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HTC Vive Focus VR headset now connects with the U12 Plus phone

The HTC U12 Plus.

Josh Miller/CNET

HTC’s newest phone, the HTC U12 Plus, was just revealed. And its newest mobile standalone VR headset, the Vive Focus, hasn’t come to the US yet. But these two gadgets now intertwine just a bit thanks to HTC’s newest software updates to Vive Focus.

The news was announced Thursday at a Vive Ecosystem Conference in Shenzhen, China. Vive Focus is getting a 2.0 software update that will add notifications, messages and connect to calls via headset, bridged to an HTC phone running updated software. According to the news, the U12 Plus (and other HTC phones, but not other Android phones) will be able to run a Vive Companion App that will connect the standalone VR headset and allow some connected functions.

Facebook’s Oculus Go already connects to a companion app on iOS and Android phones, but only accesses the phone’s camera roll (it can’t receive phone calls).

The Vive Focus VR headset.

HTC

HTC also suggested that the Vive Focus controller could be upgraded with extra six-degree-of-freedom capabilities and greater range of motion via future updates, using the headset’s built-in cameras to track movement.

The Vive Focus is expected to arrive in the US later this year, joining the Lenovo Mirage Solo and Oculus Go in the growing pile-up of standalone VR headsets in 2018.

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