend.

As for what’s inside, the Vive Pro 2 now boasts a 5K resolution, fast-switching panel with real RGB sub-pixels display delivering 2.5K to both eyes. The refresh rate has been upped to 120Hz for buttery smooth gaming, plus there’s even more to see as a new bespoke dual stacked-lens design provides a 120-degree field-of-view (FoV).

Inter-pupillary distance (IPD) is still manually adjustable to fine increments, the quick-adjustable sizing dial at the back remains, and HTC has ensured the weight balance is evenly distributed so the Vive Pro 2 should be comfortable for longer gameplay sessions. While it supports third-party headphones the Vive Pro 2 comes with its own Hi-Res Audio Certified headphones so you’re ready to go right out of the box.

HTC Vive Pro 2

“At ViveCon we redefined premium VR for both businesses and consumers, with stunning 5K resolution and 120-degree field of view setting a new benchmark for PC VR and all-in-One headsets. Vive Pro 2 delivers an amazing immersive experience, with beautifully fluid visuals, comfort, and precise tracking, for when every pixel and polygon counts,” said Graham Wheeler, HTC VIVE EMEA General Manager in a statement.

The Vive Pro 2 is fully compatible with the SteamVR ecosystem, working with 1.0 and 2.0 Base Stations, Vive Wireless Adapter, Vive controllers, and the Valve Index controllers. Plus, all generations of the Vive Tracker and the new Vive Facial Tracker will work with the headset.

HTC Vive will be selling the Vive Pro 2 in both kit and headset-only forms. If you already have a SteamVR setup and wish to upgrade then pre-orders are going live today, with a special discount promotion during the pre-order period offering the device for £659 GBP/ $749 USD/ €739 EUR. The Vive Pro 2 will officially launch on 3rd June 2021. The full HTC Vive Pro 2 kit will go on sale in August, retailing for £1299 / $1399 / €1399. It’ll include the Vive controllers and Base Station 2.0.

For continued updates from ViveCon 2021, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/05/the-5k-120-fov-htc-vive-pro-2-starts-from-659-available-june/

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Vive Focus 3 is HTC’s New Business AIO Headset With 5K & 120° FoV

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The time has finally come for HTC Vive to reveal what its been teasing these last few weeks. As expected it’s a new all-in-one (AIO) headset designed for the enterprise market, the Vive Focus 3. The third-generation of HTC Vive’s standalone Vive Focus product line, the new device strikes a very different aesthetic to its predecessor, the Vive Focus Plus.

HTC Vive Focus 3

As a standalone headset for companies looking for the best quality virtual reality (VR) experience with any cables, the Vive Focus 3 certainly has the stats to raise a few eyebrows. Offering users 5K resolution from dual 2.5K displays with fast-switching panels combined with real RGB subpixels, there shouldn’t be any worry when it comes to the screendoor effect. This is in addition to a 90Hz refresh rate and a wider 120-degree field of view (FoV) to make collaborating with colleagues even more immersive.

The images showcase a radically overhauled design, with the magnesium alloy frame 20% lighter and 500% stronger than traditional plastics. There’s a new strap design with the weight balanced for premium comfort. Part of that is thanks to the rear-mounted battery which can be charged to 50% in 30 minutes plus there’s a power indicator so you know how much charge is left. And for the first time ever, the Vive Focus 3’s battery is swappable, so users can keep a spare on charge for those longer VR sessions.

Other features include a manual inter-pupillary distance adjustment between 57mm to 72mm, quick release magnetic front and rear face gaskets for easy cleaning, and new open-back speakers featuring a pair of dual drivers. Built into the side arms, the speakers are contact free so users can still hear the outside world whilst a special audio privacy setting means that VR meetings can’t be heard by others in the room.

HTC Vive Focus 3

All of this is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform with the Vive Focus 3 able to provide accurate inside-out tracking for its four cameras which utilise an AI algorithm. Rounding out the feature set are a new pair of 6DoF controllers which have built-in batteries providing 15 hours of use per charge. HTC Vive has also confirmed that Vive Focus 3 will support hand tracking in the future.

