TPCAST Offers A Wireless HTC Vive Experience, But Costs $220

Virtual reality (VR) is all the rage right now and the landscape is starting to be carved out a lot more with the greater degree of VR-based options that are now available to consumers. For instance, just this week saw Google’s approach to VR, Daydream, launch with the first Daydream-ready headset, the Daydream View, becoming available to buy. However, while Daydream looks to offer a good mobile alternative to consuming VR content, if you do want the real deal experience, you still do have to opt for one of the big-hitting headsets, like the HTC Vive.

However, while the Vive offers one of the best-in-class experiences, it is not without its problems. One of the most notable being that the device requires the headset (and the user) to be tethered to a PC. Which can impact on the overall experience. That is, unless you happen to pick up TPCAST. This is an accessory for the HTC Vive and one which looks to take the whole experience to a wire-free level. TPCAST does this by connecting over-the-air to a PC, although what you again in freedom-of-movement you do lose in time - as the TPCAST comes equipped with a battery which only offers one hour of usage before needing to be recharged again. However, if an hour is enough for you, then TPCAST might be an accessory worth checking out.

Besides the battery limitation, there are also a couple of more caveats in place. The first is that this is a unit that is currently only available in China. According to reports, it is expected that TPCAST will become available in other markets soon, although no firm details on when that might be have been provided. The other major caveat is that like the HTC Vive in general, TPCAST is not exactly the most affordable option. While you will pay close to $800 for the Vive, the TPCAST is priced in China at 1,499 RMB - which works out to be around $220, over a quarter of the cost of the actual Vive and that is without taking into consideration that you need a fairly decent PC to begin with. So while it is not the most affordable option, or even the longest-lasting option, if you do want the best-in-class VR experience then it would seem that Vive coupled with TPCAST is a step in the right direction.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]