As virtual reality becomes more popular, there's a growing interest in systems more powerful than current devices like the Samsung Gear VR. Others just want the ability to use their HTC Vive or Oculus Rift without the fear of tripping over or yanking out a wire. HP is working on just such a solution: the Omen X by HP VR PC Pack.
Expanding on its Omen line of gaming laptops, desktops and monitors, HP is working on a concept prototype that will be publicly debuted to developers in approximately 30 days. In its current form, the backpack weighs less than ten pounds and consists of an ultraportable desktop attached to an external battery.
The whole contraption gets strapped to your back and, according to HP, can last for up to an hour on a charge. That's plenty of time to get totally immersed in whatever virtual world you're exploring.
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But if you find you need more time to roam, the backpack can carry two additional hot-swappable batteries, which reside along the detachable waist straps. And when the inevitable swapping takes place, a small interior battery will keep the system running so you can pick up where you left off in the game.
If the images are any indication, the Omen X is going to be one slick-looking customer when it debuts. It appears that the system will incorporate some form of the shadow mesh material used on the recently announced Omen laptops. The trademark Voodoo emblem, flanked by a pair of large, red straps, stares out defiantly, daring you to strap up and game on. The Omen logo sits subtly at the top as an understated contrast to the crimson symbol below
The ports in the preliminary images include a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, a power button and jacks for a power cord and pair of headphones.
When you're not meandering around the virtual world. HP envisions VR aficionados transforming the Omen X from an odd, but cool-looking backpack into a powerful desktop. As someone who has strapped a 17-inch laptop to her back in pursuit of a more mobile PC experience, the Omen X backpack could potentially revolutionize the current VR arena. However, I'm going to excitedly reserve my judgement until I get a chance to suit up with the system myself.