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HTC Vive Focus Plus Review: The headset with the best Enterprise support?

HTC Vive Focus Plus Review: The headset with the best Enterprise support?

HTC used to focus more on the consumer market with the HTC Vive, HTC’s latest headset is mainly aimed at the professional market. With the introduction of the Vive Focus Plus, HTC is trying to meet the hardware and software demands of a VR headset in the professional market. The Vive Focus Plus is a standalone 6DOF headset, which makes it comparable to the Oculus Quest and the Pico Neo 2. In addition, the headset comes standard with a 2-year business warranty & services package. 

In this article we will elaborate on the following points about the HTC Vive Focus Plus headset:

  • Display
  • Tracking and controllers
  • Processor and battery
  • Memory
  • Design
  • Vive Enterprise Device Management System
  • Business Warranty & Service
  • Conclusion
  • Price
  • Overview

Display

The Vive Focus Plus has dual AMOLED screens that have a resolution of 1400 x 1600 pixels per eye (2880 x 1600 pixels when combined). This is comparable to the screens of, for example, the Oculus Quest 1. With a Refresh Rate of 75 Hz, the Vive Focus Plus is slightly above that of the Quest, which makes images flow into each other more smoothly.

It is possible to adjust the interpupillary distance (IPD) on the headset within a range of 60.5-74 mm. This makes it possible for users to perfectly align the lenses with the eye.

When it comes to the field of view (FoV), HTC has a reputation to uphold. With the largest FoV of all stand-alone VR headsets, at 110 degrees, the Vive Focus Plus is more than 10 degrees ahead of the Oculus Quest. With stand-alone headsets such as the Focus Plus and Quest, the FoV is slightly less important, as it is easy to look around without wires tangling.

Tracking and controllers

The HTC Vive Focus Plus tracks movements using 6DoF inside-out tracking. 6DoF (Degrees of Freedom) means that the headset and the controllers can be tracked in 6 directions; front, rear, up, down, left, and right, without using external sensors. This is the same tracking that the Oculus Quest uses, among others headsets in its category.

When walking around with a VR headset on, it is important that the headset indicates which parts of the virtual area it is safe to move to. The Vive Focus Plus does this by showing a blue grid in the virtual environment when the playing area is about to be left. With the Pico Neo 2 VR headset and the Oculus Quest 1 and 2, this playing area must be drawn in yourself, while the Vive Focus Plus does this automatically. When the headset is put on, the Focus plus assumes that the user is in the center of the playing area and the grid is automatically positioned.

The Vive Focus Plus controllers use tracking ultrasonic sound at a specific frequency. Whereas most VR headsets use infrared to track the controllers, HTC takes a different route. Infrared is known to work less well when used in overexposed environments or natural light. Because the Vive Focus Plus uses sound, and therefore does not need visual data for tracking, the headset does not suffer from this. However, most VR headsets use infrared because it has been proven to be simple yet effective, with the use of ultrasonic sound still experimental and has yet to prove its accuracy.

The design of the Vive Focus Plus controller is inspired by the original Focus controllers from HTC, but with updates. For example, there is now a ring on the front of the controllers that are not only used for tracking but also helps with the balance of the controllers. Also, more buttons have been added to the controller compared to the original Focus. At the back, there is a trigger, whilst on the front, there are two buttons and a trackpad.

Processor and battery

Many of the specifications of the Vive Focus Plus are similar to those of the original Focus. For example, there is still the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor that can also be found in the Oculus Quest 1. In contrast, the Oculus Quest 2 runs on a Snapdragon XR-2 processor, which is a lot more powerful in comparison with the 835 processor.

HTC claims that the headset has a 3-hour battery life after half an hour of charging.  This is comparable to the Oculus Quest and even an hour longer than the Oculus Quest 2. In practice, we noticed that with intensive use the headset lasts about 2 hours.

Memory of the HTC Vive Focus Plus

The HTC Vive Focus Plus has 4 GB RAM memory and 32 GB of storage capacity. This is relatively low when compared to other VR headsets. For example, the Oculus Quest has a 64 GB and 128 GB version. However, the Vive Focus Plus does support up to 2 TB of SD card storage. The Oculus Quest 1 and 2 do not have this option.

