An accessory for the PC virtual reality headsets, it’s a wireless transmitter that straps onto the back of your head, allowing you to beam video from your computer to your headset, making for as “wireless” an experience as VR can currently offer. Sure, you’ll still need to plug a connector cable into the headset itself, and a set of headphones too, but it’s as good as it gets at the moment.
The Rivvr uses a 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi connection to connect to your computer, at the expense of a slight latency loss of 11mm currently – retail editions are expected to drop to a more palatable 6ms. Latency is a big deal when it comes to VR comfort, so it’ll be interesting to see if this extra delay can be stomached.
Alternatives in waiting
Sixa isn’t the only company looking into wireless VR solutions beyond mobile set-ups.
The most promising alternative currently is the TPCast, which is being developed alongside the engineers at HTC. However, it’s limited for use with the HTC Vive, whereas the Rivvr can be paired with the Oculus too. And then there are the backpack solutions, which essentially strap a high-powered laptop to your back. But, frankly, they’re ridiculous.
It’s probably a stop-gap solution for now – it’s only a matter of time before the Vive, Rift and other high-end VR options are wireless or self-contained by default. But if you’re intent on getting the current generation untethered, you can put a down payment on the $209 / £170 / AU$277 kit now.
Here’s everything we know so far about the HTC Vive 2