New add-on enables HTC Vive to cut the cord
Virtual reality has exploded in popularity over the past year. Devices like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have pushed VR gaming into the mainstream, while companies like AMD and Nvidia are pushing out new "VR-capable" graphics cards. PC and notebook manufacturers have followed suit and released VR ready machines, like MSI's GS63VR Stealth Pro.
One of the biggest problems with the virtual reality experience lies in the connections between the VR headset, controllers, and computer. Both the Vive and the Rift require several cables to connect the headset, which can leave users feeling tethered to their PC and interrupt the immersion of the experience. However, TPCAST, a company that was among the first to join HTC's Vive X development program, has created a solution to eliminate the mess of cables required for VR.
We've recently seen other answers to the cable management problem from companies like MSI and Zotac. Unlike these companies' products, which strap the PC to a user's back, TPCAST's Vive add-on attaches directly to the headset and allows data to be streamed wirelessly to and from the PC. Alvin Graylin, HTC's China Regional President of Vive, demoed the unit in a YouTube video released on November 10. He stated that the device doesn't introduce any negative factors, such as latency, to the experience.
Not much else is known about the add-on. It was announced that the accessory comes with a battery that allows up to 1.5 hours of use, and an optional larger battery will be available at a later time. The device went up for pre-order on Vive's Chinese website at 9 A.M CST on November 11. Priced at RMB 1,499 (about US $220), the accessory sold out in 18 minutes. Buyers that were quick enough to snag a unit can expect their purchase to ship sometime in Q1 of 2017. Vive hopes to get a second round of inventory available for pre-order next month.