HTC has announced a partnership with storage specialist Seagate to address the issue of the limited storage capacity and battery runtime of the Vive Focus standalone VR headset: the Seagate VR Power Drive.
Unveiled back in November 2017 as the first device to use the company's Vive Wave VR Open Platform, HTC's Vive Focus began its life as a Chinese-exclusive, wholly self-contained virtual reality headset. In March this year HTC confirmed the device would launch internationally by year's end, but its design still has one major drawback: Unlike a gaming PC, it's not easy to attach mass storage to a standalone headset based, effectively, on smartphone technology.
The answer: A partnership with Seagate on an accessory which combines both an additional battery and expansive storage. 'We are delighted that we have devised the Seagate VR Power Drive, which is tailored to the Vive Focus, by applying Seagate’s unique storage expertise to meet Vive Focus users’ increasing needs for data,' claims Jim Murphy, executive vice president for worldwide sales and marketing at Seagate, of the launch announcement. 'Seagate has been paying close attention to the development of emerging application fields. We’ll continue to collaborate with industry-leading partners in accordance with the actual demands in the application market and join hands with them in the development of innovative storage products to deal with storage challenges together. In the years to come, we will continue to cooperate with HTC Vive, and further optimise storage solutions according to the characteristics of VR applications to better meet the special data needs of Vive products and bring Vive users the optimal experience.'
'We are extremely happy to form this cooperation with Seagate to offer a brand new type of accessory to the Vive Reality ecosystem. As VR users become more mobile and smart phone users consume more rich media, the two things they both need are longer battery life and larger storage,' admits Alvin Wang, president of HTC's Vive China division. 'The Seagate VR Power Drive is the perfect device to serve this need. Doubling battery life while putting hundreds of high-resolution movies in your pocket are benefits every modern user can see value in. This is just the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation.'
The Seagate VR Power Drive includes a 1TB hard drive with integrated USB Micro-B cable and bundled USB Type-C adapter and a 5,00mAh battery claimed to double the runtime of the Vive Focus. The housing includes a belt clip, but interestingly is in no way exclusive to the Vive Focus: Both its storage system and power systems can be used with any device that accepts USB power and USB Mass Storage - including, in theory at least, HTC rival Oculus VR's own Oculus Go headset.
Pricing and availability for the Seagate VR Power Drive have not yet been confirmed.