HTC Announces Wireless Kit from TPCAST for Vive VR

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2016 - 11:36 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, htc, htc vive

UploadVR is reporting that a wireless upgrade kit was on display at a trade-show by Alibaba in Shenzhen, China. TPCAST, the company that created the accessory for the headset, is a participant in the Vive X program. This startup accelerator provides $50,000 to $200,000, mentorship, and other support to assist development of VR-related technologies. HTC claims that TPCAST's wireless solution will perform equivalently to the default, wired configuration.

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Image Credit: UploadVR

Wireless almost always requires a battery, and HTC claims that two will be available. The default “standard” battery is expected to last about 90 minutes, although they plan a larger battery that fits in the pocket of the individual's clothing. UploadVR doesn't mention anything about price or capacity of this one, although I hope that the wiring from clothes to headset is easily managed.

The upgrade kit will cost about $220, when converted into USD from Chinese Yuan, and begins pre-order on November 11th at 7am PST. The units will ship in early 2017 with current owners of the HTC Vive (authenticated by serial number) getting bumped to the front of the line. I'm guessing this is to gut the scalping market, which is nice, unless they goof and allow unlimited orders for a single serial number.

Source: UploadVR

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November 11, 2016 | 04:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As with previous wireless steaming techniques: hold your virtual horses until it both the latency has been verified, and what impact the video compression used has on the image.

November 11, 2016 | 08:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Aaaaaand, lurking partway dow nthe product page (http://www.tpcast.cn/transvr.html?p1=2&p2=1) is "最低延迟15ms", or 'Lowest Latency 15ms'.

So into the trash it goes.

November 11, 2016 | 11:05 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

Is this using the same type of wireless that the xbox controller uses?

If not, then what type of wireless is it using?

November 11, 2016 | 01:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is for sending video to the headset and isn't related to Xbox controllers or Microsoft. It may be a completely proprietary system, but I doubt that. Based on how much funding they got, it's likely based on an existing standard like 802.11ad(WiGig) with some low-latency compression. Some compression would be needed as the max bit rate is only 4.6 Gbps. There are some VR-specific things they could have taken advantage of. Both eyes are displayed very similar pictures (as long as you aren't looking at things up close to your face) so theoretically could nearly halve the bit rate required for both eyes. Also, you are also likely to be within LoS of the computer, so the 60GHz band is less problematic and quite a viable option. Also, because of atmospheric absorption, you are less likely to get interference from other devices.

November 11, 2016 | 04:11 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

I didn't ask what the wireless tech is used for, that answer is simple: send/receive data.

Now that I have had a few free moments at work, I recall that the xbox controllers use Wifi Direct, so think of my first question reworded as:

"Is this new VR feature using Wifi Direct?

If not, what is it using?"

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