Zotac's new product puts a PC inside a backpack to make VR a more mobile experience

By midian182 ยท 9 replies
Apr 26, 2016
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  1. I’m a huge fan of virtual reality, but when I used the HTC Vive for the first time I found the trailing wires to be a bit of an issue. The problem is one that many people notice, especially during those games where users often make 360-degree turns.

    But now a solution may be at hand in the form of the Zotac Mobile VR - a mini PC jammed into a backpack that makes tripping over headset wires a thing of the past.

    PC specialist Zotac has stuffed one of its Zbox Mini PCs into a standard backpack as a way of bringing new levels of mobility to the Vive and Oculus Rift. The company hasn’t said which Zbox will be included, but it’ll obviously be high-end enough to handle the headsets’ requirements; it would be a surprise to see it contain anything less than a GTX 970 or equivalent.

    "No longer will you need to worry about tripping over cables or tangling your legs up as you finish your graceful 360," the company wrote in a blog post.

    "This mobile solution not only removes the bulk of connecting to the large traditional computer towers of old, but also allows the user to roam freely in VR with their undivided attention. This innovative solution includes a system powerful enough to drive VR, and a portable battery pack to keep you going."

    Zotac hasn’t revealed much else about the product, so we still don’t know how much it will cost, the launch date, battery details, and weight. But until technology advances to the point where it’s possible to connect VR headsets to a PC wirelessly, Zotac’s solution may be the best way to increase the feeling of immersion when in virtual reality space.

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  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,648   +1,091

    It needs to get much smaller and easier to carry. the best thing would to integrate it with the headset.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,318   +1,967

    I wonder how similar this will be with the Google 360 camera's we can currently see .....
  4. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    How will the computer keep cool and what's the expected battery life? I could easily stick my ASUS ROG in my backpack and walk around with my Vive, but I'd expected it to last all of 45 minutes or to melt a hole in my backpack.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    it would be a fairly simple process to add fans to a backpack designed for such task. weight and battery life would be big concerns. mostly battery life.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Good start but a from-the-ground-up engineered solution would be awesome. Custom designed modular battery packs to power the machine and proper cooling. I imagine a nice solid custom chassis that can be put inside a custom backpack or a well-modified backpack that will not jostle about too much during fast and intense physical movements. With modular batteries and quick chargers I would think you could get several hour gaming sessions in with only a couple minute breaks in between to swap out batteries. Only difficulties after this are physical space and reliable motion tracking.
  7. Spence1115

    Spence1115 TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +39

    Considering the current state of play requires an NVidia 970 to power it, it's gonna be a long time until it's all built into the headset.

    I mean, I agree with you, but it's not happening anytime soon/for a remotely affordable price.
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I thought one of the points of VR was that you could go places without going places. This seems completely and utterly pointless.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    Here I am thinking it would be best to make the headset a wireless display with sensors. That way you can have a remote machine do all the processing.
  10. Jester747

    Jester747 TS Rookie

    Just what I was thinking, imagine these on your local high street!
    Arris likes this.

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