Backpack PCs aim to unchain consumer VR experiences0 Comments
With eager gamers and tech enthusiasts across the globe gearing themselves up for the VR revolution, some companies are considering ways in which to make their machines more accommodating to virtual experiences. And since virtual reality headsets are essentially computers mounted to the head, some manufacturers are now looking into making personal computers that strap to a user's back.
So far, it looks like both HP and MSI are working on specially-designed backpack-based computer systems. MSI's offering is titled the BackPack PC, and sports an Intel Core i7 processor paired with an Nvidia GTX 980 graphics card. On the other hand, HP's machine offers users an i5 or i7 processor and up to 32GB RAM, but there's not yet any word on which graphics options will be available.
Of course, since these are mobile machines meant to give users freedom of movement during use, they're designed to not be tethered down to traditional wall-mounted electrical sockets. Naturally, that mean's they're battery powered — or the HP is, at least; the details on MSI's Backpack PC are quite slim, but it's fairly safe to assume that it's also battery powered. Getting into specifics, HP has revealed that their machine will be primarily powered by two belt-mounted batteries, one powering the CPU and the other powering the GPU. Altogether, the two batteries should account for about one hour of use — not exactly impressive, but as time moves forward, this figure will likely improve.
While the idea of a back-mounted computer certainly seems novel, it isn't actually too far removed from what consumers are used to seeing today. There are already a host of VR-capable laptops, and while they most assuredly won't function in top form if they're stuffed inside a backpack, they do satisfy vis-a-vis mobility. If VR truly takes off, chances are good machines like these two will act as a springboard for further refinement of human-mounted computer systems.
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