Vive, a virtual reality headset, is a product developed by HTC in partnership with Valve. It delivers one of the best virtual technologies to the world.
Back in April, Taiwanese company HTC started a program called the Vive X. Under this program, HTC would support and endorse startups working on virtual reality (VR) development.
The program was funded with $100 million and now the results are becoming clearly visible.
A Wireless Add-On
HTC has recently released an add-on tool that would cease the need for the HTC Vive VR headset’s wires and souped-up computer gaming. Simply, this new upgrade kit would provide a wireless virtual reality experience with the headset.
A preview of this tetherless kit for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset was showcased at Alibaba’s 11/11 Global Shopping Festival held at Shenzhen, China. This upgrade kit was designed by TPCast, which is also under the Vive X Program.
HTC has already opened the wireless upgrade kit for preorders for $220 in the Chinese market. Attaching this add-on to a VR headset would turn that headset into a wireless device. Unfortunately, the add-on would only improve user experience with the HTC Vive VR headset with no drastic changes implemented at this time except for the lack of clutter made by the presence of cables and wires.
More so, the wireless add-on has a built-in battery that would only last users for an hour and 30 minutes, which still is very convenient and certainly lasts longer than standard virtual headset batteries. The chances of HTC upgrading the battery for a better version in the future are high.
Preorder Outside China
HTC opened up preorders for this tetherless upgrade add-on only on its Chinese website. Although that was the case, interested buyers can still order the kit online. However, buyers will have to cover the additional charges for handling and shipping fees in any Asian country.
Additionally, HTC has decided to limit the number of available units to be sold for this Vive VR headset upgrade box. The company will also prioritize buyers who already have the Vive serial number, allowing these people to get ahead of the queue.
The Taiwanese company has not yet announced whether the wireless upgrade kit will be released in the United States and the rest of the world at this time.
The add-on is the third wireless VR headset in the industry but most probably the first to be made available for purchase already. Aside from HTC, tech companies like Intel, Qualcomm and Facebook are working on developing its respective standalone wireless VR headsets that might be released in 2017. But HTC might have beaten them first in the game with the release of their wireless add-on box especially since users do not need to buy a new headset but just attach the add-on atop the Vive VR headset.
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