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.