HTC's standalone Vive Focus will soon get 6DoF VR controllers

The dev kit includes two controllers plus a tracker to go on top of the headset.

While Facebook's Oculus Quest won't arrive until the spring of 2019, its
seemingly beefier inside-out tracking plus 6DoF controllers may already
pose a threat to HTC's Vive Focus, as well as to other Vive Wave-based
standalone VR headsets -- including Pico's Neo (whose ultrasound-based
6DoF controllers are still missing) and the more recent G2.

As such, HTC's first order of business is to release a developer kit for
adding not one, but two 6DoF controllers to substitute the Vive Focus'
single 3DoF controller -- one that relies on software to simulate a 6DoF
feel, but also often requires re-centering.

At the World Conference on VR Industry in Nanchang, China today, HTC
announced this new "Vive 6DoF Developer Kit" which includes a pair of
6DoF controllers, plus a tracking attachment that goes on top of the
Vive Focus. Much like how developers can port their two-handed VR
experiences to single-controller VR headsets via Vive Wave, this time
they can even preserve two-handed controls thanks to this dev kit.

In a video clip provided by HTC's China President, Alvin Wang Graylin,
the 6DoF controllers appear to respond well even with his wide range of
movements -- he has incredibly long limbs -- in Beat Saber, though I
would have liked to see him try a faster song just to push the hardware a
little further.

For some reason, Graylin and his company are staying mum on how the 6DoF
controller tracking works here. All we can see is the circular object
on top of each controller, and the attachment gently bulges around a
good part of the headset's main body -- likely for ensuring maximum
coverage for tracking both controllers.

It's worth noting that since this is only a dev kit for Vive Wave
developers, it's unclear whether consumers will eventually be able to
make the same upgrade to their existing Vive Focus headsets. Even if
that is the case, the commercial version may have a different design.
Regardless, this is a good sign of what's to come for the Vive Focus and
similar standalone 6DoF VR devices.

Until now, the Vive Focus has only been made available in China, and
HTC's also opened a flagship store in Shenzhen to help push its VR
products. Meanwhile, the company is about to offer its Vive Focus to
business customers in Japan starting from October 30th. But if all goes
well, HTC should still be pushing for an international rollout some time
this year, especially with all the handy updates plus upcoming
accessories made just for this headset.

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