Intel’s new Project Alloy may be a platform for a wireless virtual reality headset that packs all of the computer hardware into the headset itself. But good luck fitting everything you need for a truly high-end 3D gaming experience into a space that small.
Still, a number of companies have been developing systems designed to let you experience virtual worlds without tripping over cables running from your headset to a PC. HP, Zotac, MSI, and Dell have developed VR-ready PC-in-a-backpack systems that you can wear.
Now Intel is showing off a VR-ready PC that you can wear like a vest.
That actually makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. A vest allows the PC components to be distributed more evenly across the front and back, so you don’t feel the urge to hunch forward while lugging a heavy computer around on you back.
Intel’s vest computer is still just a prototype, so it’s not clear if it’ll ever come to market (or inspire PC makers to adopt such a design). But the prototype has an Intel Core i7-6785R Skylake processor with Iris Pro 580 graphics, 8GB of LPDDR3-2166 MHz RAM, solid state storage, and two separate batteries in different parts of the vest.
But theoretically, it would allow you to plug an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or similar headset into a computer that you’re wearing… so everything moves when you do, including the headset, PC, and all the wires holding everything together.
Sure, you’ll look silly to anyone nearby who isn’t wearing a computer on their body. But you’ll be able to move about real-world spaces in 3 dimensions while interacting with virtual environments.