At Oculus Connect 6, CTO John Carmack spoke about how he “would eventually like” Quest to support PC VR wirelessly, and discussed how this could happen.
Yesterday, Facebook announced Oculus Link, an upcoming feature which lets users use their Quest as a Rift via a USB 3 cable with a Type-C end. Facebook also intends to sell its own high quality optical cable for $79.
But much of the magic of Oculus Quest is in its lack of cable. The ideal scenario, technical limitations aside, would be Quest supporting PC VR wirelessly.
WiFi streaming is already possible on Quest using third party sideloaded apps such as ALVR, however there is some noticeable latency with these solutions. Virtual Desktop even added this as a feature to its Oculus Store build, but this was quickly removed by Facebook for not meeting technical standards.
Carmack stated that it’s “exciting to find out how many tweaks that we’ve got at the firmware level for making remote rendering work better across the existing WiFi links”.
If Quest streaming did work on standard WiFi, it would theoretically also work with a PC in the cloud. However, Carmack was far less optimistic about this, stating that there was no obvious way to make it “a great experience” without a fundamentally different rendering architecture. Thus, Facebook would “probably never endorse” this with current technology.
But even on a local network, the variability in WiFi routers makes guaranteeing the performance of low latency streaming difficult. To eliminate this factor, Carmack suggested the idea of a USB Oculus WiFi dongle which would pair directly to the Quest. With this, the CTO suggested Facebook could make a “super high quality” wireless experience and that he was “pretty excited about that direction”.
We’ll certainly be watching out for a potential announcement of a wireless version of Oculus Link at next year’s Oculus Connect.