Intugame teases HTC Vive wireless adaptor

September 5, 2016 | 12:30

Tags: #htc-vive #vr #wi-fi #wireless-vive #wireless-vr

Companies: #intugame #valve

Virtual reality startup Intugame has announced that it is working with Valve on an add-on to turn HTC's Vive VR headset into a less cumbersome device by cutting its wires.

The HTC Vive has, despite its sky-high pricing, proven popular enough for the company to spin the division out into a fresh subsidiary. With bundled motion-sensing 'wand' controllers and a pair of laser-based 'lighthouse' body-tracking sensors, the Vive allows for room-scale virtual reality with only one thing to get in your way: the bundle of wires tethering you to your desktop or sufficiently beefy laptop. Intugame, though, has a solution: a wireless transmitter which can give you true freedom of movement.

Current-generation virtual reality systems are wired for one simple reason: latency. Any delay between the user moving his or her point of view and the rendered scene changing is a recipe for nausea, and using a wired connection keeps latency to an absolute minimum. That's an issue of which Intugame, which has previously been working on a remote-rendering VR software development kit (SDK) that allows even smartphone-based VR platforms to play beefy PC games, claims to be well aware. 'Getting the experience to feel seamless through Wi-Fi, keeping in mind the inevitable connection delay, was a huge challenge,' Intugame's Victoria Victorova explained in the company's announcement, 'but we’re getting extremely close to being able to show it in action.

'The way the headset will become wireless is through a small gadget, connected to the headset, but not wired with cables to the PC itself,' Victorova continued. 'Instead, the small transmitter, that may be placed in the pocket of the user, sends and receives the signal between the PC and the HTC Vive through Wi-Fi.'

Previous 'solutions' to the tethering issue have included bulky backpacks containing an entire PC to which the headset can connect, which at least gets the wearer a solid workout. Intugame has not yet announced a release date for its wireless adaptor.
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