Alongside its reveal of the TPCast Plus product range, the company also announced plans to bring their wireless technology to Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ VR devices. With the intention to transition into an OEM business model, TPCast is creating a reference design to support all WMR headset manufacturers.

As explained in the official press release, TPCast wants to “accelerate the development” and integration of wireless adapters into Windows Mixed Reality HMDs by “creating a reference design for the VR module in order to support all VR HMD OEMs and manufacturers.” TPCast intends to licence their patented wireless technology by offering an OEM reference design.

“We are delighted that TPCast introduces this powerful platform design in the field of Wireless VR,” says Michael Liu, CEO of TPCast. “This platform possesses high video quality and low latency performance like the other TPCast products, and will support the current WMR and other 3K/4K resolution HMDs.”

HTC's Vive Wireless Adaptor to Support Both Vive and Vive Pro at Launch

TPCast notes that the self-contained, ‘inside-out’ tracking technology employed by all Windows Mixed Reality headsets adds extra demands on data transmission, suggesting that a single wireless channel is unable to carry both video and tracking data. Claiming to deliver the “highest data bandwidth in the VR industry,” TPCast says their multiple-channel 60GHz solution overcomes the problem.

It appears that the WMR wireless VR module will match the improvements found on the upcoming TPCast Plus system for Vive and Rift, with a simple installation process that is “plug-and-play” and “router-free”.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Michael Slesinski

    who the hell wants more weight on their head!? would it REALLY be so hard to just make the unit a utility belt situation?

    • Shawn MacDonell

      The transmitter needs line-of-sight with the mounted receiver, the battery pack can be used on a belt-pocket design if it’s the same base style as the current Vive model.

      This is called early adoption. If you don’t want to deal with the added weight and likely hefty price tag, then you in no need need to purchase the device. I expect built-in wireless for 2.5th or 3rd generation hardware in the early 2020s.

      • Michael Slesinski

        does it need line of sight? if so thats kinda pointless. it CANT be that hard to just make a more powerful version of the things that news casters or musicians use on stage for their mics, yea its obviously more bandwidth but a bigger unit wouldnt bother me strapped to the small of my back. built in wireless seems a bit further off than that to be honest, unless they are going to have it taking up like 4 usb ports + the hdmi port to accommodate all the bandwidth.. plus whatever interference is going on inside the head set with it not being grounded.

        • compwagon

          4 USB ports? Why would the wireless solution require any more connections to the PC than the wired one? It’s just a matter of transmitting the HDMI signal in a high-fidelity, ultra-low-latency way. And yes, for the foreseeable future, that will require line-of-sight.

          • Michael Slesinski

            “TPCast notes that the self-contained, ‘inside-out’ tracking technology
            employed by all Windows Mixed Reality headsets adds extra demands on
            data transmission, suggesting that a single wireless channel is unable
            to carry both video and tracking data. Claiming to deliver the “highest
            data bandwidth in the VR industry,” TPCast says their multiple-channel
            60GHz solution overcomes the problem.”

            as much as i have heard people cry about vr sickness the only game that has even remotely disoriented me is eagle flight.

          • compwagon

            That’s because most games now are well aware of the limitations of VR. Earlier tech demos on DK2 were sometimes much more nauseating, and that’s more analogous to what you would see with non-60GHz wireless video.

          • Michael Slesinski

            but.. i WANT it! i may be partially immune because of the fact, but i grew up playing descent and forsaken and even more recently i played games like neon xsz in 3d just to try and lose my bearings because i actually miss that feeling.

          • Mos Eisley

            VR sickness can be caused by multiple things. Bad IPD adjustment for one, and the fact that your character moves in VR, but your body doesn’t feel it for another. The wrong IPD adjustment can cause pretty bad migraines, and the part about not feeling your body move can cause motion sickness. It’s a serious issue when it happens.. it’s not ‘crying’ about it.

          • Michael Slesinski

            stop calling it “vr sickness” then and call it what it is, a weak stomach. wrong IPD isnt game developers faults any more than motion sickness is.. but its not going to stop pansies from giving games thumbs down on steam because “it made me vr sick” ..which IS crying. its NOT a “serious issue”, show me somebody actually dying from “vr sickness”.. yea, it isnt going to happen so it is NOT serious. its hard not to laugh at you kids.. its like you are buying speed boats and then crying about the speed and the motion sickness.

          • Mos Eisley

            lol… Whatever you say, He-Man. :P

          • Michael Slesinski

            the only joke here is your stupidity.

          • Mos Eisley

            lol… you get so triggered, so easily. You really need to get laid.

          • Michael Slesinski

            did you know.. when people see somebody start a sentence with “lol” they are fully aware of the fact that there is a giggling half-wit on the other side of the screen? if anyone here is “triggered” its your pansy ass, because you HAD to take a stand about what a “serious issue” motion sickness was.

            as for my sex life you can go ask your mommy about it kid, and yes we all know you are some millennial retard kid or you wouldnt start sentences with “lol” or talk about people being “triggered”. i suggest you put a call in to your uncle and go get fucked.

        • Caven

          It’s not about power. The problem is that 60GHz is very easily blocked by barriers.

          Think of 60GHz kind of like light. Have you ever seen a light so powerful it could shine through a thin sheet of aluminum foil? A flashlight won’t do it, a car headlight won’t do it, a searchlight won’t do it, and the sun won’t do it. that sheet of aluminum is only as thick as a sheet of paper, but it might as well be a brick wall as far as light is concerned. 60GHz suffers from similar issues, and due to the physics involved, trying to brute force it with more power won’t solve the issue.

          And really, the weight is a non-issue. Despite its size, the TPCAST receiver is very light. I have one on my Vive, and even though I know it’s attached to my headset, when I’m wearing the Vive I can’t feel the presence of the TPCAST receiver at all, and I’m the sort of person who experiences irritation on top of my head when I wear padded headphones for too long.

