With HTC Vive and Oculus releasing their new headsets, VR is approaching a critical tipping point in the media. We are talking about a truly immersive interactions, and the sense of presence.
Why a laptop?
Moving a 30lb PC, screen, and all the assorted cables can be done, but, being portable will enable me to work remotely, showcase my work, and to educate. It’s still doable without a tower, but setup time, space requirements, and risk of damage during transportation raises. The flexibility and portability is what makes this setup desirable.
What’s my setup?
- HTC Vive
- The 2016 New Razer Blade 512GB
- A pair of light stands
- A pair of head pivot attachments for the sensors
Break it down!
Having an Oculus DK2 and trying the Vive is what did it for me. The biggest win was the lens. In the Oculus, you can feel that you are looking through these massive lenses, and I would see lens color aberration. Seeing this kept reminding me that I was still in VR. However the Vive, once you put it on, you forget that you have it on. There would be situations when I would see a bright light, and I would immediately try to cover it up with my arms, realizing how dum I must look like from the outside, I pretend I was pressing something with the controls.
You really lose yourself in VR.
The Vive controllers are well refined, when you move them, you see the controllers move in VR instantaneously! So you’re easily free to click around your surroundings at really fast speeds.
There are other beastly laptops out there, but for the value, the Razer Blade won by a large margin. It has a pretty fast graphics card in laptop standards, an NVIDIA GTX 970M with 6GB virtual memory. And the processor is top of the line Core™ i7–6700HQ Quad-Core Processor. All this in a form factor of a Macbook Pro. The 14 inch touch screen is almost 4k resolution and it should be fun to actually select items from the screen.
What really makes this ultrabook special is that Razer has developed an external GPU. So I can attach a top of the line desktop graphics card, like the GTX 1080 and my laptop would be able to push out pixels like 2001: A Space Odyssey’s “Star Gate” scene straight into your eye balls.
Light Stands/Swivel Heads
The lights stands are for the base stations, the “kinect” sensors that sense track your location and rotation in the space. The swivel heads are so you can angle the base stations down.
That wraps up my setup, I haven’t tried it yet, but in theory everything should work out.