The current big challenge for virtual reality technology is to work in large rooms. The next dream for the future, however, is likely to be multi-room experiences, where users can wander between rooms or other connected spaces without issue. This is probably still a couple of years away, but HTC has shown off a small example of how it could work, with a demonstration featuring a Vive Pro, multiple base stations, and a beta of SteamVR 2.0.
The footage was shared on Twitter by Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin, first with a series of images showing sixteen 2.0 base stations linked together via SteamVR and covering multiple rooms. He then followed-up with a video showing a tester wearing the Vive Pro headset and moving between three rooms, each with two 2.0 base stations. The user moves seamlessly around the space in VR, locating tracked objects placed in the rooms.
Unfortunately, this experience is nowhere near available to consumers. For starters, SteamVR is still limited to tracking from four base stations at a time, as pointed out by Valve’s Alan Yates. Second, there’s no way to actually purchase all the equipment used in the setup. The Vive Pro bundle is the only way to get two of Valve’s 2.0 base stations, and there’s no word on if Valve or HTC plan to sell them individually.
Yates adds that the SteamVR beta is about “support for the radio-based channel configuration tools,” so this isn’t really the experience Valve is aiming for right now. Still, it’s a fun example of what might be possible in the future, especially when thinking about games that make use of a multi-room setup.