“Vive Focus 3 heralds a new era of business VR – crafted for stunning visuals while also being durable and lightweight, with superior comfort and ease of use. Our new VIVE Business solutions make it easier than ever for an organisation to use VR, so whether it’s a small start-up or a multinational, everyone can benefit from the transformative potential of VR.”

As an enterprise-only device, the Vive Focus 3 will go on sale from 24th June, retailing for £1060 GBP/ $1300 USD/ €1180 EUR – the price includes 24-month Vive Business Warranty and Services. Don’t forget to check out HTC’s other new headset, the Vive Pro 2, and for further updates from ViveCon 2021 keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/05/vive-focus-3-is-htcs-new-business-aio-headset-with-5k-120-fov/

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HTC Vive launches 2 VR headsets and pro tools for enterprises

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Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


HTC Vive is aiming to take virtual reality for the enterprise to a new level with two VR headsets and other professional tools in a big product launch today.

While consumer VR has proven to be a tougher market than expected, HTC has brought its Vive brand into businesses that need to cut training costs through immersive VR experiences. And that’s why it is introducing the HTC Vive Pro 2, a new VR headset that is connected to the PC, and the HTC Vive Focus 3, a standalone VR headset that is easier to take with you.

With those two products, HTC is covering both the high end and the low end of the enterprise VR markets, which are humming along because enterprises don’t mind paying higher prices for VR gear that can save them millions of dollars a year in training costs. Consumers, meanwhile, have been reluctant to buy pricey headsets and instead are opting for the wireless Oculus Quest 2, which sells for as little as $300, while they’re waiting for true mainstream adoption.

HTC teamed up with Valve, the maker of SteamVR, to make the first Vive headset in 2015. Since that time, HTC has seen VR grow in business markets such as aerospace, public safety, health care, education, and automotive. Lately, it’s been a struggle to keep the headsets in stock, the company acknowledged. The original Vive Pro and Vive Focus debuted for the enterprise in 2018.

“In terms of driving into business and enterprise, this isn’t a pivot for HTC,” Dan O’Brien, global head of enterprise at HTC Vive, said in an interview with VentureBeat. “This is a continuation of something that we’ve been working on from day one.”

Meanwhile, Talespin Reality Labs, a spatial computing company focused on workforce knowledge transfer and skills insights, announced the debut of CoPilot Designer, a no-code authoring tool for immersive soft skills learning content available on PC and Mac devices. In addition, Talespin came out with new features for its skills data platform and released the new Talespin App, enabling organizations and learners to easily access learning content across XR devices. These additions to Talespin’s product ecosystem integrate with its recently announced desktop streaming capability and expanded content library to offer an end-to-end platform for content creation, distribution, and skills data. Talespin argues that VR helps improve learning in the enterprise.

ViveCon 2021

Vive Focus 3

Above: Vive Focus 3

Image Credit: HTC

HTC Vive unveiled the headsets at its online ViveCon 2021 event. Both headsets feature 5K resolution, a 120-degree field of view, and real RGB sub-pixels. The Vive Pro 2 will be available for preorder today and will go on sale on June 4, while the Vive Focus 3 will be on sale on June 27.

Also at ViveCon, HTC unveiled Vive Business: a range of new tools designed specifically for businesses of all sizes to exploit VR.

While HTC has focused on the enterprise, it also said that the Vive Pro 2 pushes the boundaries of PC VR for “incredible gaming, creating, and experiences,” while Vive Focus 3 redefines business VR with a purpose-built, all-in-one platform.

“The first area that we wanted to drive into was fidelity and immersion,” O’Brien said. “So we’re introducing the new Focus 3 with a 5K with two 2.5K panels.”

He said the OLED panel can push 36 million pixels. “It comes down to really strong graphics, and high field-of-view, for those simulation training sessions,” O’Brien said. “You can see everything in a more detailed layer.”

It’s a big bet by Cher Wang, CEO of HTC. In a statement, she said it was a major milestone in the quest to create the best immersive experiences. The headsets were designed from the ground up to deal with professional challenges using the latest technology available, she said. She said the ViveCon event itself was a sign of how virtual the world has become in the past year due to the pandemic.

