Valve Index users looking for a device specifically designed to cut the headset’s tether may be interested to hear that a new startup is looking to do just that with a Wi-Fi 6E transmitter.

The company claims it achieves the “lowest latency wireless video on the market,” which it says works in up to a 5m × 5m (15ft × 15ft) play area.

Taking to Reddit, Nofio additionally claims its device will be able to do “less than 5ms” of latency, which the company says it was able to achieve in larger test area of 5m × 10m (15ft × 30ft).

Image courtesy Nofio

Nofio says the base transmitter connects via the existing OCuLink connector, and that its on-device proprietary compression helps it achieve such a low latency.

The creators promise a 2+ hours battery life with the supplied battery pack, which is about in line with standalone headsets such as Meta Quest 2 and Pico Neo Link 3. The device is able to support other USB-C battery packs however, so you could either choose a larger capacity battery or simply keep multiple batteries at the ready for longer playsessions.

Image courtesy Nofio

For now, the device only supports SteamVR on Windows, however the creators are hoping to bring Linux support as well at some point.

And why Wi-Fi, and not a solution such as WiGig as with HTC Vive Wireless Adapter?

“We have a 60GHz wigig solution, and there are serious issues with line-of-sight and wireless range,” Nofio says. “We believe the Wifi solution gives a much better experience.”

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Preorders are set to launch through Kickstarter sometime in August, with an estimated delivery window of Q1 2023. Pricing is slated to be between $399 and $499, Nofio says, which will likely position it as an enthusiast-level piece of kit.

Granted, if you already own the full $1,000 Valve Index package, which includes headset, Index controllers, and tracking base stations, you might already consider yourself a VR enthusiast.

We’re still hoping to learn more about Nofio when the company launches its Kickstarter. In the meantime, you can sign up for updates on the Nofio website.

Check out Nofio in action below:

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  • Tommy

    This will make a lot of people happy. Hopefully, it works better than TPcast on Rift.

    • AndroidGuy

      I used my TPCast maybe a dozen times, what a POS. Too heavy, too bulky, only works on one HMD. Now I can’t even sell it that’s how worthless it is. This has the same problem: buying it at this price would make sense if you could use it for any wired PC VR headset, from Rift CV1, Index all the way up to Varjo or Pimax. But no, it’s destined to go into the trash heap when you upgrade your Index to Index 2 or whatever else. I just don’t get it.

      • Tommy

        Totally agree. A universal adapter would be amazing. Can that even work?
        I had to order my TPcast from the UK to the US and soon after ended up getting a different HMD. Mine got used for about 2 weeks.

        • AndroidGuy

          I spoke to the creator of the laser-tethering solution called “Unlink” and they are 100% HMD-agnostic. So yes, it is possible. Either using a hardware box plugged in to your PC or software-based solution (like Virtual Desktop or AirLink).

          You plug in your HDMI cable + USB cables into the Unlink box and it’s like having a wired HMD, so from the point of view of the PC and installed VR compositor software / drivers, it IS a standard wired solution.

          This one could use a combination of software (encoding side) and hardware (headset adapter), so PC -> router -> Rx box -> HMD, or fully hardware-based (PC -> HDMI + USB -> Tx box -> Rx box -> HMD). The latter is cheaper while the latter wouldn’t require any special software, only the default wired software.

          • Tommy

            I wonder what kind of latency Unlink has. That sounds like a decent solution. Would love to use it on my G2!

          • Baldrickk

            This one has an external box for the encoding, so you would just need a different box on the headset if you switched.
            It could even be possible to use an adaptor with the device on a different hmd, as technically, the cable to the headset is just usb + display port + power. You would just need a cable adapter made up to make the connection.

  • jiink

    I wonder how the picture will hold up at 120hz or 144hz. It’s nice that Quest 2’s WiFi streaming supports 120hz, but it gets crusty-looking real fast!

  • kontis

    Cool, but 60 Ghz (WiGig, Wifi AY) can achieve 10x the bandwidth of 6 Ghz (Wifi 6E), which can match HDMI for raw or close to raw video transmission.

    So the question is: how noticeable will be that compression.
    Quest uses typical video streaming that uses vector data from frame to frame to heavily compress (x100), but it’s also some of the most advanced compression developed over decades used by all big corporations and world’s TV standards. It’s not easy to create new proprietary single-frame-only compression with even fraction of that kind of efficiency.

