HTC Vive Add-On TPCast Showcased At CES 2017, And It is Heading To The US With A $249 Value Tag
This is a wi-fi Vive add-on by HTC that really works as marketed. It is known as the TPCAST, a peripheral HTC introduced hush-hush final month, which promised to chop the wire between the Vive VR headset and the person’s gaming rig.
The TPCAST was designed and created by a startup inside HTC’s Vive X accelerator program. The add-on, sadly, is simply accessible for preorder in China as of the second, nevertheless it’s headed worldwide quickly. It is also being showcased at this 12 months’s CES in the meanwhile.
VR headsets sometimes require gamers to tether the machine instantly right into a gaming rig, usually with thick, cumbersome cables. Going wi-fi is, after all, the obvious answer to this, however the bandwidth necessities simply eclipse right now’s mainstream requirements. It may theoretically work, however the execution could be disastrous with the body fee taking the toll.
However the TPCAST, in accordance to The Verge, features “with out a lot, if any, noticeable lag.” At occasions there have been skipped frames, however that may very well be owed to the monitoring interference within the crowded demo space, because the product was tried out at CES.
Assuming it really works extra steadily in a family setup, the TPCAST is poised to really innovate room-scale VR experiences. The machine, as promising because it sounds, shouldn’t be with out its personal points. For one, there’s the appalling battery life, lasting solely two hours. Moreover, the machine is not fully wi-fi, as a result of there’s nonetheless a cable jutting out of the headset, with a battery meant to be saved in a pocket. These gripes spell inconveniences, however not less than true wi-fi VR is getting there, albeit slowly.
There’s nonetheless a looming specter carefully hovering VR, cloaking its potential with an insidious self-detrimental banner that means “VR continues to be a gimmick” or “it is only a section,” nevertheless it arguably is not. The expertise would possibly nonetheless be slicing its enamel for now, nevertheless it’s too far down the highway to easily be dismissed. VR is right here to remain, as Engadget places it, and builders are certain to craft options down the road that’ll flip VR into a less complicated and extra viable expertise to finally enter.
Different Units In The Pipeline
The corporate additionally introduced a collaboration with Intel, which is presently creating a WiGig-based wi-fi VR answer that is able to 360-degree monitoring. HTC, nonetheless, stays open to various wi-fi VR options, assuming they will develop workarounds for the machine’s demand for throughput and low latency.
HTC additionally unveiled the Vive Tracker, a tool that’ll make it simple for builders to trace objects in digital actuality. The corporate says that it has created a “easy connection” for builders to combine the Vive Tracker into their equipment, all of which, put merely, ends in a extra immersive VR expertise.
HTC has additionally vital issues in retailer for the VivePort app retailer, calling it a “Netflix for VR.” Basically, it’s going to be a trial-based subscription mannequin for VR apps and video games.
Pricing And Availability
TPCAST launches worldwide within the second quarter of this 12 months for $249, with a deliberate battery pack accent that provides 5 hours of prolonged battery life on prime of the peripheral’s two-hour default lifespan.
What do you consider the TPCAST? Might this usher in true wi-fi VR experiences as soon as and for all? Be happy to pontificate within the feedback part under!