HTC’s new wireless adapter for the Vive arrives in September for $300

If you’re sick of tripping over the HTC Vive’s cord when you’re moving blindly across physical space, the company’s new wireless adapter is here to help. The good news is that you can eliminate that long, pesky tripwire and feel secure that you will remain on your two feet. The bad news is that the adapter will set you back an additional $300. Have the Vive Pro? You’ll need another $60 on top of that.

According to HTC, the Vive Wireless Adapter will be made available to pre-purchase on September 5 through Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft, Newegg, and the company’s website. It won’t actually hit store shelves until September 24.

If you’re not familiar with the HTC Vive, it relies on a single 3-in-1 “combo” cable consisting of the HDMI input, the power input, and the USB output. It’s extremely long, allowing you to freely move about in your physical play space. But it has the tendency to wrap around you like a python, forcing you to untangle yourself and resume your experience.

This cable doesn’t connect to your PC, but instead to a “link box” provided in the kit. This box plugs into your wall outlet to feed power to the headset while also connecting to your PC to serve as a powered “pass thru” for the video and sound outputs, and the movement inputs.

But if you can’t break into your PC, then this adapter won’t work. It aims to replace the 3-in-1 cable and link box altogether, but in turn, you need to install an add-in PCI Express card within your desktop. That means if you’re using a beefy gaming laptop to power the HTC Vive, you’re stuck with the cable. This adapter also requires you to connect a sensor to your PC that broadcasts the wireless signal.

As for the adapter itself, it’s positioned toward the back of your head sporting antennas that resembles an annoyed Pikachu’s flattened ears. Three cables are grouped together and connect the adapter to the headset on the original HTC Vive. A single cable appears to run from the bottom of the adapter to the Vive Pro.

Another big issue here is that given you’re cutting the cord and link box out of the picture, you’re not getting a constant flow of power. That means your playtime only lasts up to 2.5 hours. The specifications list the HTC QC 3.0 PowerBank, meaning it has a quick-charge feature, but the company doesn’t state the total recharge duration. This PowerBank can charge your smartphone, so that is a plus.

“The adapter has a broadcast range of 6 meters with a 150-degree field of view from the sensor and runs in the interference-free 60Ghz band using Intel’s WiGig specification, which, combined with DisplayLink’s XR codec, means low latency and high performance with hours of battery life,” the company says in a blog.

The HTC Vive currently sells for $500 and includes the headset, two controllers, the link box, two base stations, and accessories. The Vive Pro provides a higher-quality experience for $800.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for September 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.
Deals

The best laptop deals for September 2018

Whether you're getting ready for a new school year, shopping for a special student, or just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going, from discounted MacBooks to an on-the-go gaming PC.
Product Review

Oculus Touch buoys the Rift, but there's still work to be done

Oculus inspired the new generation of virtual reality headsets with its incredibly successful Kickstarter. Is the original the standard, or have its imitators surpassed it? Let's take a look at how the Rift stacks up.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for September 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

Don't buy a new router, fix your Wi-Fi with these quick tips

Don't panic when your Wi-Fi goes down. Instead, fix it. These simple solutions to the most common Wi-Fi Problems will get you back online at high speed in no time (hopefully) without buying a new router.
Mobile

This orange puck keeps you online in any country, with one hidden catch

Staying connected on your travels can be a challenge and sometimes results in hefty cell phone bills you could do without. We tried out the Skyroam Solis, a global Wi-Fi hotspot and power bank billed as the perfect solution.
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Computing

These 15-inch laptops are both powerhouses, but which should you buy?

The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 offers an innovative twist on the tried-and-true touchpad: the LCD-equipped ScreenPad. That's not all that Asus has up its sleeve, but is it all enough to compete?
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation. Updated meta…
Computing

Microsoft may go back to black with 2018 Surface Pro and Surface Laptop

Microsoft may be adding black as a color option to its refreshed Surface Laptop and Surface Pro models on October 2nd. Rumors of the new color along with an image of the black Surface Laptop popped up over the weekend.
Computing

Microsoft could debut transparent Surface Dial sequel at October event

Microsoft's upcoming October Surface event could show off more than just laptops. A new FCC filing suggests Microsoft may also debut a new Surface Dial device, potentially with a transparent center.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: When it happens and where to find the best deals

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.