    • Baldrickk

      They’ve said “almost lossless” and from playing around with 4k recordings, adjusting quality/bandwidth settings, I can believe it.

      Maximum bandwidth for 6E is just shy of 10Gbit/s
      Let’s play it safe, and say you can only realistically make use of 20% of that for the stream… (Unlikely to be this low, but bear with me)

      An index has just over half the pixels of a 4k output, but at 120hz has two frames per that of a 60hz display. So a 60hz 4k display is a good enough proxy for bandwidth.

      The maximum stream bandwidth Twitch wants to ingest is 6000Kb/s, or 6Mb/s.
      (We’ll ignore how Twitch and YT re-encode at lower quality settings, so focus on direct recordings)
      Recording at that bandwidth, you _can_ notice artefacts in the image, but really, only when you take a freeze frame and inspect a high frequency area.

      On the other hand, artefacts will be more obvious in VR, given that the image from each eye will end up disparate from the other.

      However, that 6Mb/s is a _tiny_ amount of the avaliable bandwidth. We’re not going over the internet here, but instead peer to peer, locally. Even restricted to 20% of the theoretical maximum, we’re looking at a usable bandwidth of around 3000× what that recording is using…
      That leaves plenty of headroom for less efficient (but lower latency) encoding.
      Knock it down to 2% of the maximum and you’re still talking about 300× more bandwidth than is needed for that maximum twitch ingest bandwidth.

      There’s also the fact that despite calling it proprietary compression, it still may not be _theirs_ – it could be licenced from another company or entity. And it’s with noting that Display Port have been working on this problem for quite a while. And they’re not the only ones. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what is running in here under the hood.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        Very insightful contribution: I was actually worried about the amount of compressions like done by Nvidia and AMD and then this one on top… but you showed there is not much to worry about.

  • NotMikeD

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, as I love high-end PCVR and my Index may be my favorite piece of tech I own, but this feels very much too late and too costly. Everyone’s looking to the next VR headset from Valve right now, Deckard is front of mind for everyone, and the sentiment I read from most people is that the Index is nearing the end of its reign of dominance (it’s already outclassed in resolution by many other readily available headsets); in 2023 we’re expecting to see new offerings from Sony, Apple, Meta, and very likely Valve themselves. “Enthusiast” or no, spending half the cost of what was already expensive package on a 3YO+ headset in 2023 will be a very tough pill to swallow.

    • kontis

      WiFi 6E wasn’t available earlier, so this type of solution that avoids both: high frequency reliability issues and heavy temporal compression problems of limited bandwidth solutions was technically not possible before, at all.

      They are obviously targeting low quantity production and maximizing profit margins. Probably the smartest business choice they could do right now.
      FTB VRChat addicts and content creators can easily justify it and none of the competing products you mention (except from Valve) properly support FBT tech.

      The case of Tundra Labs’ trackers (the demand still exceeds the supply despite the criticism of high price when it was announced) proves that this community is big enough to make these products successful even at enthusiast-targeting pricing.

      The irony of VR industry is that the biggest VR hardware buyers are some of the worst game buyers, because why spend $20 for a new game when you spent $2000, so you can sit in front of the mirror for 12 hours a day in a free app?! ;)

    • dogtato

      counterpoint, because the index has lasted for three years (apart from buying replacement controllers) it’s not that big of an ask for an upgrade. higher resolution is a more expensive upgrade when you consider the PC needed to power it.

    • ViRGiN

      truth be told, index was already outdated on day 1.

      • NotMikeD

        Oh my God, yes we get it, “Quest good, PCVR bad!” Please just move on—with your comments, with your life. Getting very sick of all that noise here.

        • ViRGiN

          fuk off you fanboy. stop getting triggered. get back onto your own discord where you can control the narrative.

          • NotMikeD

            Right stop mistaken people’s annoyance with the same predictable messaging as “being triggered.” These are not the same, I know that’s your goal. You are not achieving it.

          • ViRGiN

            i’m annoyed with “your” pcvr is not dead because you are using it. so what?

      • Peter Dulong

        I take it you don’t own one! If you did you would see it’s really good.

        • ViRGiN

          if you weren’t so blindfolded, you would know it’s outdated on release date, selling for premium price.
          i dont give a flying fuk about your personal feelings.

          • Jeey Ghshs

            No one gives a flying fuk about your personal opinion either.

  • Ad

    This is too late, unfortunately. Also I think wigig could have worked if it was ceiling mounted.

