Earlier this month, Vive rolled out a handful of new features for the Vive Focus 3 standalone VR headset. Focus 3 is a business-oriented headset, and the latest updates are business-focussed. However, consumers ultimately reap the benefits of these changes because they are meant for the arcade market.
HTC shipped the Vive Focus 3 with standard Wi-Fi 6 support, but the headset came equipped with a Wi-Fi 6E module. Pending certification, HTC plans soon to unlock the full capabilities of the modern wireless chip. Wi-Fi 6E operates in the 6 GHz frequency range and offers low latency and high-bandwidth data transmission, ideal for VR devices.
HTC also revealed LBE (Location-Based Entertainment) Mode, which would enable a much larger tracking space for multi-user experiences. When the Focus 3 shipped, the maximum tracked space was 15m x 15m. That's not a small amount of space, roughly the size of a tennis court. However, the new maximum is over four times the size, at 33m x 30m. LBE Mode also removes the automatic redraw feature, meaning the headset will retain the boundary settings between users.
Along with LBE Mode, the Vive Focus 3 now features map sharing, enabling multiple Focus 3 HMDs to share the exact spatial mapping and orientation calibration.
HTC also revealed VO (visual odometry) mode, allowing users to learn the ropes about the headset while outside the standard playing areas. VO mode puts people directly into 6-DoF mode but without a map. HTC said this mode is meant for VR experiences that don't require movement.
LBE Hybrid mode combines LBE Mode and VO Mode, which gives VR arcades a solution to help newcomers get familiar with the headset before jumping into the tracked environment for the full gameplay experience.
With all these new updates, the HTC Vive Focus 3 is shaping up to be a mighty versatile solution for VR arcade and training facility operators.
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