A company called Scalable Graphics has just taken to YouTube to show off their impressive solution to make the HTC Vive wireless, thereby removing one of the biggest pain points in the first-generation virtual reality headset.
Scalable Graphics’s box connects to the HTC Vive via the standard cable, then connects over 5 GHz Wi-Fi to stream games from your PC. Scalable Graphics is claiming that the latency is a surprisingly low 16 milliseconds and so slight that in blind tests, they haven’t been able to tell the difference between wired and wireless Vive usage; however, they said they are working to reduce the latency further. The battery life is said to be about two hours, but that’s another point Scalable Graphics says it is looking to increase.
The box is clearly a prototype at the moment, with many inelegant dangling wires hanging off the person using it, but it shows a lot of promise if it turns out to be as good as it looks. It’s fairly jarring in virtual reality to get caught on the real-life wire that follows you around. The virtual reality demos I tried at PAX East last month typically had one of the developers standing by at all times to make sure no one gets caught on the wire and trips. Finding a way to remove that wire will be a great next step for virtual reality. Hopefully Scalable Graphics can make its solution work.
Check out the video below for the full demo.