Enabling wireless virtual reality

A new cordless virtual reality device consists of two directional
A new cordless virtual reality device consists of two directional "phased-array" antennas, each less than half the size of a credit card. Future versions could be small enough for users to have several in a single room, enabling multi-player gameplay.
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One of the limits of today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets is that they have to be tethered to computers in order to process data well enough to deliver high-resolution visuals. But wearing an HDMI cable reduces mobility and can even lead to users tripping over cords.

Fortunately, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have recently unveiled a prototype system called “MoVR” that allows gamers to use any VR headset wirelessly.

In tests, the team showed that MoVR can enable untethered communication at a rate of multiple Gbps, or billions of bits per second. The system uses special high-frequency radio signals called “millimeter waves” (mmWaves) that many experts think could someday help deliver blazingly-fast 5G smartphones.

“It’s very exciting to get a step closer to being able to deliver a high-resolution, wireless-VR experience,” says MIT professor Dina Katabi, whose research group has developed the technology. “The ability to use a cordless headset really deepens the immersive experience of virtual reality and opens up a range of other applications.”

Researchers tested the system on an HTC Vive but say that it can work with any headset. Katabi co-wrote a paper on the topic with PhD candidate Omid Abari, postdoc Dinesh Bharadia, and master’s student Austin Duffield. The team presented their findings last week at the ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets 2016) in Atlanta.

Read the full story here: https://www.csail.mit.edu/enabling_wireless_virtual_reality