No more tripping over cables using the HTC Vive: Wireless addon pre-orders about to go live
In the ongoing head to head between the two most high-end VR headset manufacturers, HTC have announced their latest gambit: a new peripheral for the Vive that replaces those bothersome cables with a wireless interface. For the headset that’s already most-suited to fully room scale experiences, cutting the tether is potentially a huge boon for the user experience.
Note that this isn’t about turning the Vive into a mobile headset: It still relies on a dedicated computer being in range to provide graphics rendering, and Lighthouse stations to provide the positional tracking. Which means you’re still going to be able to play graphically intense games, just without the hassle of cables to trip over. Considering that these cables are often cited as the biggest issue with the HTC Vive, this development could solidify the headset as the clear winner for roomscale VR.
Some are worried that this isn’t going to work. Wireless technology has come on a long way, but even just a bit of latency will quickly become disconcerting in VR, leading quickly to motion sickness. However, while we don’t know much about how it works yet, it’s very possible that HTC have developed some kind of clever-cloggs frame buffer that could cut down on latency.
The other obvious concern is battery life, as without any cables you’re obviously not getting any power sent to the device. The built-in battery has enough juice for a mere 90 minutes of use, but there will also be a heavier battery available that can sit in your pocket for longer sessions.
The HTC Vive already stands as a top-of-the-range VR option, and this addon isn’t looking to be cheap: It’s going up for pre-order later today on Vive’s Chinese website for 1,499 RMB (just over £170). However, for those hardcore VR users that want the best experience possible, this tech has the potential to push the experience to places that other headsets are currently just not capable of.