For the longest time, virtual reality enthusiasts have been looking for wireless HMD solutions. Until this week, that seemed highly unlikely, unless one settles for a mobile headset. Intel is coming up with a wireless HTC Vive add-on, which will be launched in the near future. Now is a good time to look at what the DisplayLink XR has to offer, and how it will change virtual reality.

The DisplayLink XR Add-on In Brief

When one thinks about wireless VR headset add-ons, imagination runs wild. It is seemingly impossible to turn a tethered solution into an untethered one without losing performance. After all, the HTC Vive is connected to a powerful computer to render the VR graphics. Severing the connection will undoubtedly impact the overall VR performance. Then again, Intel wouldn’t be Intel if they hadn’t thought of ways to address these concerns.

More specifically, the DisplayLink XR should not be underestimated. Intel boasts this add-on reduces latency to under 7ms, which is quite impressive. Then again, that alone won’t make it all too appealing to the everyday consumer anytime soon. One has to see it to believe it, after all. The DisplayLink XR sits on top of the HTC Vive headstrap, although the prototype is not necessarily “convenient” by any means.

What is rather remarkable is how Intel’s add-on effectively provides a wireless connection between the HTC Vive and your computer. There is no need to use the cables at any given moment. During the first initial impressions, there appeared to be no slowdowns, stutter, or connectivity issues whatsoever. Do keep in mind these are still the early stages of development, but for now, the technology seems rather promising.

The bigger question is when the DisplayLink XR will become available. No price has been announced either, albeit it is safe to assume it will not be a cheap product. Intel is clearly leading the charge for untethered VR solutions without degrading performance right now. Then again, mobile VR headsets are starting to make their presence known as well. The VR ecosystem could get competitive over the next few months, that much is certain.

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