Experience Oculus Rift & HTC Vive with a Single Cable

Joanna Estrada
July 21, 2018

The consortium has published an advance overview of the VirtualLink specification, available for anyone to take a look at over on VirtualLink's website.

An industry consortium lead by Nvidia, Oculus, Valve, AMD, and Microsoft have today introduced the VirtualLink specification which is an open standard for next-generation VR headsets to connect to PCs and other similar devices with a single high bandwidth USB Type-C connector, forgoing the mess of cables that have traditionally plagued VR gaming. Effectively eliminating the necessity for a range of various cords and connectors. New Connectivity Features Will Open VR to a New Audience With the introduction of a single USB-C wire, Virtual Link will effectively cut down on the clutter that most VR enthusiasts have to deal with on a daily basis. The new VirtualLink will allow devices like tablets, light notebooks, and laptops to experience Virtual Reality.

"Simulating reality requires incredible visual fidelity and processing power".

Connecting your VR headsets to your computer will soon be simpler and easy as it will only need a single cable.

"At Oculus, we're committed to making VR easily approachable for a wide variety of people", said Nate Mitchell, head of Rift, Oculus.

The current setup process limits VR to PCs that can support multiple connectors. It's a consolidated connection point, it's purpose-built for VR and will help "push the industry forward" into its next phase.

Why Is This Standard Necessary?

What this means for future VR headsets is that they will have consistent connections regardless of the manufacturer. As you'd expect, being designed for virtual reality, it's also low-latency in terms of data transfer speeds. There's USB 3.1 data for high-res cameras and sensors, and a huge 27W of power on tap with the new VirtualLink specification. Separate cables will no longer be required for USB data and display data, for example. A new industry group wants to change all that with a new USB Type-C alternate mode called VirtualLink. Essentially, the remaining four USB 2.0 pins can be turned into another pair of high-speed differential lanes according to Anandtech.

The USB-C connector can even enable VR headset use for other devices.

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