Tech & Science HTC Vive Focus hands-on: a promising start for next-gen mobile VR

14:35  14 november  2017
14:35  14 november  2017 Source:   Engadget

Logitech and HTC Vive bring keyboards into VR

  Logitech and HTC Vive bring keyboards into VR The HTC Vive team and Logitech introduced a new hardware and software package today that aims to help developers enter text while building apps and games. The $150 BRIDGE kit includes a Logitech G keyboard and a Vive tracker that tracks typing and replicates it in VR. While Logitech is only releasing 50 of these kits to start, it's promising to see crossover tech that brings real-life gadgets into virtual reality. And it works across the entire Steam VR system.The tracker doesn't just match what keys you type -- it measures your hand movements too, making it a lot easier to situate yourself.

Gallery: HTC Vive Focus hands - on | 13 Photos. Having seen how well Spark of Light performed on the Focus , I can safely say that next - gen mobile VR is finally here.

No PC or base station required. HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with 'world-scale' tracking. After a couple of teases earlier this year, HTC has finally unveiled its upcoming standalone VR headset at today's Vive Developer Conference in Beijing.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Engadget We've already heard the news about HTC's Vive Focus, so it was only natural to get my hands dirty with this standalone 6DoF (six-degree-of-freedom) VR headset. As it turned out, HTC delivered pre-production units to several developers two weeks ago, in order to prep the demo area today. Soon after the opening keynote, I rushed over to the other room and managed to go through seven demos. Given the limited preparation time, the results were unsurprisingly mixed, but the best ones seem to prove that there's a lot of potential in this piece of kit.

The look and feel of the Focus is pretty much everything I expected. Compared to the original Vive, the Focus is lighter which, combined with its rotational head strap plus a new cushion (presumably made of leatherette; HTC wouldn't confirm), offers extra comfort while being worn. With the only tracking component being the dual-camera WorldSense module (plus what I assume to be its ventilation grill above it), the Focus has a noticeably cleaner look than its higher-end cousin. Though if I were to ever use one in a public area, I would probably paint a more subtle color over Vive's signature blue first.

Alleged Thief Hands Out Doughnuts to Customers During Robbery

  Alleged Thief Hands Out Doughnuts to Customers During Robbery Police surveillance footage shows the suspect handing out the treats to doughnut shop customers.That's because cops in Texas say the alleged robber knocked over a local doughnut shop — and handed out the pastries to customers while he did it.

We stopped by the VRCA's fourth member meeting to see how the next generation of VR is coming along, and some of it is closer than you might think. In this article: 7Invensun, aGlass, av, games videogames, gaming, gear, hands - on , htc , htcvive, ObEN, TPCast, video, vive , vive showcase, vrvca.

Graphics Cards Powerful Enough for Next Gen VR . The HTC Vive has a headphone jack built into the headset, but no matter what you do this is going to add extra cords and more hassle in putting on and removing the headset.

At the bottom of the main body you'll find an interpupillary distance dial, a headphone jack and volume buttons, whereas the top side features just a micro-USB socket for recharging. What I didn't notice until later on is that the headset actually has built-in stereo speakers -- they are the slots almost right above where your ears would be. They obviously aren't the best-sounding speakers, but they are loud and they do the job.

Then there's the 3DoF Bluetooth controller. From afar, it looks like an even smaller version of the Samsung Gear VR controller but with a different button arrangement. The top side features a thumb trackpad, a select button plus a re-centering button (hold down for three seconds to re-center), while the volume rockers sit on the right hand side, and the trigger is at the usual tip area on the bottom side.

Chung claims Next Gen title

  Chung claims Next Gen title South Korean Chung Hyeon beat Russian Andrey Rublev to win the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.South Korean iceman Chung Hyeon doused the fire of Russian Andrey Rublev to win the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals on Saturday, pocketing a $390,000 (£296,000) cheque in the process.

