VR ready PCs are expensive, and can only really power one headset at a time, making them a tough sell for many. But what if one PC could run not one but four VR headsets?
As impossible as that sounds, Nvidia is showcasing such a device at the GPU Technology Conference this week. The company is exhibiting a box that houses four of its Quadro P6000 GPUs which is linked to four HTC Vive Business Edition headsets. Each Quadro is also running a virtual machine on a server, allowing each VR users to act independently. Tracked with the same lighthouse stations, everyone wearing a headset can move around in the same space, creating multi-user local VR experiences.
In a blog post, Nvidia explained that its box had been optimized to minimize space, power and cooling, making the system portable and easy to deploy. Obviously multi-user VR comes with its own set of issues, like making sure users don’t trip over each other’s wires. Perhaps other technologies such as TPCast’s wireless adapter for the VR headset could be beneficial here.
It’s on display at GTC with a multi-user architecture, engineering and construction experience from MonsterVR, while Cavrnus will show it with a design, engineering, training and education app. NVIDIA’s Kaye and Fred Devoir are also delivering a talk on how they developed the system at 10:30am PT today.
Obviously such a behemoth wouldn’t be viable for the consumer market for years, but this could be a great way to get VR into more offices and educational facilities in the near future. Nvidia’s itself suggested the kit could first go to amusement parks and arcades as well as be applied to military and manufacturing industries. To that end, the company is allowing others to apply for a design guide so that they can build their own systems, though not just anyone can get their hands on it.