New regulatory filings for an unknown HTC Vive headset have appeared at the US Federal Communications Commission.

Since the confused introduction of HTC’s Vive Cosmos headsets earlier this year the company has been laying low on the hardware front while Facebook has stolen much of the spotlight with Quest 2.

But HTC looks to be readying some new headset offering; Road to VR has spotted documentation for a headset not previously seen at the FCC.

The FCC is tasked with certifying products with electromagnetic emissions to be safe and compatible with regulations. Products utilizing radio, WiFi, infrared, etc. need certification before they can be distributed for sale. Certification by the FCC marks one step closer to the launch of consumer electronics product.

Documentation for the new headset, which goes by the FCC ID 2Q9R100, was submitted in September but only made public in the last week. Test report filings indicate that HTC sent the product to a lab for testing in August.

Though it’s that clear the filings refer to a Vive headset from HTC, exactly which headset is not clear because the company has requested confidentiality of key filings (as is common). Luckily we’ve been doing this long enough to make some good guesses.

As far as we can tell, this is a “new” Vive headset from HTC, at least as far as the FCC considers a product “new,” which could include outwardly minor changes to existing products—for instance, a version of Vive Focus (HTC’s standalone VR headset) with a new processor.

Indeed, some new version of the Vive Focus is our best guess for now; compared to filings for prior versions of Vive Focus, the latest filings include the use of the same block diagram to indicate the position of the FCC label on the product.

A version of Vive Focus updated with a newer Snapdragon XR2 chip seems like a reasonable bet, and aligns with other evidence spotted last month. Maybe they’ll add some new controllers while they’re at it?

And while the filing could conceivably cover a previously announced but unreleased version of Vive Cosmos—like the Cosmos Play or Cosmos XR—the indicated location of the FCC label doesn’t line up with the label placement on the Cosmos headsets so far.

But there’s another possibility; though less likely than a revision of Vive Focus, it’s possible that the filings refer to HTC’s next-gen standalone headset, Vive Proton, which the company teased earlier this year. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on the new filings.

Vive Proton prototype | Image courtesy HTChtc

Quest 2 has been the talk of the town as of late, but hopefully we’ll soon find out what’s up HTC’s sleeve.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • mellott124

    Lets hope for the Vive proton. Looks like a pancake optic version. That could be very cool. And HTC desperately needs something like that to stay relevant. My impression is their Cosmos line has been a flop.

    • gothicvillas

      No larger FOV no buy. Simple.

      • dk

        so u will buy just index and/or pimax …got it

        • gothicvillas

          Got the Index already. Pre ordered G2 just out of curiosity but thats the last one I buy with the narrow fov.

  • shadow9d9

    It would have to be wireless for me to care.

    • Dave

      Wireless sounds great but they need to improve battery life and input lag. I think it’s personally too early for wireless atm. Maybe in another 2 years but right now we’re not quite there.

      • Lulu Vi Britannia

        I own a Quest 2, it has an unofficial wireless option (Virtual Desktop). The battery life has an easy fix (external battery), and input lag in Virtual Desktop is often below 40ms, which is completely playable, and can be tweaked to go under 20ms, which is “Beat Saber Expert+ level” of playable.

        Honestly, I’ve always defended wired VR, and I still think the wire is not that much of an issue ; but wireless VR is ready. That said,I think you’re spot on with the 2 years delay before official solutions.

  • xyzs

    If it’s:

    2k per eye
    wifi 6 with connector and good easy to use software that can connect with SteamVR
    good inside out tracking
    larger FOV

    They might do a great comeback.

    …but I am dreaming

    • yeah, especially with how confused their consumer sector has been lately, I’m not holding my breath. Hope they can offer Facebook some competition soon, though.

    • Cless

      Jeezz, not a chance in hell it will have RGB Oled. We can only dream.

  • Bob

    Most probably will be a version of the Vive Focus with the XR2 as already stated in this article which is not good news because the visual design and form factor of that device is absolutely horrid and does not help at all with enticing the average joe into the realm of VR.

