HP TECH TAKES /...
Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Meet the New HP VR Backpack G2
November 18, 2019
Saving the princess (or prince), successfully completing a mission objective, beating the last boss, venturing through a side quest - these are just a few of the exhilarating, addicting aspects of playing a PC game.
Gaming has evolved into a sophisticated art form over the last few decades and spans a variety of genres. From traditional first-person shooters, strategy games, walking simulators, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), adventure games, and many, many more subgenres, the choices for gamers are ever-expanding. Virtual reality has further transformed the gaming landscape and set a new bar for entertainment.
As a gamer, you expect the best when it comes to your gaming experience. Immersive visuals, smooth gameplay, and cinematic sound are all important facets to making gaming more engaging and fun. Don’t cheat yourself out of amazing gameplay by settling for less than you deserve. The HP virtual reality (VR) backpack G2 is here to make all of your wildest gaming dreams come true.
VR moves beyond gaming into industry
But the HP VR G2 backpack isn’t just a device for gamers, it’s also a capable training tool for both corporate workflows and design simulations. The possibilities for this roaming-friendly VR device are virtually limitless. Public art installations, architectural walk-throughs, and other simulated experiences are now within grasp. Built for both commercial and home use, this virtual reality technology is changing how gamers play, architects design, and how customers interact with different kinds of products.
Read on to learn more about this revolutionary device and get one step closer to the simulated experience of a lifetime.
How is VR technology changing?
Before we dive into how historic the HP VR backpack G2 is, it’s important to understand where virtual reality came from. The concept of immersive visuals goes all the way back to panoramic paintings of the late 1700s and 1800s. Paintings were painstakingly created to mimic how the human eye takes in a scene. Huge battle scenes and picturesque landscape scenes with realistic perspectives delivered a more intense, engaging experience for viewers . These visualizations were also used to represent current events in the absence of readily-available newspaper images that would become popular later.
One of the biggest advances in the world of VR was the Sensorama of 1957 where participants went on a visual 3D adventure that included smell, stereo audio, vibrations, and wind effects . Created by Morton Heilig, the concept and design helped popularize VR technology and laid the path forward.
Virtual reality was also used for governmental purposes. For example, VR was leveraged to speed up pilot training in a more hands-on way that better prepared trainees for the realities of flying in battle . In fact, VR is still proving to be an incredibly useful tool for the military today. NASA is also using VR to help pilots learn faster in a more interactive - but low-risk - simulated environment .
While VR has become a popular technology to use for gaming, the HP VR backpack G2 stands apart from the crowd as a convenient option for both home and commercial uses. Businesses can utilize this HP device to better train employees in a manner that may help hands-on learners retain more information. Architects can use the technology to take clients on a virtual walk-through of a proposed building. Designers can visualize new projects in a simulated environment to better conceptualize the final version of a product or space.
The G2 backpack by HP is the company’s second version of the virtual reality device. It has features and specs that can impress anyone from an enterprise-level executive to the most discerning gamer. Below, we’ll explore what makes this second iteration an improvement over the first model and where you can expect to enjoy a performance and visual boost.
What’s new in the HP VR backpack G2?
Compared to the first iteration of VR backpacks, this newest version features an impressive 30% performance boost and 25% more powerful graphics than the previous generation.
Intel® Core™ processors complement NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics. For users, that translates to incredible, life-like visuals that will whisk you away to a completely different universe. And we all know that graphics cards need a capable CPU behind the scenes churning through data to render visuals. The HP VR backpackG2 delivers on all fronts and even features ISV-certification for demanding, CPU-intensive applications.
ISV certification simply means that an application from a compatible independent software vendor (ISV) will run smoothly on the device. While a simple concept, HP® is dedicated to working with these third parties to provide the user with the best possible computing experience.
Users who depend on applications that stress average processors can put their worries to bed with this HP virtuality reality powerhouse. Designers can expect a seamless, productive work session using applications like Revit, a computer-assisted design (CAD) software, and VRED, a visualization and analysis tool used in the manufacturing and automotive industry.
What are some of the features of the HP VR Backpack G2 that make it unique?
Virtual reality requires that both software and hardware are robust in order to run without issues, and the HP VR Backpack G2 delivers. A smooth frame rate and lightning-fast render times deliver an incredibly realistic simulated experience where users can step into another world, if only temporarily.
This device was born to move with you as an agile complement to your daily workflows, due in large part to battery management features. These power applications long-term and complement the movement-friendly design.
Specifications that impress
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
- Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
- Maximum memory: 32GB of DDR4-2666 non-ECC SDRAM
- Memory slots: 2 SODIMM
- Internal storage: 256GB of up to 1TB PCle® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB of GDDR6 dedicated)
- In the box: HP Z VR backpack battery charger, HP Z VR backpack G1 dock, HP VR backpack G2, HP VR backpack G2 harness, HP VR backpack external battery, HP 330W smart AC power adapter, HP 180W smart AC power adapter
As a consumer, your choices matter. You can choose from ENERGY STAR® certified and EPEAT® registered configurations which maximize energy-efficiency. For users, this means the device won’t be an energy vampire that preys on utility bills.
