vr

Make Your Own Wireless VR By Just Wearing the Whole Dang Computer

Erika Ishii and Teagan Morrison turned an HTC Vive and a gaming laptop into a wireless VR backpack.

Samantha Cole

Screenshot via Twitter/@erikaishii

By design, many virtual reality games require a lot of flailing around. When you’re fending off demons or space aliens, it’s important to have some range of movement. That's hard to do with most VR headsets, which are connected to the computer with a long USB cable.

Erika Ishii, host and producer of gaming news show Geek and Sundry, and game designer Teagan Morrison, created a DIY solution to this problem by turning an Alienware laptop into a VR backpack. By connecting an HTC Vive to a laptop strapped to a backpack frame and wearing the whole rig, the user is untethered and free to flail as they please.

Ishii tweeted a video demonstrating their creation while playing Space Pirate Trainer, a shooting game:

Third-party wireless adapters already exist for the Vive, and the company announced its own wireless solution that’s set to ship later this year. There’s also already VR backpack on the market by MSI, but it costs more than $2,000 and looks way less cyberpunk than Ishii’s version.

“I know wireless adaptors are on the way for Vive but we got impatient and figured since we had the equipment to homebrew one we would try it!” she said on Twitter. “It really feels next level.”