Vive Pro 2

Vive Focus 3

Above: Vive Pro 2

Image Credit: HTC

The HTC Vive Pro 2 takes PC VR to the next level for high-end gaming or creating the impossible. The 5K resolution display delivers 2.5K to each eye, with a 120-hertz refresh rate and fast-switching panel with real RGB sub-pixels. The field of view is now 120 degrees, which means you can see more of your peripheral vision while wearing the headset. And it has a dual stacked-lens design with minimal motion blur. The dreaded “screen door effect,” where it looks like you are looking through a screen door when wearing the headset, is virtually gone now.

HTC worked closely with Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to use Display Stream Compression for the first time in a VR headset. Display Stream Compression ensures maximum visual quality and is also backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.2, so even graphics cards that supported Vive Pro will see a benefit with Vive Pro 2.

Vive Pro 2 has fine-adjustable inter-pupillary distance (IPD, or the space between your eyes), evenly distributed weight balance, adjustable head strap, and a quick-adjustable sizing dial. Vive Pro 2 has 3D spatial sound with Hi-Res Audio Certified headphones, and supports third-party headphones. All Vive SteamVR ecosystem accessories will work with Vive Pro 2 – Vive Trackers of any generation, the new Vive Facial Tracker, and more. There’s a facial tracker that captures about 38 different datapoints on your face.

Vive Pro 2 will slot into an existing SteamVR setup – whether it’s Base Station 1.0 or Base Station 2.0, Vive Wireless Adapter, Vive controllers, or even controllers and gloves like Valve’s Index ‘knuckle’ controllers.

For upgraders, VIVE Pro 2 in the headset-only version is available for pre-order from 10 a.m. Pacific time today. As a special thank you for loyal users, VIVE is running a special promotion during the pre-order period, offering a discount for those who want to upgrade – making Vive Pro 2 available for $749. The full-kit Vive Pro 2, which includes Base Station 2.0 and Vive Controllers, is available from June 4 for $1,4000.

VIVE Focus 3

Vive Focus 3

Above: Vive Focus 3

Image Credit: HTC

The new all-in-one Vive Focus 3 is a business VR headset for those who don’t want to be tired down with wires and instead prefer the freedom of a wireless solution that doesn’t have to tap the power of a PC.

The Vive Focus 3 has 5K resolution with dual 2.5K displays, a 90-hertz refresh rate, and a 120-degree field of view, for better immersion. The fast-switching display panel uses real RGB subpixels, also eliminating the screen door effect. The new visuals mean fine details like writing and overall fidelity are dramatically clearer, allowing for software design and user interaction to be more natural.

“About 90 hertz is the minimum bar to deliver solutions with the right level of comfort,” said O’Brien.

Vive Focus 3 delivers comfort with a new strap design, balanced weight distribution, and a curved battery pack which is swappable. Vive Focus 3’s battery pack can be changed in seconds, allowing you to keep going. Quick charge gives you 50% battery from 30 minutes of charging, and an L.E.D indicator lets you know how much power you have left.

Vive Focus 3

Above: Vive Focus 3

Image Credit: HTC

Durable and lightweight, the magnesium alloy frame of Vive Focus 3 is 20% lighter and 500% stronger than traditional plastics. Vive Focus 3 has a wide range and fine-adjustable Inter Pupillary Distance (IPD) range, as well as a quick-release button and easily removable magnetic front and rear face gaskets. That’s good if there are multiple users.

VIVE Focus 3 has new open-back speakers featuring a pair of dual drivers, delivering immersive and true-to-life audio. They are contact-free which means users can still maintain environmental awareness while staying immersed in VR. For peace of mind in VR meetings, a special audio privacy setting dramatically reduces the risk of sound being overheard by people nearby.

VIVE Focus 3 uses an AI powered inside-out tracking algorithm for precise tracking (this means you don’t have to set up sensors around the room), with privacy addressed as all tracking data is stored in an encrypted format on the headset. The redesigned controllers are intuitive to use — one of the lightest six-degrees-of-freedom controllers on the market that last for 15 hours on a single charge. Hand tracking support will be released in the future.

Powering Vive Focus 3 is a specially optimized Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform, combined with a copper heat pipe and cooling fan. The all-new VIVE Reality System 2.0 delivers a more streamlined and professional environment. Vive Focus 3 will be on sale June 27 for $1,300.

