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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.
Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.