Revealed this week at CES 2018, HTC has introduced their very own Vive Wireless Adapter which guarantees to interrupt the tether on the Vive and Vive Pro. We went hands-on to see the way it handles.

One 12 months after asserting their intent to create a wi-fi adapter in collaboration with Intel at CES 2017, HTC revealed the Vive Wireless Adapter this week at CES 2018. The T-shaped machine is predicated on Intel’s 802.11advert ‘WiGig’ 60GHz transmission expertise and DisplayLink’s XR codec. It’s a later cousin of the varied prototypes from Intel and DisplayLink that we noticed earlier in 2017, however now with a brand new antenna design and shortly to be packaged up for retail.

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HTC says the Vive Wireless Adapter will assist each the unique Vive and the Vive Pro. The unit is deliberate to ship worldwide in Q3, although a value has but to be introduced.

I bought an opportunity to check a pre-release model of the adapter at CES 2018, the place HTC was exhibiting it off connected to the unique Vive operating Doom VFR (2017). The Vive Wireless Adapter hasn’t but been proven operating with the Vive Pro.

Cables, Battery, and Transmitter

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It seems set of brief cables—that run from the headset’s ports proper into the adapter—exchange the prevailing prolonged tether. A single cable dangles from the again of the adapter which connects to a battery pack which you can tuck into your pocket. The battery pack seemed to be generic, and HTC mentioned it wasn’t indicative of what could be included with the ultimate Vive Wireless Adapter. Target battery life wasn’t talked about, however this can absolutely rely upon the battery capability that they select for the completed product.

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As I used to be placing on the headset I might really feel that the unit was heat, however not scorching to the contact. The Vive Wireless Adapter sits simply behind the highest of the pinnacle. Since it’s connected to the Deluxe Audio Strap, it’s principally remoted from touching your head; I couldn’t really feel the warmth from the unit by way of my hair, however we’ll have to attend and see the way it feels over longer play classes (and for individuals with longer hair). So too will we have to wait to learn how comfy it’s when mounted on the default tender Vive headstrap.

In the demo sales space, the transmitter, which appeared like a bit webcam, was mounted above head top on the wall, and aimed down into the middle of the room-scale playspace. As that is 60GHz transmission, direct line of website is critical for correct efficiency.

Image Quality

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Looking by way of the headset, the picture high quality appeared excellent when my head was shifting slowly or was principally static. Even issues sometimes troublesome to compress (like fog and particle swarms) seemed to be rendered very properly. I might say, no less than within the content material that I used to be proven, the picture high quality seems to be indistinguishable from tethered when my head was static or shifting comparatively slowly. I did appear to note that once I rotated my head in a short time, the picture appeared to get a bit blockier, however it could in a short time snap again by the point my head slowed again down. It was adequately subtle that I don’t assume most VR customers would discover it.

Of course, the content material proven within the demo is probably going picked as a finest case state of affairs. I didn’t have an opportunity to tug up content material that may provide a real stress take a look at for the compression, so it stays to be seen the way it will deal with different probably tougher compression eventualities.


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The flip facet of the spectacular picture high quality is noticeable latency. It wasn’t horrendous by any means, however I’m assured that in a blind take a look at between a tethered Vive and one utilizing the Vive Wireless Adapter, I’d have the ability to choose which is which with 100% accuracy. It could also be adequately subtle that some customers wouldn’t discover it outright, however they might find yourself feeling it, since larger latency could cause accumulating discomfort.

The undeniable fact that there was noticeable latency truly shocked me. When I examined each the Intel WiGig VR and DisplayLink XR prototypes final 12 months (precursors to the Vive Wireless Adapter), I used to be fairly impressed with what I noticed, together with such minimal latency that I wouldn’t rely on having the ability to choose between a wi-fi and wired Vive in a blind take a look at.

We’ve reached out to HTC to ask why the latency was obvious when earlier checks with related parts and codecs appeared to have tighter efficiency. It stays to be seen how the elevated decision of the Vive Pro will affect the latency.


One attainable rationalization for the latency is that the system may need been optimized for higher robustness of the connection. Indeed, the Vive Wireless Adapter didn’t seem to stutter as soon as in my 20 minutes or so enjoying with it. Testing the bounds of the system, it took me cupping my palms over each ends of the antennas after which my colleague overlaying the transmitter together with his hand earlier than the connection lastly gave out. I additionally waved my palms wildly above and across the antenna and didn’t spot any apparent change in high quality or latency.

This bodes properly for the system’s efficiency within the less-than-ideal environments that can absolutely be encountered because the unit rolls out to houses and companies.


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Latency apart, the liberty of room-scale monitoring and no tether is great. I’m so used to tethered VR headsets, and subconsciously managing the cable by pushing it out of the best way with the again of my arms or stepping over it, that it took a while earlier than I unlearned that conduct and actually took benefit of the truth that I might transfer round simply in all instructions unencumbered.

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If a flawless wi-fi expertise can certainly be delivered, it’s going to be particularly helpful for extremely lively content material like cowl shooters, boxing, and video games the place you’re taking huge swings, like when utilizing digital bats, swords, and golf golf equipment (and even actual bats).

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With two quarters to go earlier than the deliberate launch of the Vive Wireless Adapter, I believe there might be extra tuning to return, which can hopefully result in latency enhancements. In the longer term we additionally anticipate to have the ability to take a look at the Vive Wireless Adapter with the Vive Pro.

The put up Hands-on: Vive Wireless Adapter Debuts With Robust Connection however Latency Too appeared first on Road to VR.

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