Vive Business

Vive Focus 3

Above: Vive Focus 3

Image Credit: HTC

O’Brien said that the services, software, and accessories make it a more comprehensive solution.

Vive Business is a complete suite of software and services, supporting the needs of businesses looking to get the best out of XR. Vive Business is scalable and secure, making life easier for deployment, maintenance, remote support, training needs, the company said.

“We’ve been using it for business meetings, brainstorming, design reviews, and client interaction,” O’Brien said. “And we could also support press conferences.”

More than 50 third-party software developers are signed up to work with HTC, and 20 applications will be ready at launch.

The VIVE Business Device Management System is a simple and intuitive MDM and is ISO certified, allowing IT to quickly and easily see the status of each Vive Focus 3 on the network, remotely install new business apps, and update software. Vive Focus 3 is designed to work with Android Enterprise MDM, so it can also slot into pre-existing MDM solutions already active in your environment.

Building on the consumer Viveport store, the Vive Business AppStore is a curated collection of apps and tools, covering diverse areas like training, communication, and visualization. Vive Business Training supports training sessions of any size. The training leader can observe the progress of each trainee, via an Android device, highlighting the next steps needed and talking the trainee through it, even in a class size of hundreds. Vive Business Streaming supports connecting Vive Focus 3 to a PC via a cable, with fully wireless streaming support coming in the future. Vive Business will see new tools and features added in the future, delivering a continuously updated powerful suite of business solutions.

The Vive Business platform has tools such as a digital whiteboard for a classroom setting, as well as ways to collaborate on a design together.

Vive Sync

Above: HTC Vive Business app

Image Credit: HTC

And Vive Sync lets people meet in VR with realistic avatars to discuss business, host presentations, examine 3D models, and teach a class. Originally built as an internal communications tool to support collaboration on product design, Vive Sync was launched in beta in June 2020. Now, having been used in almost 100 countries around the world, Vive Sync is launching in Pro and Enterprise versions, offering different new environments, tools, and ways to interact. You can bring everyday files into VR, from Microsoft PowerPoint presentations through to 3D formats. Vive Sync is good for groups of up to 30 people, and for larger groups, Vive’s XR Suite offers a range of different scenarios.

You can see a bunch of partner testimonials from companies such as Qualcomm, Dassault Systemes, Autodesk, Epic Games, Adobe, Enscape, Twinmotion, Axon, Penumbra, and Zaha-Hadid Architects here.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/11/htc-vive-launches-2-vr-headsets-and-pro-tools-for-enterprises/

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Vive Focus 3 Announced with Snapdragon XR2, 6MP Resolution, $1,300 Enterprise Price & June 27th Launch

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HTC today revealed its latest standalone VR headset, the Vive Focus 3. The enterprise-oriented headset will bring Snapdragon XR2, a whopping 6MP per-eye resolution, 120° field-of-view, new controllers, and more for $1,300. The Vive Focus 3 release date is set for June 27th.

HTC today also announced the Vive Focus 3, full details here.

HTC is going all out with its latest standalone VR headset, seemingly aiming to position the product as the high-end standalone VR headset choice for enterprises. The Vive Focus 3 will be priced at $1,300 (including a two year business warranty), a significant increase over its predecessor, the Vive Focus Plus, and the Quest 2 business edition, both priced at $800.

Along with the increased price, the Vive Focus 3 will also bring a brand new design and an impressive leap in specs. Here’s the rundown:

Vive Focus 3 Specs
Resolution 2,448 x 2,448 (6.0MP) per-eye, LCD (2x)
Refresh Rate 90Hz
Lenses Dual-element Fresnel
Field-of-view 120° diagonal
Optical Adjustments IPD
IPD Adjustment Range 57–72mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 8GB
Storage Unknown (expandable via MicroSD)
Connectors USB-C (2x)
Battery Life 2 hours
Tracking Quad on-board camera (no external beacons)
Controllers Vive Focus 3 controllers, rechargeable battery
Audio In-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Dual microphone
Pass-through Cameras Yes

Resolution & Lenses

Image courtesy HTC

Certainly one of the highlights of Vive Focus 3 is the class-leading resolution of 6MP (2,448 x 2,448) per-eye. That’s compared to 2.3MP on the Vive Focus Plus and 3.5MP on the Quest 2. It even beats out the Reverb G2 at 4.7MP. Those pixels will be spread across the Vive Focus 3’s two LCD displays and a 120° diagonal field-of-view, HTC says. The dual displays also make way for a physical IPD adjustment which will range from 57–72mm.

