1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar


    First, Am I the only one who is thinking to save money to buy all the backpacks for VR?

    Virtual reality "backpacks" could make VR less limiting

    Playing games or watching films in virtual reality can be surreal, but the high-end experiences like those offered by the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have some restrictions. Namely: Both headsets need to be tethered to a PC, limiting how far you can move from your computer while wearing them. And the cables themselves can quickly become a nuisance while youre moving about in the physical world as you simultaneously navigate the digital one.



    PC makers have been busy thinking up novel solutions to this problem. One idea: HP, Alienware, and MSI have unveiled concepts for virtual reality backpacks, super-slim computers meant to be worn on the users back with a special vest. I recently had the chance to try HPs version (1st picture). While the company isnt selling the computer yet, it is shipping units to partners so they can learn more about the new form factor.



    HPs development kit, part of the companys Omen X gaming lineup, includes a vest with the necessary straps, shortened cables for tethering the headset to the computer while its mounted on the wearers back, a battery pack, and a charging station. That sounds like a lot of equipment, but the gear was surprisingly lightweight. HP says it made a point to keep the computer at 10 pounds or fewer to avoid discomfort. Indeed, it didnt feel much heavier than the bag I tote to work each day. Theres also a dual fan system built into the computer to prevent it from getting too hot while its on your back.



    HPs backpack-sized computer may be much smaller than your typical gaming rig, but I didnt notice any difference in terms of performance when using it to power the HTC Vive headset. During my demo, I created three dimensional artwork in Googles Tilt Brush app and played with a robotic dog in The Lab without tripping over any wires. Interchangeable batteries sit in a tiny holster attached to the vest; the unit is said to last for around one hour on a single charge.

    That virtual reality has introduced a problem solved by a wearable computer will no doubt invite some level of ridicule. But these kinds of computers could potentially open the door for new, and better, kinds of virtual reality experiences. Companies like The Void and Zero Latency are using similar technology to enable highly immersive VR attractions, like a Ghostbusters-themed game playable in New York City. That said, experiences like that also require a sensor-laden physical environment thats been carefully mapped to a virtual world. For now, these new backpack computers solve at least one big headache facing living room VR gamers: Cleaning up all those cords that threaten to result in a nasty trip.

    Source: HP's Virtual Reality Backpack Gets Rid of Annoying Cables
    08-20-2016 08:00 PM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    I LIKE! These could work well as a rental in a VR cafe like we talked about in another thread.
    VirtuaTyKing likes this.
    08-26-2016 08:25 PM
  3. Russell Holly's Avatar
    I'd like to see some kind of "dock" where it's a normal workstation but you can pick it up and slide it on your back when it's time for VR. I'm also a lot concerned about the battery lifetime of those cells and the heat generated by these things. I already work up quite a sweat in some VR games!
    08-27-2016 06:57 AM
  4. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    The dock idea is pretty good, but I think something to even increase the specs, like the the Razer Core (external video card), so you upgrade it (if you want) when it's plugged to the dock.
    08-31-2016 10:41 AM

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