    • XRC

      Visited a holocaust memorial experience a while back running 3 x Vive Pro wireless side by side.

      Very impressive performance with attenna mounted on overhead gantry housing PC above the entrance to each user space

  • XRC

    Wanted updated wi-gig (2) solution (801.11ay) with ceiling or attenna transmitter.

    It’s been ratified after 5 year delay, and Intel chipsets are now available for OEM. FCC product safety approval could take several months.

    Index at 144hz and 100% resolution (2880×1600)= 15.9 Gbps

    Doubtful wi-fi 6e can provide that without noticeable compression?

    I’d have paid similar money as the Vive wireless adapter, but only for wi-gig 2

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I wonder how well it fares compared to the wirelessmodule for the Vive Pro (v1). Also wonder how the wireless visuals are compared between the HTC and Quest 2. Can’t remember any review comparison.

  • Wow, Index users look to “Cut the Cord”. Only $500 extra.
    (Quest 2 users look on with a smug smirk)

    • Let me type in all of the angry Index user’s responses so they don’t have to:
      “The Index has a better field of view” (by a tiny percentage)
      “The Index has better build quality” (based on your personal tastes)
      “Valve made it! Gabe Newell is my personal god”
      “Facebook BAD! Grrrrr” (sure, why not?)

      Or, if they were more honest:

      “I paid alot of money for it, I choose to believe it’s better, and I DEFINITELY don’t feel like a sucker having massively invested in an over-priced, under-preforming headset. Sometimes I just use it purely out of spite for how much more a $300 Quest 2 does”

      • Tommy

        Not an Index owner so I don’t really care but the FOV difference is HUGE between the two. One is around 90 and the other is 130. It also has nice off the ear audio, high refresh, better comfort, better tracking, and better controllers. They both have LCD, which I don’t care for.

        • philingreat

          I prefer the Oculus touch controllers. The placement of the thumb stick on the Index controllers is so off from were I naturally have my thumb, it’s super uncomfortable.

      • Cless

        Sure, its not like… you know, base station tracking is objectivelly superior in all specs than Facebook’s solution lmao

        • ViRGiN

          in what fuking universe!?
          fuking valve fanboy. yet annother annoying pcvr-propagandist. get educated!

          In this paper, we aim to fill the gap by comparing SteamVR Tracking and Oculus Insight in a 5m × 5m room scale setup, using state of the art hardware (i.e. the Oculus Quest 2, SteamVR base stations 2.0 and High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) Vive Trackers Version 2018). The results reveal a significantly higher accuracy for the Oculus Quest 2 compared to SteamVR Tracking in the height of a tracked object. Furthermore, the Oculus Quest 2 tracks its position with substantially higher precision than SteamVR Tracking. Based on the results, we conclude that the Oculus Quest 2 is suitable for a wide range of applications in research and industry, particularly considering its lower acquisition costs, higher mobility and easier setup compared to SteamVR Tracking.

          • Cless

            First of all, source, since that could be your uncle writing after drinking 2 whiskeys. Second, even if true, precision is the least of its worries, we would be talking tracking in the sub cm/mm range.
            I haven’t heard that many people losing track on base stations, while plenty of people I’ve heard complaining about exactly that on the Quest 2.

            Third, I can add extra trackers if I’m using base stations, which give access to a lot more cool features, can the Quest 2 tracking do that? What about occlusion, how do Quest 2 cameras hold up on that scenario?
            Come on man.

          • ViRGiN

            i don’t give a flying fuk about your mentally ill superiority. the paper is clear. google up a part of the quote above. are you so retarded that you do not realise providing links in the comment section is not possible? your brain has been clearly damaged by a fallen lighthouse.

          • Cless

            The paper! All bow for the paaaaper!

            Read the paper, you moron. I’m sure that 5mm of standard deviation makes THE WORLD of difference when using it lmao

            Definitely worth giving away you know, the lack of massive occlusion issues and the ability to have trackers on your body. Call me crazy, but I will chose the later lol

            Dude, I don’t even have an Index and couldn’t care less about it, its just pathetic to see your fanboyism for Facebook over, and over, and over man, get a different hobby

          • Tommy

            Lighthouse tracking will ALWAYS be better than inside out tracking. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s been proven over and over again.

          • Cless

            Yeah, its just the only way of getting proper tracking from anything the actual headset is occluded from.