Processor, RAM, & Cooling

Powering the headset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2, paired with 8GB of RAM. Vive Focus 3 also includes an active cooling system with a 15W heat-pipe for keeping the system cool even as the processor starts cranking.

Rear-mounted Battery & Magnetic Pads

Image courtesy HTC

Another move which will help with cooling (and balance)—HTC has placed the Vive Focus 3 battery in the back strap of the headset. With two hours of claimed runtime, it’ll surely be appreciated that the battery is swappable, allowing users to quickly change out for an already charged battery (though the headset must be powered down to change the battery).

HTC sees this as an essential feature for some use-cases, especially commercial settings where user-throughout is important. To that end, the company says it’s also working on a multi-battery charging dock, and says the Vive Focus 3 battery can quick-charge to 50% in just 30 minutes. The headset also has magnetically attached face and rear pads which can be quickly swapped, allowing one set to be cleaned while another is in use.

Inside-out Tracking & New Controllers

Image courtesy HTC

Alongside moving to quad-cameras for the tracking on the Vive Focus 3, HTC is also ditching the ultrasonic controllers of the Focus Plus in favor of brand new controllers tracked via the headset’s cameras. Unlike Vive Cosmos, which used visible light tracking for its controllers, the new Vive Focus 3 controllers appear to be using an infrared tracking solution (similar to Rift and Quest).

Image courtesy HTC

The Vive Focus 3 controllers definitely have a similar vibe to the Oculus Touch controllers, and fortunately match the inputs that have become the norm for VR controllers in recent years: two thumbsticks, two triggers, two grip triggers, four buttons, and two menu buttons. HTC says the Vive Focus 3 controllers include capacitive finger sensing, though we don’t know exactly which areas of the controller will be able to track fingers just yet.

While they might look a good bit like Oculus Touch controllers, the Vive Focus 3 controllers differ in a welcomed way: integrated rechargeable batteries. Charged via a USB-C port, HTC says the controllers will last for 15 hours on a single charge.

PC VR via Tether or Wireless

HTC says the Vive Focus 3 will also join in on the hybrid approach by offering PC VR usage via a tether or a wireless method. The company says it will sell an optional Vive streaming cable for this purpose, though it isn’t clear if this will be a generic USB cable or something proprietary. The cable is expected to be available at launch, but the wireless streaming feature will be available at a later date.

Software, Enterprise Device Management, & App Store

Image courtesy HTC

Built atop Android, HTC says Vive Focus 3 will be running an interface it calls Vive Reality 2.0, which is designed to be a user-friendly menu for enterprise users who may be using VR for the first time.

HTC is also launching an enterprise-focused app store for Vive Focus 3 (and its enterprise-focused PC VR products) called Vive Business AppStore. The company hopes it will be an avenue for enterprises to discover VR software that’s useful for their business. HTC says that 20 apps will be available at launch and 50 developers have signed up so far.

HTC is also touting the Vive Business Device Management System, an ISO-certified MDM which allows mass setup and management of Vive headsets, including managed access rights with the ability to integrate into an organization’s existing user management system. HTC says the Vive Business Device Management System can even manage headsets from other vendors, and also offers Android Enterprise support and support for other MDMs.

Hand Tracking Expected in Q3

Similar to Quest headsets, Vive Focus 3 will also offer controllerless hand-tracking. HTC says the feature will be available only in beta at launch, but it expects to release hand-tracking widely in Q3 of this year.

Vive Focus 3 Price and Release Date

Image courtesy HTC

Vive Focus 3 will be available on June 27th, priced at $1,300, which includes a two year business warranty and Vive Business services.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/htc-vive-focus-3-specs-price-release-date-announcement/

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