It doesn’t take a genius to see how much faster and more intuitive digital design would be with full-body interaction.
At the current stage of Virtual Reality (VR) development, there’s a massive push to design objects that are meant to be used in the real world. Be it cars, motorcycles, or just some crazy 3D printed design, the intuitive aspects of VR are hard to ignore from a design perspective. The idea of using virtual reality tools in designing 3D models is just too compelling to resist. That’s why HP has designed the Z VR Backpack. Unlike other virtual reality backpacks that are targeting the VR enthusiast, this one is primarily designed to be used by 3D modeling professionals. By wearing a backpack, as opposed to being connected via cables, designers will be able to move around freely as they design 3D objects. This “cable free” experience is made possible by having the HTC Vive’s HMD Port directly on the backpack.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of using the backpack is that it comes with a dock as well as batteries that can be swapped on the go. Developers can stay in VR for as long as they wish (provided they have enough battery replacements) and when needed they can instantly switch over to a desktop environment. It will also likely help to keep things in flow via Miracast that enables support for a wireless external display. In theory, it sounds like the computer could handle both VR and a desktop environment simultaneously, but there’s no official statement regarding on this from HP.
The backpack comes loaded with some serious hardware. It is the first PC on the market to carry the Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU with 16 GB of memory, on top of that it has an Intel Core i-7820HQ processor. The chipset is an Intel QM175 and it accommodates 32 GB DDR4 RAM. You can choose between 256 GB to 1 TB of internal storage. Aside from the dedicated HTC HMD port, it has a whole slew of other ports, including one for USB Type-C and one for HDMI 2.0. In terms of OS, the backpack comes with Windows 10 Pro 64 already installed.
As you may have guessed, this hefty package comes at a cost. As a whole, the HP Z VR Backpack will retail at US$3,299 and becomes available starting this September.