V.R. UNTETHERED

Written by Fred Bailey

3/21/2017

At last December’s HET Festival, NVIDIA general manager Zvi Greenstein, discussing the future of Virtual Reality in his keynote, told us, “We need a wire-free system.”

Now, just a couple of months later, Chinese startup Pico Interactive, with a base in San Francisco, is in the process of introducing an all-in-one system without a wire.

The Pico Neo CV headset is untethered.

There are a lot of headsets out there, but they’re either fixed-position, in which your point-of-view remains the same, or they’ve got a wire that you might stumble over when you’re feeling your way around the environment you’re exploring.

No wire is just about the seventh degree of freedom.

The VP of Business Development at Pico, Paul Viglienzone, notes the drawbacks and challenges facing users tied to a wire and then goes in for the kill:  The Neo CV is grab-n-go.

“There’s no challenge to enter.  You just put it on and you’re in VR.”

He says that’s the way VR ought to be.

“It’s no hassle.  You’re in there.”

The Pico headset, built on a Snapdragon processor with highly accurate inside-out position tracking, won’t be commercially available until later this year.

In the meantime, the company is working diligently with content creators to develop what we all hope will be some exciting VR experiences.

Greenstein at HETFest said it’s a long-term voyage.  We’ll be following VR for years.

Yet Pico started talking about building this headset less than 12 months ago.  It may be a long journey, but it sometimes seems like the technology is advancing with unimaginable speed.

What’s next?  A VR scene on a beach where you can feel the sand between your toes with the smell of salt in the air?