Throughout the Index VR headset launch occasion Valve CEO Gabe Newell acknowledged that the corporate is “wanting into a number of strategies” for making the headset untethered:
“As I mentioned, transport a product is actually the start. There are some apparent subsequent steps. It’s easy for us to broaden our distribution from exterior the US and EU into different international locations. There are apparent methods for us to decrease the price, there are apparent methods to make the product lighter, and to enhance the ergonomics. However then we get to extra speculative points. We’re wanting into a number of strategies to do untethered Index. We’ve got a number of concepts for form of revolutionary issues to do with the show and optical expertise. There are many alternatives to proceed to enhance the volumes that you simply’re tracked in and the simplicity with which you’re being tracked in these areas.”
Valve labored with HTC to ship the primary room scale VR system in 2016, the Vive. In 2018, HTC launched a $300 wi-fi adapter for the Vive, however there’s no indication Valve had any involvement on this challenge, with HTC citing a partnership with Intel in making it attainable.
Extra Tough Than Anticipated?
Again in February 2017, Newell referred to as wi-fi VR a “solved drawback”.
“My expectation is that wi-fi will probably be an add-on in 2017, after which it will likely be an built-in characteristic in 2018”, Newell is quoted as saying throughout a press convention.
Delivery Index as a wired headset in 2019 might imply the corporate bumped into technical hurdles with wi-fi, or just that the price was deemed too excessive.
However there’s proof that Valve have been engaged on wi-fi VR for a minimum of 4 years now.
Again in early 2016, Valve invested a “important quantity” in wi-fi VR expertise startup Nitero. Nitero designed customized chips to ship higher efficiency and decrease price than different 60 GHz options.
In 2017, AMD acquired Nitero, together with all its workers and property. It’s unknown how Valve’s funding in Nitero was dealt with on this acquisition, however AMD hasn’t mentioned something particular about wi-fi VR for the previous two years now.
Job Listings & LinkedIn
Again in 2015, Valve added a job itemizing titled Software program Engineer for VR & Hardware. Among the many job Qualifications are “Video Compression” and “Wi-fi Applied sciences”.
In March of this 12 months, Valve laid off 13 workers, together with some engaged on VR hardware. Amongst these workers was Rob Rydberg. Rydberg’s LinkedIn profile states that at Valve he “Developed an FPGA-based VR system structure, permitting for a tethered or untethered VR expertise“, in addition to “Mentioned and refined hardware accelerated video encoding options for real-time streaming of high-resolution video”.
The point out of hardware accelerated video encoding might imply that Valve will use customized silicon to allow low latency encoding and decoding of a video stream. This additionally might cut back the price of a possible adapter.
We’ll deliver you any updates associated to wi-fi and Valve Index.
Tagged with: Valve Company, valve index, wi-fi vr
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