The appeal of virtual reality is all about being able to immerse yourself in the experience — but the wires running from your headset to your computer can sometimes break that feeling of immersion. Fortunately, HTC has announced an add-on for the Vive that could solve this problem.
The tether-less upgrade kit for Vive is being developed by TPCast, one of the companies that signed up to the Vive X Accelerator program, according to a report from Upload VR. The accessory makes it possible to use the headset without wires connecting it to the computer running the experience, allowing the user to move around freely in a room-scale experience.
Obviously, the headset still needs power, so a battery is built into the tetherless upgrade kit. A standard battery that can keep the device running for around ninety minutes will be included with the kit, but a larger cell is in the works, and will be available separately at a later date.
It’s easy to see how enthusiasts looking for the ultimate VR experience would be interested in the tetherless upgrade kit. However, the add-on might be even more attractive to commercial ventures offering VR experiences, as they would benefit greatly from removing wires from the equation.
The kit being put together by TPCast is not the only ongoing project intended to make the Vive headset wireless. A company called Quark VR is also working on a wireless receiver for the hardware, and as of September, it was expected that a working prototype would be completed by the end of 2016.
Pre-orders on the tetherless upgrade kit will be open on the Chinese Vive website from 11 p.m. CST today — release plans for other territories are still being discussed, so any eager early adopters are encouraged to order now and accept the extra shipping costs. The kit costs 1,499 renminbi (about $220) and is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2017.