Back in July companies such as Nvidia, Oculus, Valve, AMD and Microsoft announced the VirtualLink consortium to introduce a new specification high-bandwidth USB Type-C cable for virtual reality (VR) headsets. Today, HTC Vive has confirmed its now part of the group.
The VirtualLink is a new open industry standard that aims to make the connection of VR headsets to PC’s as easy and seamless as possible. Currently, depending on the headset setting up a PC-based VR headset can be overly tricky, especially as they all have different amounts of cables. With VirtualLink there would be just one cable for everything, a USB-C “Alternate Mode” connector which includes support for four lanes of HBR3 DisplayPort for high-resolution displays, USB 3.1 Gen2 (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps) for headset cameras, and sensors and up to 27W of power delivery.
“At HTC, we strive to make the best VR experience with crisp resolution, audio, and ergonomics for our customers,” said Daniel O’Brien, HTC VIVE GM for the Americas in a statement. “Through our work with VirtualLink, we are working to define not only a connection standard for future VR products but are also undertaking important work to help to define the future of what VR can be.”
And with fewer connections to worry about it would mean VR headsets could connect to a wider variety of devices such as laptops or notebooks, which may further encourage VR use.
“We’re thrilled to welcome HTC VIVE to the consortium of leading companies committing to VirtualLink,” said Rambod Jacoby, Chairman of the VirtualLink Consortium and Principal Technologist at NVIDIA, one of the consortium’s founding members. “VirtualLink is not only streamlining the cords needed for a high-powered experience, but also helping make the next phase of VR more accessible to even more people.”
There are no further details on when the VirtualLink standard will be employed.