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There are VR headsets that you can use without being tethered to a desktop computer, like the Samsung Gear VR headset, the Google Cardboard headset, and the Google Daydream View headset, but those only feature rotational tracking, not positional tracking. Conversely, there are VR headsets that feature both rotational tracking and positional tracking, like the Oculus Rift headset and the HTC Vive headset, but they require being tethered to a desktop computer.

But my question is, are there any commercially available VR headsets that both have positional tracking AND do not require being tethered to a desktop computer? Such a headset would have to use so-called "inside-out" positional tracking, where instead of using lasers or other external sensors, the positional tracking is done from within the VR headset or within the phone connected to it.

I'm aware that various demos for this kind of headset were showcased in CES 2017 this month, but are there any that you can buy right now? Again, I want something that you can use anywhere, even if you're not near a computer.

EDIT: Just to give an indication of what I'm looking for, here are some examples of inside-out tracking VR headsets which are NOT commercially available yet:

So as you can see, there's currently an arms race between major tech companies as to who can come out with a product first.

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    There are none available yet, but I found 3 that are expected in the first quarter of 2017 - Rivvr, kwikvr, and TPCast. Estimated prices on all three range between $200 and $300. Only the Rivvr has preorders currently available. The TPCast sold out it's preorders in 18 minutes back in November 2016. I can provide a more detailed answer once the accessories are available. – Andy Jan 24 '17 at 4:50
  • @Andy All three of those products still require connecting to a desktop PC, it's just that it's a wireless connection rather than a wired connection. I want a VR headset doesn't require being near a desktop PC at all, akin to the Samsung Gear VR, except with positional tracking. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '17 at 6:24
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    @KeshavSrinivasan So you want a VR headset that performs like the Rift or Vive, but has the same portability as a Cardboard headset? The hardware differences between the two make it seem very unlikely that anything like that will exist in the near future. – BigElittles Jan 24 '17 at 16:55
  • @BigElittles There were tons of demos for exactly that kind of thing in CES 2017 this month. (Just Google CES and inside-out tracking.) So the technology definitely exists, I'm just trying to find out if it's commercially available yet. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 24 '17 at 16:59
  • @BigElittles I found one that's available for pre-order and is coming out in March 2017; see my answer. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 25 '17 at 16:24
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So far I've only found one VR headset which features inside-out positional tracking and does not require connecting to a desktop computer: the Occipital Bridge. It's $399, only works with iPhone 6 or later running on iOS 9 or later, and is capable of both virtual reality and mixed reality. It ships in March but is available for pre-order now.

Other answers are welcome.

EDIT: The shipping date for the Occipital Bridge has been moved to April 28.

EDIT 2: The shipping date has now been moved to Mid-May.

EDIT 3: It was finally released on May 26.

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  • Technically isn't connecting to a smartphone a computer connection? Smartphones today are essentially handheld computers with the added ability to make phone calls. – NZKshatriya Jan 25 '17 at 16:36
  • @NZKshatriya Sure, but I'm just trying to find a VR headset with positional tracking that you can use anywhere as long as you have a smartphone, i.e. something like Samsung Gear VR except with positional tracking. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 25 '17 at 16:40
  • Just checking. Just curious, but are you by chance a developer, or just an end user? If an end user, the question would be what is there on the smartphone VR market that takes advantage of positional tracking? Personally, I am waiting a few years before joining the VR movement. Done the early adopter thing too many times lol... Remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy? I should have seen that flop coming. Luckily my 1st gen, first run Xbox One had no issues. – NZKshatriya Jan 25 '17 at 17:10
  • "Nintendo Virtual Boy" - God I had this thing... such a bad device... people say VR has to have a certain frame rate to avoid nausea... that thing had 7 frames per second... – BigElittles Jan 26 '17 at 14:46
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    @NZKshatriya I recently had a smart phone break on me, went back to the old flip phone. I have to say, I really like not having the entire world in my pocket. It keeps things simple and less distracting. – BigElittles Jan 30 '17 at 18:43

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