I had the opportunity to see what HP is bringing to market in the realm of Virtual Reality at the Technicolor Experience Center in LA. Some of the highlights were the new HP Z Backpack as well as various workstations VR Ready, VR Desktop, and something they call Project Mars.
Having an opportunity to see an early prototype of the backpack...I really liked what I saw today with their new VR Backpack they just announced. The overall design was more streamlined compared to the earlier version I saw. The upper and lower straps were able to hold the computer on your back comfortably while feeling solid with a gap between you and the computer to reduce heat. The fins along the sides allow the air to pass out and it's rather quite compared to similar backpacks. The computer itself will quick disconnect from the vest to allow you to dock it like a desktop when it's not being worn on your back. The batteries have a nice quick locking disconnect that are hot swappable. There is also a battery internally that can continue to power the computer if both batteries go down...giving you enough time to swap them for some fully charged batteries and still continue to have the VR experience but in a throttled state. I was told that the batteries in their charger would get them from discharged to 80% charged in one hour or about 2 hours for 100%. There is also a way to strap the goggles onto the front strap to allow you to remove the goggles but still have it attached to the backpack. When docked this can serve a desktop VR machine with multiple I/O so this can be a versatile machine both on the desktop and as a wearable. Also a first the GPU inside is powered by the latest mobile Nvidia Quadro P5200(speed is on par with a desktop Nvidia 1080). The CPU inside is the latest 7th generation Intel i7 core V-Pro so nothing should slow you down. Overall this is a very well designed VR backpack surely to find itself on a lot of desktops and of course on user backs.
More info below from HP.
New VR portfolio, including the world’s first professional wearable VR PC, makes HP the partner of choice for immersive customer experiences
“Virtual reality is changing the way people learn, communicate and create,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. “Making the most of this technology requires a collaborative relationship between customers and partners. As a leader in technology, HP is uniting powerful commercial VR solutions, including new products like the HP Z VR Backpack, with customer needs to empower VR experiences our customers can use today to reinvent the future.”
The opportunities for commercial VR are limitless for businesses in product design, architecture, healthcare, first responder training, automotive and entertainment. Emerging technologies like VR create breakthrough experiences for customers – from reinventing the buying experience in automotive showrooms to changing the way hospitals train their staff.
HP’s Winning Approach to VR
HP’s approach to virtual reality is founded upon its rich history of product innovation and deeply rooted customer relationships. HP works as an extension of its customers’ businesses, which enables it to deliver the most immersive technologies that help businesses lead their industries. HP technology not only provides commercial-grade reliability, but also established world-class partnerships that bring together the complete VR ecosystem with Intel, NVIDIA, Technicolor, HTC Vive and others.
The company is investing in immersive virtual and augmented reality technologies to give customers and partners superb tools for commercial VR use cases. This effort solidifies HP’s long-term commitment to VR and helping customers use VR to reinvigorate their business. Thirteen immersion centers will open later this year in Palo Alto, Houston, Boise, Fort Collins, Stockholm, London, Paris, Barcelona, Boeblingen, Beijing, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore, and have been designed so customers can have an immersive experience using HP VR technology and receive consulting and learn how to best deploy VR devices within their business to streamline workflows.
The Mobility to Transform – HP Z VR Backpack
The HP Z VR Backpack solution provides the freedom to move and maintain total immersion with high-octane visual performance and docking capabilities that transform it into a manageable, powerful desktop PC experience. The HP Z VR Backpack is a catalyst for more powerful VR experiences across many enterprises and businesses including the following use case examples:
• Businesses can use VR to deliver safe and effective simulated training in dangerous environments, in medical training or for heavy/large equipment operations. In all these environments costly mistakes can be avoided with effective VR training solutions using the HP Z VR Backpack.
• In architectural building development, virtual walkthroughs at scale for client reviews can help quickly close the deal.
• In product development where product concepts are reviewed, executive agreement and sign off for new product styling can be done in virtual product showrooms.
• In commercial entertainment, new location-based entertainment centers featuring exhilarating virtual reality experiences can now be realized with the HP Z VR Backpack.
With the workstation-class HP Z VR Backpack, the full potential of VR is brought to-life. HP’s fully immersive and untethered VR Backpack is light with an ergonomic backpack design and hot swappable batteries to provide unrestricted freedom within an immersive experience. It has high-end processing power and the latest high-fidelity graphic solution to help prevent disruptive dropped frames so users can work in VR for as long as needed. The Intel® Core™ i7 vPro™ processor provides the power to process applications quickly and includes the vPro chipset. The HP Z VR Backpack is the first wearable VR PC in the market with the NVIDIA® Quadro® P5200 with a huge 16GB video memory3. Finally, its docking solution lets digital creators quickly transition back and forth between high powered desktop for content design and wearable VR PC to validate creations. The HTC Vive™ Business Edition HMD (sold separately) is part of the HP VR portfolio. HP Z VR Backpack is scheduled to be available in September starting at $3,299 USD. The datasheet is available here.
The HP VR Product Portfolio
HP’s versatile, high-powered devices empower customers to create and consume VR content. HP’s commercial grade products are designed for mission critical business applications that require high levels of security, manageability, reliabilty and ISV certified applications.
The HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation delivers ultimate power and performance and can be configured with the optimal horsepower and graphics solutions to bring VR content to-life in an ultra-smooth 90 FPS VR experience.
HP Z Desktop Workstations are designed to create visually stimulating, accurate and compelling VR content. HP Z Workstations desktops feature the latest processors and graphics cards and are built to stay quiet, cool and reliable for graphic-intensive tasks.
The HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Tower, a VR-certified PC, features high performance and expandability in a stylishly redesigned 26 percent smaller chassis for the modern workplace. It is ideal for companies wanting to future-proof their technology and deliver state-of-the-art capabilities.
The OMEN X Compact Desktop brings gamers an immersive experience. The factory-overclocked GPU from NVIDIA and versatile form factor means it can dock and undock quickly for gaming anywhere or can be used as a backpack for an untethered consumer VR gaming experience.
HP also announced HP Mars Home Planet, a project in partnership with NVIDIA, Technicolor, Fusion, Autodesk®, Unreal, Launch Forth and Vive. The collaboration will create a global online co-creation community to reinvent life on Mars for one million humans, in virtual reality.
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1. Based on wearable VR PCs as of July 20, 2017. Based on backpack VR PCs with Intel® vPro™, TPM 2.0 and Windows 10 Pro OS as of July 20, 2017. Multicore is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. Performance and clock frequency will vary depending on application workload and your hardware and software configurations. Intel’s numbering is not a measurement of higher performance. Some functionality of vPRo technology, such as Intel Active management technology and Intel Virtualization technology, requires additional 3rd party software in order to run. Availability of future "virtual appliances" applications for Intel vPro technology is dependant on 3rd party software providers. Compatibility with future "virtual appliances" is yet to be determined.
2. Based on HP’s unique and comprehensive security capabilities at no additional cost and HP’s Manageability Integration Kit’s management of every aspect of a PC including hardware, BIOS and software management using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager among VR Backpack vendors as of May 2017 on the HP Z VR Backpack with 7th Gen Intel® Processors.
3. First PC on the market with an NVIDIA® Quadro® P5200. First as of July 20, 2017.