VirtuaLink: New Open Industry Standard for Next-Generation VR Headsets

VR Headsets Single Cable

Instead, the company plans on deploying a single USB-C connection that will take care of all data transfers and native device interactions.

'At Oculus, we're committed to making VR easily approachable for a wide variety of people, ' adds Nate Mitchell, head of Rift at Facebook-owned Oculus VR, of the standard.

This single cable spec relies on the USB Type-C connector's "Alternate Mode capability to effectuate different data protocols such as Thunderbolt 3 data or DisplayPort and HDMI video coupled with its power delivery support". It should also make VR experiences much easier with smaller devices like laptops and notebooks.

Shiraz is a VR enthusiast and audiophile who in his spare time loves to stay abreast with all of the latest happenings in the world of music and technology.

"VirtualLink enables next-generation VR headsets to connect with a PC or other device using a single, high-bandwidth USB Type-C connector", the consortium said in a statement.

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With the data bandwidth, display, and power, VirtualLink will introduce a new level of immersion in VR. However, USB-IF introduced some changes to the USB-C alternate modes previous year.

VirtualLink might not have happened if all those major VR players hadn't banded together. VirtualLink allows for four high-speed HBR3 DisplayPort lanes, which are scalable for future requirements; a USB3.1 data channel can support streaming data from high-resolutions sensors and cameras as well as up to 27 watts of power.

KitGuru Says: This is a good move that will hopefully help cut down on the clutter of VR headsets and improve ease of use.

VirtualLink is an open industry connectivity standard for VR that was developed by a group of leading silicon, software, and headset manufacturers. However, it will be a while after that before virtual reality headsets start using the technology. The members of the consortium tout VirtualLink's open nature and the fact that it's "purpose-built for VR", including considerations for latency that more general display and audio standards might not account for. Customers planning to buy a VR system now will have to wait for the hardware to release in order to buy this single USB cable.

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