Mobile virtual realty solutions come in many different forms. Mobile HMDs using a smartphone – or not – are slowly gaining popularity. Hewlett Packard is doing things differently by introducing a new VR backpack to the masses. This solution will also be useful for future generations of augmented reality hardware. The Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation is quite a mouthful, but also packs significant power.
New VR Gaming Backpack By Hewlett Packard
It is not the first time we see a company introduce powerful computer hardware in a backpack form factor. Especially in the world of virtual reality, wearable and portable VR stations can be quite important. Most current head-mounted displays require incredibly powerful hardware to provide a proper experience. Taking your hardware with you on your back does sound appealing to a growing number of VR enthusiasts.
Whether or not the Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation and docking station will provide that experience, remains to be seen. With an Intel Core i7 VPro under the hood and an NVIDIA Quadro P5200 graphics subsystem, mobile VR applications can be powered with relative ease. Do not expect to play Resident Evil 7 with this backpack, although it is not entirely impossible either. The backpack runs the WIndows 10 operating system and can be paid with any existing HMD in existence.
As one would come to expect from products like these, the backpack will not come cheap. The current ERP is US$3, 299, which doesn’t include the HTC Vive business Edition. Anyone who wants to buy that kit will need to pay another US$1,200. It is evident this product is not designed for consumers unless they have a significant bankroll. Then again, this technology is still in the early stages. Backpacks capable of powering a VR headset are a niche market which certainly warrant exuberant prices, for now.
Considering how this product is not tailored to gaming, it will be interesting to see how it will be received. Virtual reality applications are far less popular compared to games right now. This backpack allows people to utilize the hardware as a VR presentation unit, which can certainly have its advantages. Additionally, commercial and industrial applications can benefit from this technology as well. The dual hot-swappable batteries which make up this unit should not be overlooked either.
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