Although the Snapdragon 835 processor may be targeted at smartphones, the SoC is packing in important technology to propel next - gen mobile VR headsets too. Best HTC Vive games (September 2017).

Sony's PlayStation VR will also release next year, and on the mobile front, the Samsung Gear VR is already on sale. We've used the Rift Dev Kit 2, the Gear VR Innovator Edition, and the first iteration of the Vive - Oculus has shown off updates to the Rift, and HTC will be updating the Vive prototype

a man holding a video game © Engadget

In general, I found the Focus' "world-scale" inside-out tracking to work well in the less intensive apps, especially the soccer-themed game which let me practice my heading. That was surprisingly fun for a relatively basic gameplay, and there were times when I wanted to headbutt the incoming balls with more force, but I had to resist the temptation in order to avoid pulling a Zidane back in the real world.

Another app with good head tracking was a cartoonish go karting game, though I was having problems with maintaining my acceleration while simultaneously using nitro boost -- it was hard to hold down the trigger and the thumb trackpad at the same time on that small controller. I'm also hoping that the trigger will have a stronger spring mechanism in the final version.

Amongst the bunch of higher-end apps, I was very surprised by the accurate tracking in Spark of Light, a game ported from the Vive version. The introduction level I played involved interacting with a glowing fairy and solving puzzles using the controller, in order to guide a boy through the woods. I could walk around the world and even bend down to take a closer look at objects, which was definitely something I wouldn't be able to do with previous standalone VR devices.

Man’s car stolen an hour after Facebook for sale notice

  Man’s car stolen an hour after Facebook for sale notice Thief posed as buyer and drove off in Andrei Rus's Ford Focus.A man pretending to be interested in buying the car, which was advertised for £650, and responded to the victim’s post via Facebook’s Messenger application.

HTC Vive . Mobile VR Platforms. Samsung Gear VR . Get ready for the Next Generation in Virtual Reality First Person Shooters! Focusing on stunning graphics and fast-paced gameplay, Alpha.

Read about our hands - on with the Everest VR demo on HTC Vive after the jump. “As soon as you go above the Death Zone your body starts deteriorating and you just can’t stay there very long,” Thorarinsson explained.

Despite the controller offering just 3DoF instead of 6DoF like the headset, it worked better than I expected, though when I was inspecting an object up close, I learnt that there seems to be a minimum distance between the headset and the tracker for the latter to function properly in the virtual world. Regardless, the head tracking was smooth throughout my demo and I was keen to play longer, but around the same time a system message popped up to warn that the Focus was getting too hot, so it was a good time to stop. Hopefully this won't be a problem later on.

a person holding a cell phone © Engadget

I also liked the idea of Hidden Fortune, in which I had to pick out specified items in a room filled with random objects. It's the kind of basic challenge that I enjoy from time to time to sharpen my mind. While I was apparently one of the few people who completed that level, I noticed that the game stuttered from time to time. The same happened with Bowshot, with the objective being to shoot down and dodge computer viruses in their physical forms.

The most disappointing demo was the Land Rover virtual showroom: even though the car showed impressive reflections on its exterior according to the selected environments, I noticed it subtly floating about even when I stood still. The demonstrator said this might have been to do with the crowd moving around the show floor, but I wasn't entirely convinced given that I didn't notice such issue in the earlier apps.

While it's never a perfect start for this kind of new technology, the developers did only have two weeks maximum to port their existing VR titles for the Vive Focus, so here's hoping that with a bit more time, they will all be able to smooth out the kinks. Having seen how well Spark of Light performed on the Focus, I can safely say that next-gen mobile VR is finally here. And hey Oculus, how's your Project Santa Cruz doing?

Burglar gets two years after whereabouts pinpointed with locator app on mobile .
The court heard the man had been in prison since he was 18.John Power (28), of Parlickstown Gardens, Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary and unlawful taking of a car at Baggot Court, Dublin on 22 June 2017.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!