Something to look forward to: The ideal high-end virtual reality platform will be wireless but we're not quite to that point yet. In the interim, something like the VirtualLink specification feels like a natural next step and is far more practical than those backpack PCs.
Future VR headsets won’t require the range of cords and connectors in use by today’s flagship devices. A consortium of companies including AMD, Microsoft, Valve, Oculus and Nvidia recently introduced the VirtualLink specification which uses a single, high-bandwidth USB Type-C connector.
VirtualLink connects with VR headsets to simultaneously deliver four high-speed HBR3 DisplayPort lanes, a USB3.1 data channel for supporting high-resolution cameras and sensors and up to 27 watts of power. It’s purpose-built for VR, optimized for the latency and bandwidth demands of next generation VR experiences.
The group says the new connection, an Alternate Mode of USB-C, will simplify and speed up VR setup time. It’ll also bring immersive VR to smaller devices such as thin and light notebooks, devices that aren’t necessarily readily compatible with high-end VR headsets because they lack the necessary number of ports.
The consortium has published an advance overview of the VirtualLink specification, available for anyone to take a look at over on VirtualLink’s website. Details on the upcoming VirtualLink 1.0 specification are upcoming, we’re told, although a timeline for its launch wasn’t provided.