After revealing the Vive Wireless Adapter earlier this year, the company confirmed this week at E3 2018 that the device is on track to launch by late Summer, and offered up some details on the device’s battery and operation.
Showing off the Vive Wireless Adapter with the Vive Pro at the DisplayLink booth at E3 2018, an HTC spokesperson said that the unit is nearing production readiness and is on track to launch by late Summer. The battery that will ship with the unit, powering both the adapter and the Vive headset, is the QC 3.0 Powerbank that HTC presently sells as an accessory; its expected to offer two to three hours of battery life, and take about one hour to reach a full charge. Since the power output on the battery is a simple USB port, it seems likely that users could use any off-the-shelf powerbank, but the company hasn’t confirmed that capability just yet.
HTC also said that up to six Vive Wireless Adapters can be used in the same space without interference issues (each requiring their own transmitter, by my understanding), and that the ideal range of the system is up to six meters from the transmitter.
The price of the Vive Wireless Adapter hasn’t been confirmed, but the ~$300 pricetag of the third-party TPCast wireless solution gives us a rough hint of where things might fall. Granted, HTC is likely to target the Wireless Adapter mostly at less price conscious commercial and enterprise users, and thus we may see a more premium price, much like the Vive Pro.
At the DisplayLink booth the company is showing off the Vive Pro with the Vive Wireless Adapter, and a custom-built gatling gun controller made to show Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope (2017) at the booth. Today, the first day of E3, they were having some technical issues with the gun and so I haven’t yet had a chance to go hands-on with the latest version of the Vive Wireless Adapter, but expect to soon.
I did however have a chance to speak with DisplayLink’s Andy Davis, Director of Marketing, and ask him about my CES hands on with the Vive Wireless Adapter where I noted impressive robustness, but a bit of latency too (which was surprising because I didn’t see such latency on an earlier reference design that I tried). Davis told me that either the game or the room’s lighting may have been impacting the latency at the CES demo, and he didn’t believe that the adapter was part of the issue. Further, he said that the current setup at E3 shouldn’t have any issues with lighting, so I’m looking forward to giving it another go to find out how it handles under more controlled conditions.
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