From Alienware to Zotac, it seems that every computer maker is developing a virtual-reality backpack to work with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. But what about your front? For that, you'll have to turn to Intel, which, according to Tom's Hardware, is working on a VR Vest in addition to Project Alloy.
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The as-yet-to-be-named device is comprised of an Intel NUC miniPC and several fans, fitted into what looks to be a nylon frame. The overall look reminds me of a laser-tag vest. The whole setup weighs about five pounds. Since you'll be carrying a whole PC on your chest, no matter how small, the fans are essential to keep the heating situation under control.
The NUC has been outfitted with a quad-core Intel Core i7-6785R with 8GB of RAM, an Iris Pro 580 GPU and a 64GB SSD. The vest can accommodate an SSD up to 512GB, but Intel suggested that the device might one day support PCIe SSD. In terms of battery, the vest supports a 100 Wh battery, which sits in the front part of the vest, while an additional 20 WH battery resides in the back with the rest of the hardware.
When the battery inevitably starts running low, the large one can be hotswapped. The vest also has some haptic features that will rumble in conjunction with certain occurrences, such as a dinosaur roaring or an explosion.
What's most interesting to me (besides the whole idea of a VR vest) is that Intel plans to use one of its integrated Iris Pro GPUs to power the setup. In my past experiences with Iris Pro, it hasn't delivered the performance that either an AMD or Nvidia GPU provide. So I'm curious to find out how the GPU will deal with the rendering demands that the Vive or Rift will place on it. Hopefully, the vest will make it to the Tom's Guide labs soon.