Rumor: Valve is working on a standalone VR headset

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Valve might be working on a new VR headset. A YouTuber discovered clues to a device with the working title Deckard in SteamVR’s source code and in a patent. That would be a standalone VR headset, but there are no details.

YouTuber Brad Lynch discovered clues to the headset after a tip. He found those clues in SteamVR’s source code. Sources within Valve have now confirmed to Ars Technica that the company is indeed working on a headset internally, but it is not yet clear whether that should lead to a product that should eventually reach the store. The headset is internally called Deckard. The first indications for this have been in the public branches of SteamVR’s source code since January. Valve is said to have implemented at least three different proofs-of-concept since January.

Not much information about the headset is known, but there are strong indications that it is a standalone headset that can also be connected to a PC without wiring. This would be apparent from the fact that the code refers to a WiFi 6 adapter with two antennas. Valve would have filed a patent in 2020 for a headset whose antennas would be on both the front and the back of the headset. That would be a standalone headset that allows users to turn their heads without quickly losing connection.

The SteamVR code also talks about an option for ‘a stand-alone layer’. At least in the past, according to Ars Technica sources, Valve has experimented with two types of new headsets, one of which works with a wireless connection to a PC, but also a headset with its own processor like the Oculus Quest has. That headset would also make use of the Quest’s ‘inside-out tracking’. The company would struggle to get that process working properly on the new headset. It is therefore not clear whether the Deckard headset will actually be taken into production and when that would be.

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