One of the hurdles in VR mass adoption remains the issue of oodles of cables necessary for connecting VR headsets to PCs. But with VirtualLink’s latest announcement, it seems that we have taken a step further into the future as a single USB-C connection is expected to replace the tangles of VR cables for connection.
The VirtualLink consortium is led by the leading corporations in VR industry, including Microsoft, Valve, Oculus, AMD, and Nvidia that recently announced that setup time and the process of VR headsets will be reduced significantly. The first-generation headsets, such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, were undoubtedly remarkable devices. But they weren’t perfect. One of the significant drawbacks of these headsets was the cumbersome setup process. With the USB-C standard, a single lightweight cable will replace the multiple cables and will simplify the overall setup procedure.
To match the potential of next-generation virtual reality, the headsets need to have a higher display resolution and support high-bandwidth cameras to track and incorporate AR. VirtualLink is an ideal connectivity standard as it is purpose-built for virtual reality; delivering rich VR experiences through optimized latency and bandwidth demands.
“At Oculus, we’re committed to making VR easily approachable for a wide variety of people. A consolidated connection point is critical in removing barriers to experiencing high-powered PC VR. With the adoption of VirtualLink technology, purpose-built for VR, we look forward to helping push the industry forward into the next phase of VR.”
~ Nate Mitchell, head of Rift, Oculus.
At present, VR headsets are frequented by people who use a computer that can house different connections. However, with the new connectivity standard, it is likely that PC based virtual reality will be brought to smaller devices; reaching a greater number of people than before. Given that they have a USB-C port capable of delivering power and data over a single cable, devices such as smaller laptops, tablets, and notebooks can also access VR.
Since a lot of people are looking towards buying an affordable virtual reality headset, the shift to the single cable connection is a smart move and can tip the scales towards mass adoption of VR. Not only will the open standard advance the interoperability of virtual reality, it will also deliver economic benefits to developers, consumers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and HMD makers.