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Make your HTC Vive wireless with the £175 TPCAST upgrade kit

by Mark Tyson on 11 November 2016, 12:01

Tags: HTC (TPE:2498)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qada2g

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HTC has started to offer a new accessory for its Vive VR headset in China. The TPCAST ​​VIVE wireless upgrade kit allows you to enjoy your Vive HMD experiences untethered, wire-free promising a cable-less "fully immersive virtual reality experience".

The new TPCAST accessory was shown off at the Alibaba's 11/11 global shopping festival in Shenzhen, China, reports UploadVR, which published the video you can see below.

In an interview, an HTC exec said that this wireless upgrade accessory would "greatly improve" the Vive experience. Despite its wireless nature there will be no "noticeable difference" in critical perfromance factors like latency, he promised.

As it ships, the TPCAST wireless upgrade kit can provide approximately 1.5 hours of untethered VR shenanigans. There are plans for a bigger battery pack to be introduced which would go in a user's jacket pocket.

The TPCAST wireless upgrade kit includes:

  • Computer transmitting terminal
  • Receiver
  • Power Box
  • Dedicated data line, HDMI high-definition cable, power supply box carrying accessories, manual, warranty card, etc.

The receiver component which sits atop of your headset crown

Pre-orders will open later today in China though the product page lists the TPCAST accessory as already being "sold out". The HTC exec told UploadVR that people from anywhere in the world could order one via its Chinese web store – they will just have to cough up more for shipping and possible import taxes. The product list price is CNY 1499, which is roughly US$220 or £175.

Do readers think that this kind of accessory will kill the market for PCs such as the newly launched MSI VR One?



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Hexus
Do readers think that this kind of accessory will kill the market for PCs such as the newly launched MSI VR One?

The question pre-supposes that there ever was a market for the backpack PCs :)

Personally wireless VR doesn't appeal that much to me with any current implementation (that may change in the future as the tech evolves). The cable on my Rift doesn't get in the way as it is, and as you'd still need to setup your positional sensors around the room anyway, removing the cable doesn't really give you that much more freedom. Add to that the fact that the best, most immersive VR experiences are all seated anyway and the appeal drops somewhat.
Would be good if you put a link to the webstore in the article!
Oops! my bad, the link IS infact in the article *sorry*
Spud1
…the best, most immersive VR experiences are all seated anyway…

Are you serious?
Jacxel
Are you serious?

100%. I am not talking about demos, 10 minute sessions etc, but actual use when you own a system, in VR for a while. The most immersive experiences i've had have been Eve Valkyrie, Project Cars and Elite Dangerous (with appropriate tracking updates so you can use your hands). Yes “The Lab”, “Job Simulator” and “The Gallery” are cool, but I personally don't find them anywhere near as immersive.

The problem with “room scale” at the moment is that it's very limiting - its cool to be able to walk around your room in VR and pick things up (virtually) etc, but you are limited to very small spaces or to jarring teleportation type movement to go any further. Wireless doesn't solve this as you still need the sensors in place, so you are still limited in terms of how far you can go. To solve it you need to go further and ideally move to a treadmill style system (like Virtuix Omni but better) which removes those limits.

Just my opinion, but 99.9% of my VR time is spent sitting down (whether using the touch controllers or not). I've logged over 100 hours in VR since the summer (yes I am that sad…)