HTC has officially opened pre-orders for a wireless upgrade kit to make its Vive virtual reality headset more comfortable for room-scale use, though oddly is only currently offering it via its Chinese storefront.
Both Oculus VR's Rift headset and HTC's Vive headset require a wire to tether them to the user's PC, transmitting both power and data to the headset and receiving signals from the head-tracking and controller inputs. When you're running around the room like a loon dodging virtual projectiles, though, that wire can prove an annoyance - something HTC is tacitly admitting by launching a wireless upgrade kit to cut the Vive's cord.
Designed and manufactured by TPCast, the kit clips onto the top and rear of the headset in order to provide wire-free data transmission to the host PC. The Vive connects to the transmitter bundle through its existing ports, while a receiver sits at the other end to relay the signals to the host PC. A battery is also included, offering a claimed 90 minute runtime per charge; a larger unit is in the works, the company has claimed, though a release date for this has not been provided.
Oddly, HTC is currently making the device available exclusively via a Chinese-language store page
, where it is priced at CNY 1,499 - around £174 excluding taxes. The device is expected to start shipping in the first quarter of 2017, when it will hopefully be made available to a wider audience.