LAS VEGAS, NV -- HTC announced that later this year it will release a wireless accessory for the Vive based on Intel’s WiGig technology. The new device would enable a tether-free VR experience for the current Vive and the upcoming Vive Pro.
“Wireless VR has been on nearly every VR user’s wishlist since the technology was unveiled,” said Frank Soqui, General Manager Virtual Reality Group at Intel Corporation. “By collaborating with HTC to commercialize Intel’s WiGig technology, we will guarantee that wireless VR meets the most discerning quality bar for home users and business VR customers.”
Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year, at Computex, HTC announced that it was working with Intel to create a wireless VR solution that uses Intel’s WiGig wireless data transmission technology. And at E3 in June, Intel demonstrated a proof of concept wireless Vive solution. We were expecting to hear more about the device at CES.
Intel’s WiGig wireless technology is based on the 802.11ad standard, but it operates at the 60GHz band. HTC said that Intel’s wireless protocol provides an interference-free signal that can stream high-quality visuals with less than 7ms of latency. The system even works in environments with multiple Vive users in the same space.
The details about the HTC Vive WiGig solution are still somewhat sparse, but here’s what we know. HTC licensed the WiGig technology from Intel, and the company will sell the wireless kit as a Vive-branded device. HTC said that the WiGig upgrade kit would support the existing Vive headset, and it offers enough throughput to support the Vive Pro, too.
HTC didn’t discuss it today, but we also know the WiGig solution consists of two components. We recently spoke with Frank Soqui from Intel, and he explained that the system includes a wireless receiver made by HTC and a WiGig transmission device manufactured by Intel.
“There are two elements that have to be put together to have this land on the PC,” said Soqui. “One is the wireless accessory, which will be branded under HTC. And then there’s the PCI-e card for receiving on the PC side."
It remains to be seen if you get both components in the same package or as separate purchases.
HTC didn’t provide a release date for the WiGig wireless device, but it said that the kit would be available worldwide in Q3. Hopefully, we’ll get our hands on the device this week to learn more about it.