GameFace Labs

GameFace Labs creates the world’s first fully untethered VR system

Areas Used

  • Development
  • Industrialization

GameFace Labs creates the world’s first fully untethered VR system

When most virtual reality headsets had to be plugged into a power outlet and a computer, GameFace Labs decided to do something different. In 2017, the company released the first-ever wireless VR gaming headset with a built-in computer from NVIDIA®. WSI and design agency Veryday helped create the headset, which is a lot more powerful than smartphone-based alternatives.

GameFace Labs, founded in 2013 by Edward Mason, is a technology company that develops hardware and software solutions for the consumer virtual reality market. The company’s experience building high-quality standalone headsets has enabled it to partner with leading component providers.

Virtual reality PC gaming limited by cables

“In my opinion, virtual reality got its break in 2012, but the technology used in headsets at the time was focused on tethered PC gaming,” says Ed Mason, CEO of GameFace Labs. “We created our HMC prototype to reflect what we believe to be the future of all VR headsets – a locally powered, untethered virtual reality experience that is comfortable and completely mobile.”

GameFace Labs had been working closely with NVIDIA, which designs graphics processing units, on stereoscopic 3D PC gaming. WSI was then contacted to develop the complete headset.

“WSI’s engineering and design talent made them an obvious choice as design partners, and their global network of manufacturers ensures expertise from conception to mass production,” Mason says. “They have the capacity to think and work fast and the ability to solve new engineering problems.”

Creating a new headset with superior performance

“Our assignment was to create a complete headset incorporating electronics, software and mechanics,” says Håkan Ohlgren, CTO at WSI. “GameFace Labs created their proprietary home screen and some very specific software, while WSI implemented an Android port for the NVIDIA platform. We based the design on NVIDIA’s Tegra K1, which is a very capable application processor with superior graphics performance.”

The higher performance of the graphics, however, also led to higher power consumption and more heat. To solve this, WSI created an active cooling system in the headset, using a silent fan with a heat pipe that transports the heat out of the headset.

An innovative headset and a successful partnership

“WSI has amazing developers who keep their promises and support us in everything we do,” Mason says. “They can take an idea from the drawing board and put it into production faster than any other company that I’ve worked with, and their track record in wireless consumer products is truly astonishing. That they were able to incorporate NVIDIA®’s Tegra K1 into our headset as well as they did is one of the main reasons why WSI is now our number one partner in the north.”