          • Tommy

            Even though the tracking is better, I still prefer the inside out tracking due to the ease of set up.

          • Cless

            That is fair indeed, plus you can move it from room to room if you feel like it, while LH… not so much.

          • ViRGiN

            LMAO got milk?
            got triggered?

            now go ahead and tell me that adding base station is adding more accuracy and precision.

            fuk off. scratching your butt is a real benefit for vr tracking? fuk off.

          • Cless

            Jesus man, you should definitely contact a salt company, you could carry their whole yearly budget with the amounts you have.

            It does add accuracy and precision, even if the quest 2 has better (5mm SD) precision on height, how good is it when you can occlude the controllers tracking so often and easily? Those moments don’t count to you? Come on. Base stations have many disadvantages, but more reliable tracking is their definitely strong suit.

            So… go buy some better arguments, and get some uppercase letters since you’re at it, seems you run out of any that aren’t L, M, A or O.

          • ViRGiN

            it doesn’t do fuking anything, other than covering more of the flaw in technology – blind spots. but in realistic scenarios – quest 2 covers them all with nothing extra. that is, unless you’re the kind of guy to scratch your butt in vrchat for minutes on end

          • Cless

            Dude, I have an itchy butt okay? Very disrespectful of you to point that out here out here in public! I thought I told you that in confidence!

            But on a serious note, it is very noticeable in some games/programs, damn, I even lose track sometimes using LH, 2 bases aren’t infallible, 3 do cover even those weird cases though.

          • ViRGiN

            none of what you said above… makes lighthouse tracking any damn better. stop repeating the myth of it’s superiority.

          • Cless

            Except for the part that absolutely supports it, like it barely having any occlusion issues, unlike the Quest 2 or any other headset that uses that kind of tracking (on the market at least). And that is with the standard 2 bases, put a 3rd one and it becomes practically perfect too, even if pricy.
            On top of that, being able to do body tracking and track other objects you want with trackers, which the Quest 2 flat out can’t do (which is fine, that’s why its way cheaper too).

          • ViRGiN

            except once again the only use case is to scratch your butt in vrchat for others to see.
            lighthouse is outdated. deal with it. stop trying to paint it as superior solution when it is not. 100 lighthouses will never give me a coverage like a single quest 2 does. it just keeps track, and track, and track, and track, and track. kilometer long walk in vr? no problem! steamvr doesn’t even support that LMAO.

          • Jeey Ghshs

            Now we know why you’re a fuking ViRGiN still.

          • ViRGiN

            You lost your virginity because of rape or what? Why are you jealous?

      • nedo

        hehe, as a Index user i must say the FOV is really great, had the G2 for a weekend from a friend just to compare it. G2 view is so crisp, but the FOV is crap (feeling i had blinders on). Was flying IL-2 and after half hour i changed back to Index. And after 3 years running i’am more then happy with the purchase, because i still use the lighthouses i bought 2016 with the HTC Vive.

      • NotMikeD

        Oh no what is this ViRGiN’s alt account? Look the Quest 2 is a great piece of kit and objectively great value for the price. No one should feel badly about owning one. I own one myself. But I also own an Index, and no one ever regrets a dollar spent on that device. I own both, have no axe to grind here, but I will say that every day I reach for the index while the Quest collected dust once I finished RE4. Quest is my preferred platform for Ancient Dungeon, Walkabout, Echo VR, and maybe someday Compound. For any other experience, the benefits my Index far outweigh the price of the wire.

        • Cless

          Yeah man, hopefully one day this tech becomes so cheap we get to combine both to get the best of both worlds.
          Also, there is something wrong about ViRGiN lately, he feels almost like a different person. He writes differently and is way more aggressive too…?

  • Cl

    Its about time. Index has been out a while though and they have a high price for this. I might have bought this and the index if it was 2 years ago. Also since they are only doing the kickstarter right now, they should make it wifi 7. Maybe they could justify the price.

  • John Grimoldy

    I’d be happy with an Index extension cord at a fraction of the price. 2 hours is too short. If you have a belt-mounted or backpack extended battery to go beyond 2 hours, then you still have a damned cord, right?

  • ZeePee

    The Index is already a brick. And then to add this onto it….

    Must take it over 1kg lol. Outrageous weight.

  • Frozenbizkit

    long sold my Valve Index.. Little late at this point.

  • Carnel

    imo it’s too late and too expensive, especially with the index next generation coming soon.