          • Michael Slesinski

            but.. if you cant spin around 360 degrees without losing signal its “virtually” meaningless. or.. am i the only one that sees that? to create something that is supposed to grant freedom, but have it only grant partial freedom is kind of useless to me. 60 ghz should be able to penetrate a piece of tinfoil.. or atleast go around it.

          • Caven

            By putting the receiver on top of the head, you CAN spin around 360 degrees, because that ensures line of sight to the transmitter. The Vive and Rift already require line of sight between the headsets and base stations, so it’s not like the TPCAST requires any additional effort in that regard. I haven’t had to do anything special to experience full freedom of movement with the TPCAST. Once everything is up and running, it just works, no matter which direction I’m facing. Your complaints about losing signal with 360-degree movement would only happen when mounting the receiver low enough for the body to occlude it.

            As for what 60GHz “should” be able to do, physics imposes hard limits on those sorts of things. 60GHz may very well get through aluminum foil, but the human body is over 2000 times thicker. It is possible to reflect 60GHz, but it loses a lot of energy every time it bounces. Boost the signal enough to overcome that energy loss, and you may very well end up generating your own interference–or broadcasting loud enough to require FCC licensing. And 60GHz wasn’t chosen arbitrarily. It can carry uncompressed video signals that lower frequencies can’t. Picking a frequency with good penetration characteristics means lower bandwidth, which requires compression and decompression, which introduces another source of latency. There are ways to combat that, but that comes at the cost of battery life and more expensive components.

          • Michael Slesinski

            im glad you are so versed in this area. IS that the reason for sticking to 60 ghz? to avoid having to deal with the fcc? i use windows mixed reality so i have no sensors to deal with, so needing line of sight seems a bit more than stupid to me. obviously i can see why you wouldnt want a frequency able to penetrate the entire earth itself, but surely there is a way to make it so it can function even in an enclosed space. it seems to me i may as well just stick to running the cable hanging from the ceiling if im going to need line of sight anyways.. though i think if it were me i would STILL have made the unit go on a belt and then have the antenna or whatever the transmitter needs by it self on the hmd. hopefully another 10 years will sort it out.

          • William A. McDonald

            60ghz is so it can transmit lagless image/audio, it was originally devised to replace wifi, but failed as there was no way to get it to transmit through walls. It transmits a TON of data very quickly, much faster than wifi or 4g tech. So much so that you can partially block it’s signal with your hands and enough will still get through not to interrupt your signal. Part of the reason for 60ghz is the robustness of it’s highspeed signal. It just can’t go through walls or an entire human body.

          • William A. McDonald

            It’s a signal not an IR light. It transmits in 360 degrees. It’s like your wifi router or an broadcast antennae. by placing it on top of your head, you cannot fully block the signal, even if you tried to over it with your hands. VS placing it on a belt, where it will always have your body to go through for 180 of it’s transmitting degrees.

      • Tom33334444

        no way 2020 is going to be 3rd gen

    • brandon9271

      They could’ve made the battery clip to your belt and just have the transmitter on your head but then you’d have a wire from your belt to your head that would get pretty annoying. They probably figured that would be less elegant than a self-contained unit.

  • Braycen Jackwitz

    Is this actually going to be a third party accessory? Cause this sounds more like a reference design for OEMs to build into the headsets themselves. The latter sounds cool, but we’ll have to see how well it takes off now that Intel’s thrown their hat into the wireless VR game.

  • Caven

    “TPCast notes that the self-contained, ‘inside-out’ tracking technology employed by all Windows Mixed Reality headsets adds extra demands on data transmission, suggesting that a single wireless channel is unable to carry both video and tracking data. ”

    That’s because the video is coming from the PC, and the tracking data (which on a Mixed Reality headset is also video) is coming from the headset. That means two transmitters and two receivers. This is already how other versions of the TPCAST work (there’s a 5GHz transmitter in the battery module). The difference is that in other versions of the TPCAST, they can get away with 5GHz for transmitting data from the headset, but for the Mixed Reality version they’ll probably need 60GHz.

    The benefit to that is that the people who are afraid of getting 60GHz brain damage from wearing a TPCAST can finally fear a unit that actually transmits 60GHz from the head.

  • hugorune

    Don‘t get it. Why don‘t they support PSVR??

    • mirak

      Because you need to install software on the computer/console side.
      Also it should not be needed if there was a wireless usb standard for pc, but we don’t even know what protocol the PlayStation uses to transmit wired data.

      Also people would want to move around and the camera tracking would be lost anyway.

    • William A. McDonald

      Also PSVR is kind of terrible.

  • Yes, inside-out tracking adds a lot of complications for wireless adapters…. there’s a lot more data to be transmitted…

  • kontis

    I don’t see this as feasible until MR headsets incorporate self-contained computer vision to analyze the camera feeds inside the headset.

    Adding latency, compression and lowering reliability to raw camera feeds, which THEN have to be analyzed on the PC is asking for troubles.

    • brandon9271

      It would make more sense to calculate the position with a CPU inside the headset and then simply transmit the coordinates. If mobile devices can do it then it’s completely feasible. I wish they’d make a standard alone “mobile” VR headset that also could be tethered to a PC either with HDMI or wirelessly. Seems like that’d be an easier sell if a device had a duel purpose.

    • God_Medic

      Well, there is actually not any noticeable latency at all, the two cameras are B&W, and also are a very low resolution, not to mention the high bandwidth of USB 3.0! My point is, I own a Windows Mixed reality headset, and have not noticed any latency what soever.

  • Holger Breiner

    no support no help is worst company…forget this solution for your vr gaming…is grap