The SD card also makes it possible to configure the headset offline. This makes it easy to install applications on a large number of headsets, without having to pair them one by one with a computer.

Design

The design of the Vive Focus Plus is based on that of the original Vive Focus, with some adjustments. For example, extra face protection has been added to the forehead, so that the weight of the headset is more evenly distributed over the face. As a result, most of the weight is no longer pressed on the cheeks, which is the case with the Oculus Quest 2. Also, the material of the face shield is now made of synthetic leather. This makes the headset easy to clean with alcohol wipes, without damaging the headset. In addition, the viewing window of the Vive Focus Plus has been made larger, so that users with a pair of glasses can also easily wear the headset.

An active cooling system has also been added to the headset. This not only provides a more comfortable experience for extended use but also prevents the headset lenses from fogging up as quickly.

Vive Enterprise Device Management System

In addition to the headset’s specifications aimed at business use, HTC also has a number of software solutions that make it easier to use the headset in business environments. For example, when you purchase the Vive Focus Plus, you get unlimited access to the Vive Enterprise Device Management System. Different headsets within a company can easily be managed and there are  3 deployment solutions are available:

  • MDM support

Larger companies can use popular MDM solutions, such as VMware Workspace One and Mobilelron, to take over control over one or more headsets.

  • Fast Deploy

Smaller companies can use the integrated fast deployment mechanism on the Vive Enterprise Portal.

  • Offline deployment

Multiple headsets can be easily configured offline with an SD card.

In addition, the headset supports VPN’s and HTC’s privacy policy states that: “The software and Enterprise Portal will not collect your proprietary company data unless you have given written permission for this”.  As a result, sensitive company information will be secured properly.

The kiosk mode of the headset can also be switched on remotely via the Enterprise Portal. With kiosk mode, you can set the headset so that there is limited access to certain applications and navigation. Find out more about the kiosk mode of the HTC Vive Focus Plus.

Vive Business Warranty & Service

In addition to unlimited access to the Vive Enterprise Portal, a 2-year Business Warranty & Service (BWS) is also included with the purchase of the Vive Focus Plus. This includes a number of advantages over the standard consumer warranty:

  • Repair with BWS takes precedence over repairs with consumer warranty
  • HTC pays for the shipment costs for repair
  • Repair will usually be completed the next working day after arrival (with consumer warranty this is between 5-7 days)

In addition to the warranty, there are also a number of business services that can be used:

  • Dedicated (technical) support

This support consists of a telephone service, support from online chat and specific email support

  • Vive resources

Various articles and FAQs from Vive itself.

Read more information about the Business Warranty & Service

Conclusion

HTC has a headset released that focuses entirely on business use. Where the specifications of the headset are not of the latest caliber, often comparable to the older Oculus Quest, HTC has added a number of interesting features that make the use of the headset very interesting for companies.

HTC has taken into account that the headset can be used by several people in their design. The materials are also easy to clean so that in times of Covid-19 they can also be shared safely. With the active cooling system, long-term use has been thought of, for example for onboarding or training.

Since the tracking of the headset does not need to use external sensors, and the fact that the playing area is automatically drawn in, the headset is also easy to use in different rooms within a company. The Enterprise Device Management System, through the Enterprise Portal, provides various options for configuring the headset both remotely and offline. The Business Warranty & Service unburden users in the event of defects and supports them with various technical questions.

All in all, we think the Vive Focus Plus from HTC is the headset for business use. HTC takes a giant leap from stand-alone headsets when it comes to user-friendliness and useful applications for this sector.

Price

With a price of € 804, the Vive Focus Plus ends up in the high segment when we look at stand-alone VR headsets. However, the Vive Focus Plus comes with unlimited use of the Enterprise Portal and a 2-year Business Warranty & Service. Comparable headsets such as the Oculus Quest and the Pico Neo 2 require these services to be purchased separately, making them more expensive in most cases.

Overview

Display 3K Dual Amoled Display Battery Up to 3 hours of use
Resolution 2880 x 1600 Weight 695g
Refresh Rate 75HZ Memory 4 GB RAM, 32 GB storage
FoV 110 degrees Business software Vive Enterprise Portal
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Warranty 2 year Business Warranty & Service

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