Virtual Reality is the next frontier for gaming, and while there are already plenty of interesting games available (as evidenced by this year's past Steam Summer Sale), the technology still has quite a ways to go. One of the areas in which the tech is lacking is the headsets themselves: they are quite large, and the wires prevent the user from having a "true" VR experience.
Fortunately, a joint venture between Valve and Quark VR may have the solution to that problem in the coming months: a wireless version of the HTC Vive. A prototype version has been in the works for the past several months, and the companies have plans to unveil it at some point this fall.
According to a release from Quark, the wireless HTC Vive works by using a small device that is connected to the headset, alongside a transmitter that is placed in the pocket of the user. The transmitter then "sends and receives the signal between the PC and the HTC Vive through Wi-Fi."
"Getting the experience to feel seamless through Wi-Fi, keeping in mind the inevitable connection delay, was a huge challenge, but we're getting extremely close to being able to show it in action," said Georgi Georgiev, a Quark VR co-founder.
Despite the connection delay, however, the successful creation of a wireless HTC Vive will mean big things for everyone involved. For Quark VR, this means that, not only will it receive the attention that a start-up needs to hit the ground running, but it will also allow the Bulgarian-based company to potentially apply that tech to its mobile app, Intugame VR, which is designed to stream PC games to smartphone-powered VR headsets. Meanwhile, users will get the benefit of being able to play their favorite VR games without worrying about the wires getting in the way.
However, it's likely that developers are the ones who benefit the most. Since the HTC Vive is currently the premier platform for devs building room-scale VR experiences, creating a wireless version of the headset will allow them to improve each product it provides.
Regardless of who it benefits, the reasoning behind Quark's endeavors is the same: demand. The company organized a VR event shortly after the HTC Vive's launch, and while the attendees showed overwhelming support for the Vive, they also expressed frustration with the wires. This prompted Quark to try and create a way to make the Vive wireless — a process that it has been working on for the past five months.
In the meantime, there is no official date for when the wireless headset will be unveiled. When it does debut, however, it will be interesting to see how well it works and just how small the new components will be once added to the Vive headset.