    • Ad

      Yeah, everything about it is a joke and the SDK and OS are garbage. If this isn’t Valve redesigning it for them like they did with the Reverb it’s probably DoA. It’s only saving grace would be giving us root access so we could fix the damn thing ourselves.

    • dk

      could be ….at the moment their main market is mostly the average joe in china …so they will be fine …I guess and I hope so

  • Ad

    What’s funny about this is that HTC has zero credibility and a long record of making the most basic bone headed mistakes, but now I have to hope that this trainwreck doesn’t fuck this one up or else my kids will grow up in a world where privacy is a long distant memory, universal telework under the Facebook algorithm’s eye is the norm, and whatever the equivalent is of exacerbated genocide/Cambridge analytica/QAnon/systemically racist advertising/etc in XR will be a monthly news story. One of the most dangerous companies in the world will be duking it out with Space Amazon over destroying whatever we have left.

    • Kevin White
      • Ad

        I hate facebook, I just don’t think HTC can take them on. I don’t want people’s hopes to be raised and then completely dashed.

      • silvaring

        Thanks for the link. I sometimes wonder if parts of the world are destined for a Judge Dredd style world, where a few zealots basically work with algorithms to keep everyone living in a state of poverty and fear. Or will the basic easy at which we can bypass the information wall always mean that society grows together as a collective instead of just in little pockets? Even the great firewall was and is bypassed by citizens every day through VPNs and other methods right?

    • dk

      meh they were great from 2016-2018 the mistakes were after that

      • Dave

        Were they great things from HTC though? I would beg to differ. As it happens all the good things from the HTC Valve partnership for the Vive came from Valve. That was painfully obvious when the Index came out. What was left was complete rubbish compare to the CV1. Look at the CV1 screen comparisons to the Vive and the pixel arrangement and colours were much better on the CV1, the ergonomics much better on the CV1, the controllers much better on the CV1. Honestly if you mention anything good about the Vive, it will be Valve that implemented it, like the tracking.

        • dk

          so teaming up with valve ….see great move :P
          but I mean in general they made mistakes after the vive pro

          so u r ignoring DAS and the updated res with the vive pro to get ahead of the slightly better looking screen door on cv1 …..and the cv1 not having controllers for 9 months after vive and after that not having proper room scale and updating it for months to get it to work properly

          • MosBen

            Valve doesn’t seem to have a huge interest in being the hardware leader in VR. Yes, they made the Index, but that feels more like Nvidia making a reference board and then working with 3rd parties who will ultimately sell way more graphics cards than Nvidia’s reference boards do. If Valve wanted to dominate the VR space they wouldn’t have worked with HP to give the Reverb G2 better ear phones. Valve wants SteamVR to be the place where people buy their VR titles, just like they want Steam to be the place where people buy their PC games. But in order for that to happen, there has to be viable VR hardware, so they’ll put some out but also work with other companies to improve their offerings.

            Here’s hoping that Valve is working with HTC again to make their products better.

        • Having owned Vive and Rift CV1; my Vive had brighter display with better colours, and noticeably wider FOV with generous stereo overlap. Despite the more noticeable screen door effect, I felt more “present” in my Vive.

          The Rift CV1 traded FOV and stereo overlap for higher angular resolution giving a clearer presentation. However, I never felt the same feelings of immersion and presence in my Rift, partly reduced FOV and partly the dimmer display.

          Like many VR headset, compromises were made to achieve different outcome.

        • Well, the Vive Tracker and the Wireless Adapter were both HTC projects, and they were great. Not cheap, but good for sure. As for the headsets, the Focus was not bad, its true problem is that Oculus has updated the Quest at an insane speed, while the Focus hasn’t kept its pace.
          Ah, and on the Focus you have wireless streaming from PC

    • MosBen

      I’m in the same boat. I don’t have a lot of faith in HTC, though they made one of my favorite phones, but somebody needs to challenge Facebook in the portable VR space, and nobody else seems interested in trying. My hope is that HTC is working with Valve again and they make the thing compatible with Steam VR. Obviously it wouldn’t be able to run the top of the line VR games, but if they could make a large chunk of the SteamVR library work with a game patch that would be a huge help in making the headset enticing. And if the headset could be tethered to a PC to run those more demanding titles, all the better.

