Valve partners with Quark VR for untethered, WiFi-enabled Vive

Adam Westlake - Sep 10, 2016, 8:00 am CDT
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Valve partners with Quark VR for untethered, WiFi-enabled Vive

Virtual reality is easily one of the most exciting and fastest growing markets in the consumer tech industry right now, and like any new such products, there are still a couple major drawbacks. The first is easily the high buy-in cost with the price of a headset and high-end PC, but beyond that is the issue of the length of cables between those two components that make their way across the floor, causing a fear of tripping that poses a threat to the full immersion VR tech is designed to offer.

With this being the case, the announcement of a possible wireless model of the HTC Vive is very exciting. The news comes from Quark VR, a Bulgarian virtual reality developer, which has revealed a new partnership with Valve to bring WiFi streaming to the Vive.

Unfortunately, WiFi is known to be less than ideal when it comes to the amount of bandwidth needed for the large amounts of data transferred when using VR. And if you’ve been following the development of VR headsets, you know that any display lag between user movements and what they see results in major motion sickness.

Quark’s solution involves using a pocket-sized WiFi transmitter that is still connected to the Vive headset via cables, but uses a streaming connection between the PC. A setup involving the transmitter in your pocket or clipped to your waist, with the cables running from there to the headset, is easy to imagine — a lot safer than wires snaking across the floor and around your feet.

Quark admits that it’s had difficulty in reaching a strong enough connection to prevent lag, but notes that it’s almost there. The company hopes to show off a prototype sometime this fall, and with Valve’s involvement hopefully it will be something promising.

SOURCE Quark VR


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