HTC launched Vive Focus 3 back in late June, a high-end VR standalone with a price tag to match its ambitions as a device meant for businesses. The company recently announced updates to the software experience that will bring a host of improvements, such as support for the new WiFi 6E standard, larger tracking areas, a shared map for easier playspace calibration, and more.

The company announced the full gamut of info in a blogpost. As it is, here’s a quick rundown of the major updates HTC is bringing to Vive Focus 3:

Better PC VR Streaming with WiFi 6E

WiFi 6E is a new standard that operates at the 6 GHz frequency range, and offers a low latency and high bandwidth wireless connection for streaming PC VR content to the standalone headset.

Occupying a different frequency also helps mitigate background WiFi interference. As HTC’s Shen Ye points out, going from WiFi 6 (5GHz) to WiFi 6E allows for a total of 59 separate 20MHz channels, or 7 separate 160 MHz channels. Certification is coming soon, although availability may vary based on your geographic location.

Location-based Entertainment Mode

Location-based Entertainment (LBE) Mode was developed to enlarge the Vive Focus 3’s standard tracking area to make it easier for businesses to make the best of large spaces.

Vive Focus 3 supports a 15m × 15m space out of the box (50ft × 50ft), but LBE mode bumps that up to 33m × 30m (100ft × 108ft). That’s roughly the size of four tennis courts, which opens up more flexibility for VR arcades implementing larger format free-roaming games.

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Map Sharing

The new Map Sharing feature lets multiple users share inside-out maps of a given space so you don’t need to setup or calibrate multiple headsets.

This also includes the ability to duplicate a few things specifically from one to all headsets in a group: single boundary/direction/center of map/floor height.

Visual Odometry Mode

Visual Odometry (VO) Mode is a handy shortcut so you can skip the 5-minute tracking set-up, letting users jump straight into the experience without having to draw the tracking volume. It does this by automatically setting the Direction of View and Center of Coordination once a user puts on the headset.

Ye mentions that VO mode is great for experiences where large-scale tracking isn’t really relevant, like single-player arcade games with a static playspace, athletic training, and more simple content viewing.

Conveniently, HTC has made a Hybrid Mode that incorporates both VO and LBE Mode. Start in VO mode for fitting adjustments, and then head into LBE mode to transition to the large-scale experience.

– – — – –

Check out HTC Vive Focus 3 specs below. You can learn more about HTC’s latest standalone here.

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° horizontal
Optical Adjustments IPD
IPD Adjustment Range 57–72mm
Processor Snapdragon XR2
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB (expandable via MicroSD to 2TB)
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

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  • The specs are all pretty favourable when compared to the Quest 2, from what I can see, but the price totally undermines all that imo. Unless it’s like three times better in almost every spec, I ain’t gonna spend three times as much money for it. Quest 2 is basically still unchallenged when every aspect of the product, the experience and value proposition is taken into account.

    • guest

      It used to be called dumping and it can be outlawed. It is also unsustainable in the longterm, especially if competitor does it too.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        There isn’t a law to outlaw selling your hardware at (material)costs, and the Quest 2 is sold at least at materialcosts. (if you’re gonna copy-paste, so will I)

        • yudashkai

          According to my previous work with various VR related companies, just the bill of materials exceed what the Quest 2 is charging by triple digits. However, whether they make it back with the elite strap etc is unclear.

          Quest store games are more expensive than their Stream counterpart, so that’s probably where they eventually make up the difference.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Oh please, the materials of the Quest 2 certainly does not exceed the costs of what they are charging.

          • guest

            So then they bundle gift-cards with them to prove your point, haha

        • guest

          Haha, and I was copy-pasting because you have been on this subject for too long! BTW, material costs are just a fraction of total costs.

  • Bumpy

    Quest 2 is doing the console thing; selling hardware at a loss to acquire a user base. No small company can compete with their prices.

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    • Andrew Jakobs

      And your point is in relation to this article? Also the Quest 2 is sold at least at materialcosts, and by now probably even with a slight profit, especially if one buys the extra deluxestrap, because in no way is that piece of rubber/plastic more than a couple of bucks worth in materials.

      • Arek A

        True. Real cost of quest 2 is not only headset but elite strat you must have and case that cost 100 $ more for both

      • yudashkai

        Meta reported $10B loss in 2021 already, with the widely well-selling Q2, so I think it’s quite certain that they are selling at a heft loss.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I have a hard time believing Vive is using an extra chip for Wifi, so I guess it’s part of the XR2 chip, and in that regard I also have a hard time believing Vive has a different XR2 chip than Meta has. So it’s quite possible that the Quest 2 might also get Wifi 6E in the near future, OR Meta can’t be bothered to certify the Quest 2 for Wifi 6E for now as they are also gearing up the ‘Quest Pro’ (or whatever it will be called), and enabling 6E on that device would make it also an extra feature why that one might have a higher price.

    • Doon1

      I was trying to figure out who “Meta” is. Had to look it up. It reminds me of the former artist formally known as Prince. And here I was thinking that Facebook died out. Is the name change supposed to help slow the fall?

  • david vincent

    Are VR arcades still a thing or is it dying ?
    And what about the Void ?

    • Ace of Spadеs

      Its going on in Asia, Africa, Latin America

  • ViRGiN

    VR arcades? All 5 of them?

    • mappo

      HTC Marketing Dept: “Hey boss, you know what would really sell in today’s pandemic-stricken market?”

      HTC Boss: “A mass market VR headset for personal use at home use?”

      HTC Marketing: “No! A niche VR headset for use in shopping malls! People will have to go out in public and put a communal headset on their face!”

      HTC Boss: “Dammit, that’s so crazy it just might work! Bust out our last revenue reserves and go for it!”

      • Ace of Spadеs

        Well countries that know to manage a crysis, are rather normal now, it full on post-covid feeeling

      • LOL, it’s fun. But actually there is being a rebounce of LBVR venues, see Sandbox that has just got a fresh funding of $37M. And with this kind of solution, new venues that require much less investment to buy packpacks, external tracking systems, etc… could open. It’s a bet, of course, but not a totally stupid one.

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Until now, you had to go through tutorial and guardian set up process every time you booted Focus 3 which added unnecessary friction. Visual Odometry finally takes care of that. If it can gauge your boundaries without having to set them manually, that’s also a plus.

    • Ace of Spadеs

      I cant even buy one, i checked on newegg amazon and nothing

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  • Doon1

    Where is the RoadtoVR in-depth review of this headset? One would think that a professional VR review site would have one.