Last year, HTC revealed Vive Wave, which would be the underlying software platform for the Vive Focus standalone headset. Developers in China have had access to the Vive Wave SDK for nearly a year, but the rest of the world has been waiting for access to HTC’s development tools. Today, HTC finally released the SDK to the rest of the world to enable developers to prepare for the North American and European releases of the Vive Focus headset.
The Vive Wave platform consists of industry standards for software development and hardware support, universal distribution guidelines and a software developer resource hub. Vive Wave is also an open platform, which can support any mobile VR headset from any manufacturer.
HTC hasn’t yet announced the launch date of the Vive Focus but originally said the device would be available before the end of the year, which doesn’t give developers much time to port their wares.
HTC Vive Wave SDKs
Fortunately, HTC made the Vive Wave SDK simple for developers of all platforms to pick up with ease. The SDK breaks down into five individual SDKs to make it easy for developers and manufactures to adopt:
- Wave Native SDK is Android-based and suitable for Android developers.
- Wave Unity SDK is a plugin for the Unity game engine.
- Wave UE4 SDK is a plugin for Unreal Engine 4.
- Wave PluginKit SDK is for accessory developers who wish to support the Vive Wave platform.
- Wave OEM SDK is for headset manufacturers who want to use the Vive Wave platform for their device.
HTC optimized the Vive Wave platform for mobile VR devices of all kinds. The platform supports standalone HMDs. It can work with slot-in headsets that utilize a smartphone’s display and processing power and works with smartphone-powered tethered headsets.
HTC’s Vive Wave platform introduces several technologies and standards to mobile VR devices that should aid to unify the market and help ease consumers' confusion. The platform supports a sub-20ms motion to photon tracking, 3- and 6-degrees of freedom controllers, Asynchronous TimeWarp reprojection technology and lens distortion and chromatic aberration correction. It also includes tracking prediction technology for standalone headsets and a virtual safety wall, like the Vive’s Chaperone system.