Sixa Rivvr wireless kit is ready for all VR headsets

While it's still hard to tell if VR is going to become a permanent part of our electronics landscape, the first generation of headsets has pretty much established itself. Accessory makers are now working on ways to cut the headset's wiring. TPCast has a wireless kit for the HTC Vive, while Zotac wants to put a PC on your back and pack it with batteries. Sixa is the latest company to that party with its Rivvr Wireless VR Upgrade Kit. Sixa makes some ambitious claims about its wireless system, saying it's compatible with all modern VR headsets," easy to set up, and has "zero latency."

Where the TPCast Vive-specific kit we looked at recently comes with additional tracking hardware, the Rivvr transmits your movements over 2.4GHz or 5Ghz Wi-Fi connection. In an interview with Tom's Hardware, Sixa CEO Mykola Minchenko says the Rivvr currently adds about 11ms of latency, and that the company expects to bring that down to 6ms by the time the hardware launches. Both figures are well under the 20ms latency marker that John Carmack says is good enough for most people.

Tom's Hardware's Kevin Carbotte writes that he sat in on a video conference session and watched a demonstration in which Sixa CTO Ievgen Nechaiev played with Tilt Brush and Space Pirate Trainer on the HTC Vive, claiming that the kit doesn't appear to introduce any noticable latency. As Carbotte notes, though, he didn't try the kit himself.

The Rivvr will come in two variants: a head-mounted pack that offers 3 hours of battery life, and a belt-mounted unit that can juice up the transmitter for 5 hours. Although Sixa claims the Rivvr will be universally-compatible with all headsets, the company only mentions the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive by name.

According to Tom's, Sixa's main business is "cloud-based desktop hosting." The company would like to eventually use its expertise to untether VR from the PC altogether, offering fully-streamed experiences that require just a headset, the Rivvr, and a Wi-Fi connection. Those of us that use game streaming services may be more than a little skeptical, given their inherent latency.

The two Rivvr models are available for pre-order right now through the company's website. The head-mounted pack offers 3 hours of battery life and goes for $200, while the belt-mounted pack brings the time up to 5 hours and will set you back $250. Assuming the Rivvr lives up to Sixa's claims, it may be the cheapest, simplest wireless VR kit yet. Sixa expects the Rivvr to ship by the end of this spring.

Comments closed
    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    Do these wireless kits pass audio? If so, do they support both 3.5mm jacks and USB headphones?

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      You sound like someone who lacks courage.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Those of us that use game streaming services may be more than a little skeptical, given their inherent latency.[/quote<]No kidding. Your cloud servers are [i<]how[/i<] close to my house? Are you digging your own fiber to my door? Given the, [super<]cough[/super<], [i<]rapid[/i<], [super<]cough[/super<], pace the US cable/tel-cos are taking to deliver higher [i<]bandwidth[/i<], how long do you think it'll take before they do anything about reducing [i<]latency[/i<], particularly when it's a concept they currently don't even acknowledge, let alone know how to market to consumers. (Not that most consumers -- yet -- know or care about it). So, yeah, good luck with that, Sixa.

    • psuedonymous
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Both figures are well under the 20ms latency marker that John Carmack says is good enough for most people.[/quote<] That 20ms is the [b<]total[/b<] motion-photons latency. If you dedicate 11ms to just the transmission medium, then you leave a TOTAL of 9ms for tracking, game logic, rendering, scanout, and display. Effectively you;ve got less than half the time available, so you need DOUBLE the system power for identical performance. TPCast, Sixa, and all these other companies slapping SiBeam WirelessHD modules into boxes and selling them as 'wireless VR' should be steered well clear of. The modules are high power (several watts, not good for battery life) and high latency.

      • Laykun
      • 3 years ago

      This is not entirely correct. Since the latency of the headset is a known factor and we know how long it took to render a frame then asynchronous time warp kicks in tell to the video card how much to offset the image by in the final render pass of a frame. Essentially most of this added delay is hidden with the good prediction algorithms that run behind the scenes with ATW and also ASW ( asynchronous space warp). The interesting part will be knowing if Oculus/htc will make accommodations for these wireless display adapters in their ATW algorithm and predict for the appropriate amount of added lag.

        • psuedonymous
        • 3 years ago

        [quote] Essentially most of this added delay is hidden with the good prediction algorithms that run behind the scenes with ATW and also ASW ( asynchronous space warp). [/.quote]
        The ‘trick’ of ATW & ASW is that they can compensate for the time BEFORE scanout, by being the last operation performed before scanout and using the last possible IMU sample. If you add latency AFTER scanout, it cannot be compensated for by ATW/ASW on the host end. You’re now in forward-prediction territory, and over multi-millisecond timescales that does not work very well.

        While theoretically ATW/ASW could be run on the client side (i.e. the receiver contains an additional GPU), nobody has demonstrated this in practice, and it would dramatically increase expense.

        Neither method would compensate for latency to any game-world object either: head movements would be improved, but hand movements would still have a very obvious lag.

      • rahulahl
      • 3 years ago

      Wouldnt it be 11ms each way?
      If you move you head in a direction, it will take 11ms for the input to reach your PC and then another 11ms for the output to reach your display? That would cause some serious nausea.

      Or is it 11ms combined for both ways?

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    See, that wasn’t so hard

      • hansmuff
      • 3 years ago

      Pipe dreams usually aren’t hard. There are GOOD reasons for the wiring on HTC and Oculus.

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