Last month, HTC quietly announced a peripheral called TPCast that professed to provide wireless functionality to the Vive VR headset, which ordinarily requires you to be tethered to a PC with a thick, lengthy cable. Designed and built by a startup inside HTC’s Vive X accelerator program, it’s only available to order in China for now, but it’s coming worldwide soon and is at CES this week. I just tried it out. Does it work? Yes.
Because of the immense bandwidth required just to get a high enough framerate on the Vive headset itself, I was expecting wireless VR to be quite a bit further away than this — even wireless monitors aren’t really practical just yet. But the TPCast works without much, if any, noticeable lag. There were occasional skipped frames, but that could have been down to tracking interference in a crowded demo area; I sometimes see similar minor glitches with my own Vive setup at home. The best thing I can say about the TPCast device is that, through a series of varied Vive demos from an educational science app to a fast-paced first-person shooter, I often forgot I was using it.