VR Air Bridge USB Dongle Officially Announced
D-Link has officially announced its new VR Air Bridge dedicated USB dongle, a dedicated Wi-Fi connection for Quest 2 wireless PC VR gaming.
The dongle was first leaked in April after a software engineer discovered a code referencing it in the Oculus PC drivers. The manual for the USB dongle was later uploaded to Manuals+.
Quest already has an Air Link Quest feature that enables the headset to function as a PC VR headset through a Wi-Fi network. Air Link was launched as a software update early last year. However, there have been other third-party alternatives such as ALVR and Virtual Desktop, all of which have been available to users ever since the original Oculus Quest was released in mid-2019.
However, there are some issues with the use of your home Wi-Fi network as opposed to a dedicated dongle. For instance, the signal degrades based on the distance from the router or depending on the obstacles such as solid walls. Also, if there are too many devices connecting to the Wi-Fi network and which congest the network, some frames can be dropped or delivered late to the headset.
The idea of a Wi-Fi dongle has been around even before the introduction of Air Link. Meta consulting CTO John Carmack once described the need for a Wi-Fi dongle that runs custom firmware for wireless virtual reality.
The VR Air Bridge’s spec sheet indicates that it connects to a Meta Quest 2 headset through a 5GHz Wi-Fi 6. It also connects to a PC via a USB 3.2 Gen 1. The dongle generates a “high-throughput and low-latency dedicated point-to-point Wi-Fi link” thereby bypassing both network connection and signal propagation problems.
In its marketing pitch for the dongle, D-Link throws a jab at Virtual Desktop with the caption ‘Sharing isn’t always caring’ to depict the poor signal quality on a congested network. Developer Guy Godin responded to this by stating that his Virtual Desktop app had demonstrated that “wireless PC VR was viable in the first place”. Godin also described the VR Air Bridge as “overpriced”.
There are no details on the pricing and the launch date yet. However, keep an eye on the Meta Connect event on October 11th.