HTC Vive Cosmos FCC Documents Confirm It’s Not A Wireless Headset

by David Heaney • January 30th, 2019

HTC’s upcoming Vive Cosmos VR headset has now received FCC approval. The FCC is a US regulatory agency with responsibility over wireless frequency use.

FCC filings publicly disclose the exact wireless frequencies a device uses, as well as the peak power output of each.

The filing finally puts to rest the speculation as to whether the Cosmos would be a wired or wireless headset. The only listed wireless frequency is 2.402-2.48 GHz with an ultra low 2.5 mW power output. This is identical to the frequency and power output the Vive and Vive Pro use to communicate with their tracked controllers.

vive cosmos FCC filing
Image from FCC filing

Controllers send a relatively tiny amount of data compared to wireless VR. The WiFi connection on the Vive Focus is in a similar frequency yet draws 558.5 mW – over 200x as much. And even that still wouldn’t be enough for high quality wireless VR.

Both the Vive and Vive Pro received FCC approval roughly four months before launch. However the Vive Focus had a delay of 7 months between approval and (western) launch.

At the Cosmos announcement event HTC was already describing the headset as “tethered”. However there was no cable visible. This led to speculation that it could have either optional wireless or that they could mean the headset was wirelessly “tethered”.

We reached out to HTC about this filing and a representative told us that at launch the headset will connect by “a tether to the PC similar to other Vives on the market today”. While HTC may well be planning a wireless adapter for Cosmos, what we know now is that the headset won’t have wireless built in.

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