HTC have opened pre-orders on their Chinese website for a $220 device that converts HTC Vive head-mounted display units into wireless devices, allowing the VR headset to be used without the trailing wires that have previously served to pump the video across from the host PC.
This removes the tripping hazard, but also removes the risk of getting tangled up while using the Vive’s room-scale virtual reality, something that has been prevalent in most use of the technology either in the home or at public events.
The device is being produced by TPCast, who were one of the earliest sign ups to the HTC Vive X accelerator program, and the device, which is battery powered, is claimed to provide 90 minutes of use from a single charge. There’s no solid news on how well the device works, but Upload VR published a video of the kit in use, yesterday.
Speaking on Twitter James Parker, founder of GroundShatter Games, said: “I think it might well be the big difference between VR being a viable mainstream consumer product and not”, with many other people saying similarly – it seems the idea of the device is popular, although the price tag might be unfortunate for people who have just recently splashed out on the Vive.
For development it could prove to be a big deal. Showing games in public spaces will now be much easier, especially for games designed to be played in public spaces like Unseen Diplomacy, where you’re tasked with crawling around on the ground a lot, and getting tangled in wires is an unfortunate certainty.
For now, pre-orders are only available via HTC’s Chinese website for now and supplies are limited, but we’ve contacted Valve for comment to see if they’re planning to roll out the device in other territories.