The answer is no but it’s one of the best solutions we have right now. Kwikvr is another wireless dongle to be rolled out for the VR headsets with a guarantee on low latency for the connection speed over a 5Ghz bandwidth, which is a business connection dedicated to a game. As mentioned, it’s the best solution we have so let’s talk about that for a moment.
Cell phones before Cell phones
I doubt many people remember this but the wireless capability for a cell phone didn’t first come on the cellphone itself. Yes, wireless communication was definitely built into the enormous brick we called a “portable” device, which seems comical now. Instead, I’ve talking about a phone being developed to access the internet. It came out built into the phone for consumers, but, for developers, it was a dongle for a long time. This was because no company wanted to make the equipment fully integrated into the gear until the necessities were made. It had to connect to the internet without wires and it had to be faster than a dial up connection, because otherwise people would just use their computers and not a sellable data plan.
VR is finding the Best Wireless Hardware
Part of making the grab to be the best is about the competition and what they can do to achieve the best connection. If the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift made a move towards some integrated hardware and the hardware was shoddy at best, it would ruin the company as their competition would be praised more. This is why you have not seen the hardware built directly into the HMD as we all want and, instead, you have wireless dongles attached to battery packs. The market is currently deciding which gear is the best gear, so the gear with the most amount of positive feedback and sales will likely be the one that signs on to a company. This is a wireless fight that everyone sees as a flood of accessories because there are so many out there that realize that whoever lands the spot for integrated hardware for these machines is the company who will not only go down in history as being the first but will also become apart of a business that stands tall for a long time, like Asus and Acer (one is great quality while the other one is cheap).
12ms is a Horrible Standard but Better in Competition
It really is when you think about how fast a hardwire connection is at 0-1ms. Just opening up the command prompt and typing in ping www.google.com will bring you a ms count of how fast it takes to send a packet to a server owned by Google in an unknown location. Ping is how fast it takes one device to send data to another device. Just look at my ping when I did this.
As you can see, it only took about 30ms to send my data to some connection somewhere in the world and get a response. Now shorten that distance to your bedroom and try to justify 12ms knowing the difference in distance is at least a mile if not more. By the way, I am on a wireless connection. A wired connection would be much faster than this.
The Best Solution We have Right Now
Right now, wireless dongles are the best solution we have to the issue of getting rid of the wire that attaches us to the computer. When we talk about a 90 FPS refresh rate, we’re talking about around 0.0011 ms a frame. Now we’re gonna get into some math to show you why this is important. It takes 12ms to send the information to keep playing the game. When they say 12 ms of latency, that means it takes 12ms for the computer to receive the communication and send a response back. If we take 0.012 and divide 0.0011 into that, it means out of 90 frames we will miss nearly 10 frames. In a full minute, that means of the 5400 frames that could happen, around 600 frames (10 frames) were dropped. It’s nothing to laugh off, certainly, but it’s not bad enough to where we can make a noticeable difference. That is why it is the best solution right now, but there is room for improvement.
The Kiwikvr comes with a four hour lifespan on the battery, which is rather good compared to its competition. While it may have a high latency, it is definitely welcome to the wireless dongle competition and the technology will only get better as they try to lower the amount of latency even further while pushing the amount of power consumption even lower. This is not only good for the VR industry, but for all portable wireless technologies.