Wireless VR? We’re Moving Forward Into the Future!

Posted on 12 Nov 2016 by
Jordan Fong

The Vive, one of two front runners for the s̶p̶a̶c̶e̶ virtual reality race, has just stepped up its game. After starting a production initiative only months ago, the Chinese company TPCast has pushed the HTC Vive mobility to the next level, and is now wireless.

Starting yesterday 7AM PST, pre-orders for the wireless unit go on sale for $220 USD. There are limited units and priority is given to those who provide their serial number to prove they actually are Vive owners. The only caveat here is that it’s starting with the Chinese audience first. Pre-orders will ship in the first quarter of 2017, the attachment has two parts, an antenna for the video, and a USB interface which sits on top of the head band with battery pack which straps onto the lowest part of the strap in the back.

The battery is advertised to give an hour and a half of play time, which seems impressive. Even further, TPCast may offer a larger battery in the future which will instead fit in your pocket. Now some of you may have concerns, with VR, wireless surely isn’t the most optimized way to go, but only time will tell. Furthermore, what do I do about my headphones that have mics on them. The Vive’s microphone isn’t exactly the best, and it only has a headphone jack, no mic port to be seen.

What about those who mount a Leap Motion to their units, like me. How will that affect performance and battery life. Will this support USB 3.0, unlike HTC’s own cable? Again only time will tell, and I hope to see that these potential problems are taken care of sooner then later. Until then, have fun, play safe, and try not to break anything!

Official Press Release

Shenzhen, China – November 11, 2016 – TPCast today introduced a breakthrough tether-less VR upgrade kit (preview edition) for VIVE™ VR system at Alibaba’s “11/11” global shopping festival. This kit will enable for the first time, users of high-end PC VR systems to have a fully untethered experience without compromising quality.

The Vive was the first to enable room-scale VR and 6-DoF controllers to the world, and today, the TPCAST’s “VIVE tether-less upgrade kit” (preview edition) will enable it to be have a seamless tether-less high-end PC VR experience. The tether-less upgrade kit will be available for pre-order at 1,499 RMB in limited quantity on www.vive.com/cn starting at 11pm Beijing time on November 11. Order fulfillment will be prioritised to existing customers who can provide a valid Vive serial number. Initial delivery is expected to begin Q1 2017.

“We are also very proud and supportive of teams that develop great accessories and game changing peripherals to the Vive ecosystem,” said Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, “The fact that this was developed in such a short time, and delivers such high quality is remarkable. It will allow Vive customers worldwide to gain untethered mobility in VR from their existing devices, while satisfying the biggest feature request of potential PC VR customers.”

Comments (0)