Sixa’s Rivvr wireless VR solution is back from the dead. The company announced that pre-orders are open again, and the hardware would ship in March. And this time around, the device meets all the necessary certification requirements.
Last year, Sixa introduced the Rivvr wireless VR solution at CES. We missed the company’s CES display, but we caught up with the company weeks later and secured an exclusive look at a prototype of the Rivvr system. Our initial experience with the hardware gave us a glimpse of a future of untethered VR, and it worked well enough to get us excited about the freedom it would provide for VR experiences.
We were eagerly awaiting the retail release, which had been scheduled for last spring. But last August, following months of delays, Sixa pulled the plug and returned the money it had collected for pre-ordered hardware, citing certification delays. We feared the worst for the product, and when Sixa didn’t show up at CES 2018, we expected that the project had fallen through the cracks. However, Sixa was just working in silence while it perfected the device and prepared it for production.
Yesterday, Sixa’s “Rivvr Team” sent a message to its original backers to inform them that the Rivvr system isn’t dead in the water. The company spent the latter half of 2017 ensuring that its wireless hardware would comply with certification requirements and preparing it for production. The company is now ready to accept pre-orders again.
The newsletter Sixa sent its backers included a “buy now” button, but it didn’t include details about the hardware and what may have changed. The company website is also devoid of information about the changes (if there are any). When we tested the prototype, the system operated on a standard 2.4GHz WiFi signal, and the receiver featured a Raspberry Pi-like computer to decompress the signal. It’s unclear if the system still works this way. We reached out to Sixa for clarification, but the company didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment.
The Sixa Rivvr wireless VR solution is available in two models. You can get the Rivvr Head-Mounted, which features an attachment to mount the device to your HMD, for $209. Sixa also offers the Rivvr Belt-Mounted for $199 if you want to hang the battery and receiver on your belt. Both models include battery packs that supply up to 3 hours of power. You can also double your run time by spending $50 on a larger battery.
Sixa is a small company that doesn’t have the resources for an unlimited production run. You can order the Rivvr system now, but there are only 4,000 units to go around. Sixa expects to begin shipping the Rivvr kits in March.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.
The unit uses a Raspberry Pi Zero and some batteries. (I have 3 Pi Zero's in a drawer). Having used Raspi's for a few years, I can see NO WAY in HELL there would be low latency.Reply
If it DOES do what it says, I'll just wait for someone to leak the software and 3D-Print me a case and get some batteries ;P
The sensing data should be low enough latency, it's really just a matter of whether they can send what is effectively 4k video over a wifi network without a decompression slowdown, right?Reply
A Raspi is claimed to handle 4k, but is there good data on ms delay for decompression?