Of all the virtual reality headsets the HTC Vive is the most technically impressive. The others are catching up, with Oculus soon to release its Touch motion controllers for Rift, but full body movement has been a feature of Vive since the beginning; there was just one major catch.
- TPCast wireless kit cuts the cables
- Consists of transmitter and receiver
- Chinese launch first
The thick wires out of the back of the headset make you look like Luke Skywalker in the Bacta tank at the end of Empire Strikes Back, but worse, they very much restrict movement. That’s not so great for a device where motion and freedom are mainstays.
Accessory company TPCast believes it has the answer, however. Supported by HTC itself, the manufacturer has made a Vive wireless upgrade kit. One part clips onto the back of the Vive headset, the other – a video transmitter – connects to your PC. All video and control commands are sent between the two wire-free, enabling you to jig about at your heart’s content.
There are other solutions, such as the range of backpack PCs being released by some of the bigger computer firms, but nothing quite as liberating as the TPCast kit.
It is on pre-order at present, available through the Chinese HTC Vive website. It’ll ship in the first quarter of 2017, priced at 1,499 Chinese yuan (around £175). Sadly though, there are currently no plans to sell it in the UK, US or beyond. Hopefully that’ll change if it is popular.