During the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2018, HTC were around showcasing their upcoming Vive Wireless Adapter on a number of different experiences ahead of it’s release later in the year. VRFocus’ Nina Salomons got the chance to speak with Troy Edwards, Director of PR for VIVE, about the product and find out some more about where the company hopes it will take virtual reality (VR).
The Vive Wireless Adapter is designed to remove users from tether between the HTC Vive or HTC Vive Pro and their computer running the VR experience. Though room-scale is supported by the head-mounted display (HMD) their is still a limit to some movements due to the cables attachment. With the Vive Wireless Adapter, HTC hope to offer a greater sense of freedom to their users as Edwards explains: “The great part about VR today is you can have a great experience trended back to your PC but for everybody who wants to get a little more movement, who want to eliminate the tether, we’re rolling out a product later this year to basically free that tether from the PC. So the 15ft cable you have today, that will be gone with the new wireless adapter.
With the removal of the cables that link the users computer to the HMD, there is a need to power the units. To get around this HTC plan to release a battery adapter which will sit in the users pocket, offering a good few hours worth of battery life to power VR experiences. It will also be able to charge with great speed, meaning users won’t be out of action for to long. HTC will include on of this battery adapters with the Vive Wireless Adapter but they will be available to purchase on their own should users want to have a stockpile.
Edwards confirmed as well during the interview that though a price has not been set for the Vive Wireless Adapter, one will be announced in the coming months. The product will also be shipping worldwide meaning everyone will be able to benefit from no longer being tethered to their computer. The unit is also confirmed to support both the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro headsets.
When asked what HTC hope the release of the Vive Wireless Adapter will mean for VR, Edwards explained: “So like, Beat Saber is super popular right now and your swinging your sabers, your moving around, your trying rack up points, it really showcases Vive in the best way possible because when you see people jump into VR for the first time, there really static right? they don’t know that you can take advantage of room-scale, that you can move in a 15-by-15 area, and so the wireless adapter is really going to make that possible. That you can really realize the true promise of Vive.”