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HTC will announce Vive Focus 3 Business Edition and Vive Pro 2 next week

The company's new hardware is expensive, and focused on business customers.

HTC Vivecon teaser

HTC has been teasing new hardware for next week's Vivecon event.

Image: HTC

HTC is set to announce two new enterprise-focused VR headsets at its Vivecon event next week, Protocol has learned. The company will unveil a new standalone device, the Vive Focus 3 Business Edition, as well as the Pro 2, a high-end PC VR headset. Both devices are expected to be commercially available before the end of the month.

HTC has been teasing new hardware ahead of Vivecon, which will be held virtually on May 11-12. Photos shared on social media show a black device with outward-facing tracking cameras. HTC tweeted some of these photos with the caption, "Ready to work in virtual reality?" which further suggests enterprise-focused hardware. The company has not shared any additional details about its new products, and a HTC spokesperson declined to comment.

However, Protocol discovered mentions of both the Focus 3 and the Pro 2 in company documents. Both headsets were also briefly listed by European ecommerce website Alzashop. Listings for the products have since been removed, but Google-cached versions state that the devices will be available by May 20.

Alzashop's leaked pages listed the Vive Focus 3 Business Edition for €1,474 ($1,771), and the Pro 2 for €842 ($1,012). The site did not detail any hardware specs or images for either device.

HTC executives have long said that they planned to release a new standalone headset this year. Speculation that this could be a competitor to Facebook's Oculus Quest gained steam when the company recently won a design award for a device called the Vive Air. However, HTC PR was quick to point out that this was merely a concept device, telling UploadVR that "the design language has elements and inspirations you'll see elsewhere in our products."

The company has been focused on business and enterprise applications for VR for some time, and in turn deemphasized its consumer VR gaming business. A preliminary agenda for next week's Vivecon event features multiple speakers on topics including remote work, health care and design, but the only subject related to gaming is location-based entertainment.

Protocol | Workplace

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Gig workers protest in front of an Amazon facility in 2020.

Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (Twitter: @ anna_c_kramer, email: akramer@protocol.com), where she writes about labor and workplace issues. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

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Kate Silver is an award-winning reporter and editor with 15-plus years of journalism experience. Based in Chicago, she specializes in feature and business reporting. Kate's reporting has appeared in the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic's CityLab, Atlas Obscura, The Telegraph and many other outlets.

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Photo: S3studio via Getty Images

A Chinese tech blogger dropped a bombshell last Friday, claiming on Chinese media that he found that several popular Chinese apps, including the Tencent-owned chat apps WeChat and QQ, as well as the Alibaba-owned ecommerce app Taobao, frequently access iPhone users' photo albums in the background even when those apps are not in use.

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Enterprise tech's vision of "big data" largely fell flat inside silos. But now, an army of providers think they've figured out the problems. And customers and investors are taking note.

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Photo: Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images

Whistleblowers like former Facebook staffer Frances Haugen have pretty limited options when it comes to actually seeking redress for the harms they've observed and documented. There's no federal privacy law in the U.S. to speak of, Section 230 protects platforms for online speech and companies like Facebook are under no obligation to share any information with lawmakers, or anyone else, about what's happening on their sites.

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Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

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