In Brief
  • As a part of HTC's ViveX Accelerator program, TPCAST has created a peripheral to allow your headset to go wireless.
  • The already sold out add-on is just the first major innovation in upgrading our current VR headsets, many more are bound to be on the way.

Going Wireless With The Vive

HTC announced that it will be releasing a peripheral that allows for Vive users to ditch its wires. The device was made by TPCAST, one of the first companies to join the Vive X Accelerator, an investment program for startups.

In Alibaba’s ’11/11′ shopping festival in Shenzhen, China, HTC showed off a preview kit of the Vive with the device. In an interview by UploadVR with Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive at HTC, he says that “the experience would ‘greatly improve’ the overall Vive experience, with no ‘noticeable difference’ for factors like latency.” He says that the standard battery could give the Vive at least one and a half hours of playtime. A bigger battery that would rest inside the user’s pocket is also in the works.

The Next Step

VR has come a long way since its introduction decades ago. Since then, VR has developed better graphics, better motion detection, and better controls. It has enhanced our gaming experiences by putting the user in the middle of the action. Beyond entertainment, VR technology is providing benefits to the medical industry by allowing doctors to plan for surgeries.

If this device is any indication, shifting to wireless is the next step for the technology. One of HTC’s staunchest competitors, Oculus, is building a prototype that serves as a standalone VR system, completely eliminating the need for external cameras to track movement. Devices like these improve upon the user experience by removing the limits of wired VR. By removing wires, users can now explore more complex virtual worlds without breaking immersion by getting tripped up, or limiting mobility. The HTC Vive upgrade kit has already sold out on the website, so we know the demand is most definitely there.