Vive Wrist Strap Swap

Vive wrist straps are sometimes the only thing preventing you throwing a very expensive piece of kit across the room. I’ve chosen to swap my Vive controller wrist straps with alternative items.

Caution: Swapping things around on your Vive may affect your warranty.

Vive controllers aren’t cheap.

The lanyard-type wrist straps are worn to prevent a dropped controller falling to the floor. However, there are also cases where dangling the controller from your wrist for a moment may be a matter of convenience. When I put my headphones over my HMD, I sometimes have both controllers free on their straps.

Sometimes when demonstrating the Vive to friends, they may forget to keep hold of the controllers. A thick wrist strap may just stop a Vive controller going flying.

The Vive controllers are impressive items. Well engineered and with a heft to their feel. They contain a significant amount of technology including sensors, touch-pads and a lithium polymer battery to power it all. As such, Vive controllers are a fairly expensive item if you have to replace one out of pocket. The Vive controller currently lists on vive.com for $129.99.

Finding the strongest Vive Wrist Strap.

The end of the Vive wrist strap that connects to the controller is relatively thin cord. If sufficient force is applied, it may be possible to snap the cord. Of course, this could mean a controller taking a big and potentially damaging fall.

On closer inspection of my controller wrist straps, I can see no sign as yet of any fraying or damage. To ease my mind, I decided based on the experience of others and given the very low cost, to replace them with heaviest-duty straps I could find.

My source of my replacement Vive controller straps is an OEM Nintendo Wii set. Nintendo has plenty of experience with enthusiastic gameplay involving hand-held controllers and their wrist straps are thicker. I would guess later iterations of the Vive wrist straps will likely be more substantial too.

Disclosure: I own a Nintendo Wii and have been an avid player of sports games. I’ve have a couple of controllers ‘saved’ by the wrist straps in the past. Whether these straps are actually stronger can only be regarded a guesswork as I haven’t test either set of straps to destruction.

There’s no red port left in the bottle.

The set of straps I bought cost under $10 . The replacement straps don’t directly match the original Vive wrist strap color. In fact, there’s no matched pair in the pack. I’ve taken this as an opportunity to differentiate one controller from the other. Other than very close inspection of the serial numbers, there’s no other way to tell the controllers apart. This can be useful when you know one controller is low on charge but with your Vive HMD off, you can’t remember which.

I went with the nautical tradition of red, left and green, right. Okay, in this case it’s actually pink, left but it’s close enough ;-).

I’m happier now that I’ve got thicker straps fitted. The main risk to my controllers in future is my unfortunate tendency to mentally tune-out the visual chaperon and run out of playing room.

Note that this wrist strap swap is personal choice and is not endorsed by either HTC or Nintendo 😉

Google Daydream Compatible Phones

Google’s new VR headset: Daydream View requires a suitable “Daydream Ready” smartphone to operate. Here is a list of known Google Daydream Compatible Phones.

Taking it’s lead from the earlier Google Cardboard project, the Daydream View is a polished HMD constructed largely from comfortable fabrics and designed to accept a number of smartphones. A tracked remote control allows for greater VR environment interaction.

At launch, Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are the only fully “Daydream Ready” phones on the market.

Further Google Daydream Compatible Phones are in the works. Several manufacturers have announced that they have forthcoming Google Daydream certified handsets.

Google Daydream Compatible Phones List

ManufacturerModelPriceDate available
Google IncPixel Confirmed$649October 20 2016
Google IncPixel XL Confirmed$769October 20 2016
MotorolaMoto Z Confirmed$624~November 21 2016 (Android 7.0)
MotorolaMoto Z Force Confirmed$720~November 21 2016 (Android 7.0)
ZTEAxon 7 Confirmed$400July 27 2016. Daydream Compatible with Nougat Update.
Asus ZenFone AR ConfirmedTBCQ2 2017 [TBC]

Google Inc.

Pixel and Pixel XL Google Daydream compatible phones
Image by
Maurizio Pesce
/ CC BY

Google lists the first Daydream Compatible phones as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.

Google lists both of these high-end smartphone handsets as Daydream Ready devices.

The two handsets are already on sale with list prices of $649 for the Pixel and $769 for the Pixel XL.

Motorola

With the update to Android 7, Motorola has announced that the Moto Z and Moto Z Force are Daydream Compatible. The updates to Android 7 will be rolled out as of the week starting November 21 2016. The Moto Z RRP starts at $624 which is slightly less than the Google Pixel.

ZTE

ZTE have confirmed their Axon 7 is Daydream compatible as of the Android Nougat update. As of mid February 2017, the Axon 7 is the cheapest Daydream phone on the market.

The ZTE Axon 7 costs $400.

Unconfirmed Daydream VR phones:

Asus

Asus announced at CES 2017 that the Asus ZenFone AR will be Daydream VR compatible. Tango compatibility (Google’s Augmented Reality Platform) is also featured on the ZenFone AR.

The Asus ZenFone AR is expected to be released around Q2 2017.

Other Google Daydream Compatible Manufacturers.

According to The Verge, Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei and Alcatel will also be hardware partners for Google Daydream.

Google Daydream Compatible phones have yet to be announced for these partners.

I will update this page as and when new information on Google Daydream Compatible Phones becomes available.

Portable Vive Base Stations on Photo Light Stands

The HTC Vive Base-Stations provide the magic that allows roomscale VR but if you can’t drill holes in your wall, positioning them can be a conundrum.

Perhaps you rent your home and rules say no drilling or perhaps you’d like a portable setup that you can move around at will.

Let me share with you my solution to the non-permanent / portable Vive Basestation question:

HTC Vive Basestation on a Lighting Stand

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