Ports and connections
One of the most impressive features of this capable device is the number of ports and connections available. After all, there’s nothing worse than setting up your workstation or gaming rig only to realize you don’t have enough ports to plug in your preferred external devices to turn your computing dreams into reality.
Not only are these bountiful connections convenient for those times when you want to connect an auxiliary device to this VR-ready PC, but they also help to expand the potential of your machine so you can enjoy a device truly built from the ground up to answer to your every need.
Below are the layout of ports and connections available on the HP VR backpack G2.
- Security lock slot
- 3 USB 3.0
- DisplayPort 1.3
- HDMI 2.0
- DC out
- DC in
- DC in port
- Dock connector
- Push/pull hot-swap battery connector
- 2 USN 3.0
- 2 USB 3.0
- USB 3.1 Type-C
- Security lock slot
- 3 USB 3.0
- DisplayPort 1.3
- HDMI 2.0
- DC out
- DC in
What are some possible uses of the HP VR backpack G2?
Beyond gaming, HP’s VR backpack is ready to take on almost any challenge.
The HP VR backpack G2 is a fantastic, futuristic tool for businesses looking to boost their training practices. VR can help increase engagement and knowledge retention. In addition, employees can be trained in a safer, low-risk environment. This is a boon for jobs that involve potentially dangerous situations such as firefighting or manufacturing. It can help employees learn without any real-world consequences and they can practice until they get it right.
Let your clients or customers take a walk on the wild side. Perfect for large-scale immersive entertainment, you can quickly set up your VR experience and swap the device between users. This provides distraction-free entertainment to allow clients and customers the chance to focus on the world in front of them rather than worrying about a long set-up in between uses.
Instead of just creating large-scale designs, you can interact with a design you created. This allows for a different, more nuanced perspective of your project that you can’t get using other devices.
What design components stand apart on the HP VR backpack G2?
With the HP VR Backpack G2, you’ll experience a device that puts the user first. With an optimized design for comfort and simplicity, you can enjoy a training simulation or game for hours at a time.
Here are a few additions and design elements that result in a device replete with features designed to optimize the user experience:
- Comfort: Padded straps with adjustable clips to help keep your shoulders feeling less sore
- Waist belt: Helps to evenly distribute weight across the user’s back
- Angled mounting plate: Maximizes ventilation to help keep you cool during the heat of the game or design simulation
- Washable harness: For total convenience, users can wash their gaming harness which easily separates from the base
- Dock: Users can still enjoy a full desktop PC experience to complete design work or other business-critical tasks
- Roam-ready: Free roam sessions for totally immersive experiences
Why is a backpack VR computer a good idea?
It’s time for gamers and VR-early adopters to say goodbye to being tethered down, the HP VR Backpack G2 is a departure from the tangles of cords that characterized early VR devices. This wearable PC has been optimized for free-roaming during gameplay or design walk-throughs.
The virtual reality medium is an expansive experience that encourages participants to move around freely. With that in mind, it’s clear that a device capable of delivering freedom of movement to the user is crucial to the enjoyment of the virtual reality simulation. Don’t be tied down by a virtual reality system that wants to keep you in a box, take advantage of a new range of movement and incredible seamlessness that characterizes the HP VR Backpack G2.
Traditional desktop PC vs VR backpack
VR creates a 3D-simulated environment that allows users to suspend their disbelief so they are whisked away to a different location, according to their perception. There are three different types of VR platforms.
- A mobile platform where users can place their mobile phone into a virtual reality headset
- Desktop PC VR platforms that are powered by computers and a virtual reality headset
- Standalone devices where the headset doesn’t require any additional cables order in order to run
The virtual reality backpack by HP adds the most benefit when paired with the HP Reverb virtual reality headset or similar peripherals. It’s a simplistic answer to feeling the freedom that virtual reality inspires. The HP Reverb is the perfect complement to the HP VR Backpack G2 as it provides stunning resolution with 9.3 Megapixels and a full RGB subpixel stripe. In addition, you’ll get an extended viewing field of 114 degrees.
Streamlined and wearable with a variety of user comfort features, the HP Reverb headset is the perfect addition to your VR setup. Together, these devices make a formidable entry into the VR arena and they’re ready to help you make your business run more smoothly by giving clients a realistic view of your projects and training your employees better.
Virtual reality is still a relatively new industry but HP® is making waves with the HP VR Backpack G2. Capable of taking you on a visual and feature-rich journey, this device is here to transform the gaming and business landscape.
About the Author: Michelle Wilson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Michelle is a content creation specialist writing for a variety of industries, including tech trends and media news.
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 Ava Direct; The History of Virtual Reality