While the rumored wireless HTC Vive 2 isn’t coming anytime soon, HTC did announce several new accessories for their VR headset at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The highlight of the company’s CES event is TPCast, the first wireless adapter for HTC Vive VR. HTC said the wireless is “open standard” meaning third party companies can collaborate to making the current head-mounted display wireless.
Though whispers of the HTC Vive’s wireless adapter are going on since last year, TPCast only showed up at CES. The wireless upgrade will allow players to fully experience the VR world without getting tangled up in a mess of wires. Designed and built by a startup inside HTC’s Vive X accelerator program, it’s is available to order in China. However, the wireless upgrade will see a worldwide release soon.
The TPCast attaches to the upper and rear bands of the Vive headset, according to BGR. However, the accessory isn’t entirely wireless. There is still a cable running out of the headset designed for battery to be tucked into a pocket. The device handles all the streaming data wirelessly to and from the gaming rig, and reports claim there is little to no lag.
TPCast has ability to deliver 2K video resolution at 90Hz with less than two millisecond wireless transmission latency, reports Polygon. The wireless accessory also packs a 6,000mAh battery, which is rated as good for about two hours of use per charge. A five-hour XL version of the same battery will come out “at a later date.”
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Vive Wireless upgrade Pricing & Availability
Right now, TPCast is only available for preorder in China. HTC Vive’s wireless upgrade will see worldwide release in the second quarter of 2017. In the US, it is going for a suggested retail price of $249. This is quite a lot to pay for a wireless adapter for anything especially since the VR itself is around $800.
In addition, the company is working on other wireless solutions. HTC announced WiGig-based collaboration with Intel that will provide a wireless solution capable of 360-degree tracking. They are open to other wireless solutions, provided that developers handle the demanding output and offer low latency.
In another bid to improve the Vive VR experience, the Taiwanese giant announced the Deluxe Audio Strap. It adds a bit of comfort to the top of its head straps and built-in headphones. HTC also unveiled a Vive Tracker, a tiny device that will let developers track just about any object in virtual reality. Details about their price and availability are still under wraps.