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This $220 add-on makes your HTC Vive headset wireless

by Killian Bell | November 11, 2016November 11, 2016 5:13 am PDT

HTC Vive with TPCAST add-on

One of the downsides to high-end virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive is the cables that get in your way while you’re trying to enjoy an immersive gaming experience. But with this $220 add-on, you don’t have to worry about wires anymore.

Built by TPCAST but approved by HTC, the add-on makes your Vive headset completely wireless. It connects to your PC over-the-air, allowing you to roam freely without tripping over any cables. It’s also easy to set up, HTC says.

Alvin Graylin, regional president for HTC China, adds that the device makes no “noticeable difference” to things like latency and picture quality, so you don’t have to worry about it having a negative impact on the Vive experience you’re used to.

“The fact that this was developed in such a short time, and delivers such high quality is remarkable,” Garylin told UploadVR after demoing the add-on. “It will allow Vive customers worldwide to gain untethered mobility in VR from their existing devices, while satisfying the biggest feature request of potential PC VR customers.”

The downsides

But there are a couple of downsides. Like most wireless devices, the TPCAST is powered by an internal battery, and that offers just one hour of use in between charges. The device is also priced at 1,499 RMB (approx. $220), while Vive itself is $800 if you don’t already have one.

What’s more, TPCAST is only available for pre-order in China for now, though you can claim one with international shipping — as long as you don’t mind paying even more for it.

If you don’t mind waiting, TPCAST should be available in other markets soon — and as noted by UploadVR, similar peripherals that make Vive wireless are also in the works.

UploadVR HTC TechCrunch

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...