The HTC Vive – and especially Vive Pro – is about as immersive as virtual reality gets. But no matter how realistic the game, there’s always something yanking you back to reality: the cord that attaches your VR headset to the computer.
HTC has come up with an answer to this. Claiming that 90% of VR customers are interested in removing the cord from their headsets, HTC has come up with a wireless adapter, freeing VR users from the unsightly tripping hazard, while keeping latency to a minimum.
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It comes in the form of a PCI-e card, with a sensor attached. This can broadcast to the Vive headset at a range of up to six metres with a 150-degree field of view, which means it should cope with the 15 x 15-foot space HTC officially marks as the maximum supported area.
To avoid interference, it runs at 60Ghz using Intel’s WiGig specification, combined with DisplayLink’s XR codec. This, HTC claims, means it should provide low latency and hours of battery life.
“Since the launch of Vive, we have been figuring out how to bring a wireless experience to premium VR and it has also been a request from our consumers and enterprise customers,” said Paul Brown, the general manager of Vive Europe.
“We’ve listened to this feedback and are proud to collaborate with our talented partners, Intel and DisplayLink to deliver the Vive Wireless Adapter. Combining high quality, low latency and ease of use, the adapter delivers on our promise of premium wireless VR.”
Unfortunately, said promise of “premium wireless VR” doesn’t come cheap. Having already spent £599 on the Vive hardware (or over a grand on the Vive Pro setup), you’re going to need to put down another £299 to make the experience wireless. If you have the Pro version, you’ll need to drop an extra £65 on top of that for a compatibility pack, extra padding and an attachment device.
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For enterprise clients wanting to make the best business use of VR, that may be a no-brainer. But for consumers just wanting to feel more immersed in SuperHot VR, it’s probably a bit too much of an ask.
If it’s not, you can pre-order the Vive wireless adapter from September 5 from Overclockers, Scan and Vive.com, The adapter will be on store shelves from September 24.
Is the prospect of wireless VR a game changer for you? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews