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Intel shows Merged Reality Technologies at IDF 2016

By: Steven Bassiri | VR in Displays & Projectors | Posted: Aug 25, 2016 11:03 pm

Wireless Possibilities




I had speculated privately with a few VR experts on the feasibility of wireless head mounted displays (HMDs), but the notion was with current mainstream wireless technologies it would be almost impossible to produce a usable HMD. However, Wireless AD is an emerging wireless standard that adds gigabits of throughput on the 60GHz band. WiGi offers 7Gbps of bandwidth with 0.8/1.733 Gbps on the 2.4/5GHz bands and an additional 4.6Gbps on the 60GHz band. Wireless AD, also called WiGig, will provide the right amount of speed for an entry-level headset.



It's safe to assume that most of these wireless HMDs will have some onboard computer to tackle more processing tasks locally. The challenge will be to find the right balance of onboard and centralized processing/rendering compared against battery life and weight. Project Alloy uses a built-in 6th Generation Core processor, but we are unsure of its exact responsibilities.




WiGig device prototypes are already being made and used, and some Wireless AD routers have already been announced. Of course, prices will be on the high-side.



Wired Possibilities




Currently, wired headsets are high performance and require multiple cables. Intel has listed the most commonly used display connections (HDMI and DP) and compared their potential against Thunderbolt 3.




Thunderbolt 3 offers 40Gbps and also provides advanced USB power delivery technologies since it uses the Type-C connector, but I will cover that in more detail later in this article. VR backpacks are also becoming more popular as they remove the need for an external tether, but the tradeoff is extra weight added to the body. As VR/AR/MR becomes more popular, we will see all types of devices from mainstream wireless headsets to high-end enthusiast wired/backpack models.

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