Ready to Go Untethered!

Written by Zhu Wang on November 21, 2018

Since the very first day our lab started to use VR headsets, every single one of us has been imagining that the experience would be much more wonderful if we could have an untethered VR headset someday. In the last quarter of 2018, our dream finally came true.

In the past September, HTC announced their wireless solution for their leading product VIVE. The wireless solution supports VIVE and VIVE pro, and uses a wireless adapter to transmit data with the cable-free Intel WiGig network. A power bank is needed to provide the necessary power to the adapter and the headset. We have three VIVE pros set up wirelessly in our lab at present. According to our tests, there is no noticeable latency or stuttering tracking when compared to the cable connection. But the power capacity and power bank’s weight are mutually exclusive, if you wanted to play with the untethered headset, you need to sacrifice some of its portability. Especially when you would like the experience of a fully untethered headset which requires you to put the power bank on the head, otherwise you still get a cable of the power bank.

For anybody who wanted to set it up properly, here are a few suggestions:
1. Insert the PCIe card for the WiGig network into a PCIe 4 lane slot. A PCIe 4 lane card should be compatible with PCIe 8 and PCIe 16 slots, but we did have a performance problem when we inserted the PCIe card into a PCIe higher lane slot.
2. There are maximum 3 wireless adapters can work in the same space due to the network band limitation.
3. No more than one wireless setup can be installed on one computer.
4. The effective distance for the WiGig network is short, around 15 feet (5m) if the environment is not empty. But in a perfect condition, we had it worked about 25 feet.

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