Intel goes wireless with its WiGig-enabled HTC Vive at Computex 2017

Along with its new processors and Compute Cards, Intel also debuted a new partnership with HTC at Computex 2017. Taking the stage alongside a willing demonstrator, Intel’s GM of client computing, Gregory Bryant, introduced the world to wireless virtual reality on the Vive VR headset using high-speed WiGig Wi-Fi technology and slated it for a 2018 release.

Wireless virtual reality is considered by many to be one of the must-have upgrades for the next generation of virtual reality headsets. There are a few different ways of doing it right now, whether it’s with bespoke transmitters and receivers like the TPCast system, or with compression algorithms for standard Wi-Fi transmission. Intel’s solution however, focuses on the latest generation of high-speed wireless networking.

The technology was demonstrated live on stage for the attending audience and viewers at home, showing seamless wireless gameplay in Valve’s The Lab archer demo. There was no visible lag between the player’s movements and the action being mirrored to a nearby display, though it’s not clear if such a viewpoint would be susceptible to any potential lag the headset may have displayed.

Intel didn’t go into detail about how the technology works, but we’re told that it makes use of WiGig wireless connectivity. Otherwise known as the IEEE 802.11ad standard, it’s becoming more commonplace in new networking hardware and allows for up to 7Gbps wireless data transfer over various frequency bands.

This wireless system also uses the DisplayLink XR codec, which should mean some measure of compression takes place. While WiGig should have enough bandwidth to support first-generation VR headsets without the need for much compression, being able to do so should ensure a seamless VR experience in case available throughput drops for whatever reason.

In the video we can see that some additional hardware has been added to the Vive demo unit to enable its wireless connectivity. We can speculate that it contains a receiver of some kind for the wireless data, as well as a battery pack. Unfortunately, Intel has yet to release any details of the actual hardware involved in the wireless Vive upgrade.

What we do know though, is that it’s not quite ready for prime time just yet. Intel’s Bryant said during his address that we can expect this technology to be ready for consumers in early 2018.

Gaming

Bringing realism to VR is complex, but these developers found a way in holograms

Making virtual reality feel real is the hardest job of all VR developers. For Awake: Episode One, StartVR used volumetric recording, rather than motion capture, to bring its characters to life like never before.
Virtual Reality

HTC’s stand-alone Vive Focus Plus will be out in April, and it won’t be cheap

The HTC Vive Focus Plus is set to release on April 15 to commercial businesses and developers. The stand-alone headset features the "six degrees of freedom" system, and includes hazard-tracking protection.
Computing

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.
Mobile

The 2018 iPad is often the best iPad for most people — and now it’s only $250

Apple may have recently taken the wraps off of a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, but it's still the standard iPad that is best for most people. Now, the standard iPad has gotten a pretty significant discount -- it's down from $330 to $250.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.
Computing

HP’s high-resolution VR headset provides comfort and Windows Mixed Reality

HP's new VR headset reportedly offers an exceptionally high resolution, highlights comfort and runs on Windows Mixed Reality. HP hasn't officially announced the new headset, but here's a look at some of its features.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 press conference

It is widely believed that Microsoft's WMC conference will be the stage for the unveiling of the next generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. We have the live stream right here.
Computing

Microsoft unveils $3,500 HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019. Here’s what you need to know

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Cars

Nissan designers use HaptX VR gloves to shape future cars

New car designs usually start out as clay before becoming metal, but designers are now swapping clay for pixels. Nissan is using virtual reality gloves from HaptX that give designers a tactile feel of virtual models.
Computing

Apple’s AR Glasses could pair up with your iPhone in 2020

According to an investor note sent by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's AR glasses will be mass manufactured starting in the fourth quarter of 2019, but not later than the second half of 2020.