PC virtual reality is going wireless soon – we've already tried accessories that successfully do just that. Today HTC announced another upcoming option, an accessory that uses Intel's WiGig technology to untether the Vive.
Intel's WiGig (Wireless Gigabit), based on the 802.11ad standard, gives compatible PC accessories their own interference-free 60 GHz wireless band to connect cable-free, at high speeds (up to 7 Gbps). It sounds like an ideal match for PC-based VR, allowing for high-throughput and low-latency wireless headset connections.
HTC and Intel were light on details today, but they did say the Vive accessory will provide "pristine video quality" with less than 7 ms latency, which should be practically imperceptible to the user.
While high-end VR will eventually need lower pricing and more convenient setups to crack the mainstream, going wireless is another important box to tick. Along with the HTC-funded TPCast and offerings from lesser-known companies like KwikVR (both of which missed their original estimated launch windows), it's clear the VR industry is still pushing hard to untether PC headsets.
If you're open to a mobile-VR alternative, Google is partnering with hardware makers (including HTC, above) to produce standalone/wireless Daydream headsets later this year. Oculus also teased its own standalone headset late last year, though we haven't heard anything about that since.
There's no release or pricing info for the Intel/HTC WiGig accessory, but Intel will be showing off a proof of concept at E3 2017 in Los Angeles in June.
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