On Tuesday, HP announced a wearable virtual reality (VR) solution for the enterprise that puts an entire PC in backpack form. The HP Z VR Backpack, announced via press release, is both secure and manageable, while offering an untethered form factor beneficial to any commercial applications.
VR is "changing the way people learn, communicate and create," Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager for Z Workstations at HP, said in the release. In the enterprise, VR is being used in product design and prototyping, architecture, healthcare, manufacturing, training, and more. It also provides a new customer experience as well, the release noted.
VR training, for example, offers a way to simulate dangerous environments for workers without putting them at risk. Architects can use VR to perform a walkthrough of a new building design, while customers get a new way to demo products and services, the release said.
SEE: Research: Virtual and augmented reality in the enterprise [download] (Tech Pro Research)
While the backpack offers high quality performance on the go, it can also be docked to be used as a desktop as well. The HTC Vive Business Edition HMD, which is sold separately for $1,200, is used with the backpack to create the VR experience, the release said.
The HP Z VR Backpack features an ergonomic design, and has hot swappable batteries so users can continue using it without interruption. The backpack PC has an Intel Core i7 vPro processor and the NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU with 16GB video memory, the release said.
The HP Z VR Backpack will be available in September 2017, and will start at $3,299.
As part of its efforts to engage with the greater VR ecosystem, HP has partnered with firms like Intel, NVIDIA, Technicolor, and HTC. Additionally, the release said, 13 immersion centers will open around the world in 2017, providing demonstrations of the technology and business consultations.
HP also unveiled a new collaborative VR project called Mars Home Planet—a partnership with NVIDIA, Technicolor, Fusion, Autodesk, Unreal, Launch Forth, and Vive, to use VR to imagine what life would be like on Mars.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- The HP Z VR Backpack is a wearable PC that is used for commercial virtual reality (VR) deployments.
- The backpack has an Intel Core i7 vPro processor, an NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU, and hot swappable batteries for continued performance.
- The HTC Vive Business Edition HMD can be used in tandem with the backpack to create VR experiences for the enterprise.
- Why 2017 could be a big year for AR and VR in business (TechRepublic)
- AR to be key to business, as VR lands with consumers, says IDC (ZDNet)
- Build 30 Mini Virtual Reality Games in Unity 3D From Scratch (TechRepublic Academy)
- Why VR's success is years away (ZDNet)
- Virtual reality for business: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.