HTC Vive sets a new benchmark for business and consumer virtual reality (VR), bringing 5K resolution and a 120-degree field of view as standard to the two new VR headsets, the company announced at Vivecon 2021, HTC’s global VR conference.
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 with no compromises.” HTC also launched Vive Business, its comprehensive range of tools designed to support businesses of any size to get the most out of VR.
Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman and CEO, announces: “Today’s launch marks a major milestone in our strategy to create the very best immersive experiences. We have listened to our customers, from well-known global companies to smaller firms and professional users and have designed these premium headsets from the ground up to meet the challenges they face, adding a professional range of software, platform and services to make implementation as smooth and effective as possible.”
Wang claims: “In line with our mission, we’ve combined the latest technology with the needs and aspirations of our customers, enabling them to unleash their imagination to improve people’s lives and solve problems for business and society.”
“Furthermore, I am delighted to share this good news at our first global Vivecon event; a clear demonstration of how the virtual world has become mainstream over the last year, enabling people from all over the world to join us without leaving their homes”, Wang continues. “In this new normal, Vive is playing a greater role in bringing people closer together while creating a more sustainable world.”
Vive Pro 2 – Sharp, Precise, Immersive
Vive Pro 2 takes PC VR to the next level, taking into consideration every pixel and polygon, for high-end gaming or creating the impossible.
A 5K resolution display delivers 2.5K to each eye, coupled with a fluid 120 Hz refresh rate, and fast-switching panel with real RGB sub-pixels, for clear and smooth animations. Field of view increases to 120 degrees thanks to VIVE Pro 2’s new bespoke dual stacked-lens design. According to HTC, these “advances mean minimal motion blur and the ‘screen door effect’ is virtually eliminated, giving people a more natural and immersive experience.”
HTC Vive says it also worked closely with Nvidia and AMD to utilise 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 which supported VIVE Pro will see a benefit with Vive Pro 2.
Vive Pro 2 features adjustable inter-pupillary distance (IPD), evenly distributed weight balance, adjustable head strap, and a quick-adjustable sizing dial. It also 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, including the new Vive Facial Tracker, and more. 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, controllers, or even controllers and gloves like Valve’s Index ‘knuckle’ controllers.
Vive Focus 3 – A New Era for Business VR
HTC considers the new All-In-One Vive Focus 3 as “the ultimate solution for business VR, combining visuals with a smarter ergonomic design, audio and next level inside-out tracking and controllers.”
Vive Focus 3 has 5K resolution with class-leading dual 2.5K displays, a smooth 90Hz refresh rate and an ultra-wide 120-degree field of view, for exceptional immersion. The fast-switching display panel uses real RGB subpixels, practically 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.
Vive Focus 3 delivers comfort, with a new strap design, balanced weight distribution, and an intelligently designed curved battery pack which can be swapped. Vive Focus 3’s battery pack can be changed in seconds and can last for a day. Quick charge gives you 50% battery from just 30 minutes of charging, and an L.E.D indicator notifies how much power you have left.
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 range, as well as a quick-release button and easily removable magnetic front and rear face gaskets—so it’s easy to swap in replacements or clean them—especially important on days when there are lots of different 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.”
It is also powered by an AI inside-out tracking algorithm for precise tracking, with privacy at the forefront as all tracking data is stored in an encrypted format on the headset. The redesigned controllers are easy and intuitive to use—one of the lightest 6dof controllers on the market that last for 15 hours on a single charge. Hand tracking support will be released in the future.
Vive Business is a complete suite of software and services, supporting the needs of businesses looking to get the best out of XR. No matter the organisation’s size, Vive Business is scalable and secure, making life easier for deployment, maintenance, remote support, training needs, and much more.
The Vive Business Device Management System is a “simple and intuitive master data management (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, update software, and more. 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 success of the consumer Viveport store, the Vive Business AppStore is a “curated collection of apps and tools, covering diverse areas like training, communication, visualisation, and more.”
Vive Business Training, claims HTC, “is perfect to support 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.”
Vive gives control back to businesses. Organisations can choose to take up Vive Business services, or they can simply pay a one-off cost for Vive Focus 3 and integrate it into their existing setup, with no recurring fees and the ability to use their hardware as they choose to.
Meet in VR with realistic avatars to discuss business, host presentations, examine 3D models and, teach a class with Vive Sync. 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, HTC claims, Vive Sync is launching in Pro and Enterprise versions, offering different new environments, tools, and ways to interact. Bring everyday files into VR, from Microsoft PowerPoint presentations through to 3D formats. Vive Sync is perfect for groups of up to 30 people, and for larger groups, Vive’s XR Suite offers a range of different scenarios.