Alienware is no stranger to trying to challenge the status quo with gaming technology. Indeed, they’ve reshaped the PC in many different ways, even helping bring the so far stalling SteamOS into the mainstream. They’re also experimenting with a way to make VR a truly mobile experience, sans the massive desktop you might normally be tethered to.
Alienware’s new VR backpack can help you walk into more walls
The idea is a sound one, letting you truly move about a large, hopefully controlled area, while wearing a VR backpack that’s full of the necessary computing power. It’s smart, if a bit premature. You’ll still have to be relatively tethered to the wall considering that battery technology may not be up to the task of keeping everything running. At least it’ll be very uncomfortable with the amount of lithium ion battery on your back.
Alienware is working directly with AMD in order to make truly wearable VR. In a similar, though more powerful, vein as the Sulon Q wireless VR headset with a mobile APU running it all. In this case they have a CPU of some kind, likely of the mobile Intel variety, combined with an AMD RX 480. That’s a 150W desktop class GPU strapped to your back. It’s a nice idea and a burgeoning market, for sure, but I’d think we need some more safety measures in place before these become more common. I can just see a future of people accidentally falling off of balconies or even into rivers with these on their backs.
Once battery tech comes around, these could be a lot of fun in a safe environment. But it’s early yet. This won’t be maturing anytime soon. It’s nice to see the innovation nonetheless.