      • Ad

        I think it would take a collab between Valve and either Samsung or Sony. I don’t think this is Valve working with them, it seems too soon.

    • Amni3D

      Imo, the most likely to push Facebook out of the VR market is Sony. Something some people don’t tend to mention is that the PSVR has still been the most successful attempt at mainstream VR.

      Some people will argue “standalone is more portable than console VR!”, but I’d argue for all intents and purposes they’re reaching for the same market. Will be interesting to see if PSVR2 really does eat away Facebook’s marketshare. I think it will more than anyone expects.

      • Ad

        I think the reason is because Sony doesn’t care about VR very much and doesn’t interact with devs very much. It’s really hard to go through the process of porting and most devs hand off to companies that just port games to PSVR. Look at Dev twitter and they never talk about PSVR. Also I think sales per headset on PSVR are pretty poor and many of them don’t have the controllers. PSVR2 could be absolutely massive but they don’t really have enough of an incentive to do it right. Their main focus is the PS5 and the DS5, not the PSVR2.

  • 13

    i hope it has 2 types of screen adjustment, screen distance and ipd dial. and has 72 ipd.

  • dk

    man I sure hope it’s the proton …..and it has at least 90 fov like pico g3 lite and it’s the version with onboard processing ….but it will likely be expensive
    and from that illustration it doesn’t look like it has anything in the back

    • Andrew Jakobs

      ugh, only 90 fov? no thanks, it needs to be at least as the other vive’s and rather even way past the 110 degrees.

    • Ad

      Proton isn’t a real thing, it was concept art.

      • dk

        yes it’s not yet a real thing and this is most likely not it ….but it can be done …it’s just a pico g3 light with 2 cameras ….obviously a lot of people won’t be happy with the 90 fov ….but I like that sort of platform …and oculus were saying that wide fov is possible with pancake lenses

        • Ad

          I think that form factor isn’t worth it. It looks nice but the comfort and quality is pretty low.

  • JesperL

    This is good news, because the market need competition, so facebook dont just take over. And lets not forget, that HTC Vive was king of VR in 2016-2018.

    But after Vive, they have been nothing but a dissapointment. So I hope they get their act together. Give us an upgrade to indeks with wireless and bigger FOV, then im game.

    • Hokhmah

      I would say that even the Vive Pro was really nice, but after that HTC made some wrong decisions and also their headsets are too expensive in my opinion. I wouldn’t compare it with subsidized Quest 2, but Index and the upcoming Reverb G2 are cheaper and deliver better hardware/experience.

      If they want to go for another Vive, it should be a bundle with resolution, FOV, lenses, audio, ergonomy/comfort, … which is at least on par with the two mentioned ones and shouldn’t cost more than $1000. If they decide for Inside-Out tracking, even $800. Of course then they really need a lot better controllers and tracking compared to Cosmos or Focus Plus.

      Same if they plan to attack with another standalone headset for the end consumer market. It needs to be a lot better than the Focus Plus and cheaper. I would be ready to pay about $600 if it has at least the hardware specs, tracking and controller quality of the Quest 2.

      • Bob

        “Same if they plan to attack with another standalone headset for the end consumer market. It needs to be a lot better than the Focus Plus and cheaper. I would be ready to pay about $600 if it has at least the hardware specs, tracking and controller quality of the Quest 2.”

        No they cannot compete with Facebook. Period.

        So you would pay double the price of a Quest 2 for something from HTC that works like a Quest 2? Not understanding the economics here nor the common sense being employed.

        • Ad

          The Q2 is being sold below cost and lots of us would be happy to use a headset with a fully open platform, no facebook integration, and native PC use.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Where is the actual proof the Q2 is being sold below cost? Some people suggest it, but it hasn’t been proven yet. I don’t think it’s sold below cost, but I also don’t think the profit margin is anything to write home about.

