Nitero, a company working in the increasingly prevalent wireless desktop VR sector, has just been acquired by AMD.
AMD is best known for its CPUs that power VR-ready PCs as well as popular home consoles, but this news sees the company make a surprising move towards wireless VR headsets. This has become an intriguing new area of the industry ever since TPCast’s wireless adapter for the HTC Vive was revealed back in November 2016. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
In a prepared statement, AMD CTO and Senior Vice President Mark Papermaster said the newly acquired technology was “focused on solving” the challenge of “unwieldy headset cables”. Perhaps, then, we could see the company offer its own wireless adapter for the Vive and Rift, though AMD doesn’t have any announcements today.
At this point it would be easy to pass Nitero off as just one of many companies working in wireless VR, but it’s important to remember that SteamVR creator Valve itself invested a “significant amount” in the team last year, months before the TPCast kit was announced.
Nitero’s tech includes wireless transfer via a 60Ghz transmitter and encoding that streams an image from a PC to a headset’s display. The key here, though, is that Nitero’s solution is said to be low latency, meaning it shouldn’t add much delay between a user moving their headset and the display catching up to where they’re looking. This is a key component of the VR experience, as any noticeable latency can break immersion and cause nausea.
With TPCast’s kit soon set to ship and other contenders like QuarkVR in the running, 2017 is shaping up to be an important year for wireless PC-based VR.