HTC could be showing off its standalone VR headset at the company’s November 14th Vive Developer Conference (VDC) in Beijing. As reported by YiVian, the conference has recently published promotional material featuring a veiled image of the company’s upcoming headset. To wit, HTC says it will have ‘some important announcements’ to make.
First teased at Google I/O 2017 developer conference, both HTC and Lenovo announced they were building standalone VR headsets featuring inside-out positional tracking for the Daydream platform—or in HTC’s case, the Viveport platform in China.
YiVian, an English-language publication that covers China’s tech industry, has recently come across a promotional flier for VDC 2017 which positions the shrouded Vive standalone in an unhatched egg – to be revealed at the conference in Beijing at the Crowne Plaza Beijing Sun Palace on November 14th.
While it’s no means a final nail in the coffin, the official promotional flier says (in English) “a new revolutionary immersive experience is here. Stay focused on the next wave of innovations in VR.”
Digging into trademark registrations, YiVian also found that HTC has recently registered the name “Vive M” in China, possibly meaning ‘Vive Mobile’—a move that would position the new standalone as somewhat of a little brother to the tethered PC VR Vive headset. Both ‘Vive Focus’ and ‘Vive Eclipse’ have been registered in the West however, making it less clear what name the headset will take and where.
The crucial difference between current mobile headsets like Gear VR or Daydream View is the inclusion of positional tracking thanks to the headsets’ inside-out tracking capabilities. Built with help from Google, both HTC and Lenovo’s headsets are based off Qualcomm’s ‘VRDK’ reference device and built on the Snapdragon 835.
HTC and Lenovo standalone headsets are shown alongside what appears to be a standard Bluetooth 3DoF Daydream controller as well. Both companies are staying mum on any other specifics, although Google said to expect them some time in 2017.
We won’t be attending VDC, but if on the off-chance you’re in the Beijing area, you can sign up for VDC here. We’ll be following along, so check back soon.