          • Ad

            The Quest 1 may have been sold at cost but I don’t see any serious case for this one to be sold for anything at or above the cost.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        If they have the same specs as the Quest 2 but at a pricetag of $600, they would loose to Facebook. Even with the FB-account crap, people won’t spend $250 extra just to bypass the FB-account.. Yeah, some people like you maybe, but most people won’t, $50 more, people would, but not $250..

        • Hokhmah

          You may be right, so let’s change my wish/demand a little. HTC standalone with 256GB, better default strap/ergonomy and better audio solution for $500. I still think it would be hard to sell, cause the consumer base who would buy a Quest 2 would still not accept to pay even $100 more for another headset that seemingly does the same.

          So maybe it would be better to let go of the VR standalone market and focus on the PCVR enthusiasts. So the first mentioned approach of releasing a new and better Vive and also a new WiGig adapter for native wireless would be the best idea (with the 802.11ay standard for the bandwidth needs of high resolution displays).

          Headset on Reverb G2 level, Lighthouse with Knuckles and wireless option for let’s say about $1000 overall. I’m sure there would be more than enough potential customers. People were ready to pay around $1000 for the Index, so everything in that price range that is even better would sell good.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I’m sorry to say this, but the Vive Pro is FAR from a dissapointment, it is MUCH better than the original Vive, and for comfort it is also a very good design (in that department only the cushions could be better)..

      • Sven Viking

        The only major disappointment for Vive Pro was price imho (and possibly lenses).

      • I found Vive Pro more comfortable than Index, and really enjoyed the OLED display. With wireless adapter it was a great upgrade to original Vive.

        But those 1st generation Fresnel lenses somewhat crippled it’s true potential. I assume HTC lacked the resources to design their own lens, as it’s not inexpensive.

        • Rex Thorne

          I can afford any consumer headset, and also use a wireless Vive Pro as my main headset. You can replace the lenses with Gear VR lenses if they bother you.

  • mepy

    I hope it’s a Vive Pro with good screen resolution.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      And much MUCH better lenses, as they are really crap (next to the wire it’s my second annoyance of my Pro, the awful fresnel lenses.)

      • Rex Thorne

        Change the lenses to Gear VR lenses if you don’t like them.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          To be honest, I’m too lazy to order those specific lenses and DIY on my $1000+ headset.. I do know the latest versions of those clearlenses don’t need fixes to the settings..

  • Yen

    HTC doesn’t exists anymore in general consumer market. I think it’s a hmd for business.

  • Toothlover

    VR content > Subpar VR hardware

  • MosBen

    As someone that won’t buy another Facebook VR product, the possibility of a competitor is pretty exciting, especially if they can figure out how to allow it to function as a tethered headset like the Quest as well.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I’d rather them have a tethered headset using DP over USB-C instead of just data streaming like Link.. But I hope they just include Wifi6 support (like the PS5 has) as Wifi6 has special modes for lowlatency VR..

      • MosBen

        I’d certainly be fine with that. I mostly just want an option to upgrade my original Quest that doesn’t involve Facebook. It’s great to be able to take VR on the go, at least, when we had the option to go places. But as someone who also just upgraded my PC, I’d like to have something to run tethered experiences. And honestly, I’d take the excuse to upgrade my network to Wifi 6. I’m pretty sure that I know the answer, but it wouldn’t be a problem if the headset was connected to the network via Wifi 6 while the PC was connected to the network via ethernet, right?

  • My bet: Vive Focus XR2 announced at CES, Snapdragon XR2, simil-Touch controllers, wireless streaming included with Viveport

    • Ad

      I’m guessing, but not wanting, a headset with an XR2, the same controllers and tracking, some gimmick like hand tracking, wireless streaming that needs a subscription for no reason, a terrible SDK and OS, and a promise of cloudXR that never happens. Infinity actually isn’t a bad product. They should make a deal with bigscreen to host bigscreen without taking any cut from the movie tickets.

  • Luke
  • and its just been teased…