Pimax, a Chinese startup developing an 8K virtual reality headset, came to CES this year to show off its latest prototype, the fifth in just a year since the first version was unveiled at last year’s show. After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, one in which Pimax raised more than $4.2 million and beat out even Oculus VR’s initial crowdfunding campaign, it’s working toward mass production of the consumer version that is slated to come out later this year after an initial shipment to backers.
HTC announced the latest upgrades to the Vive virtual reality platform, including a new headset design with superior resolution and pixel density. The hardware is called the Vive Pro, although no firm price or release date has been announced.
“Vive Pro includes dual-OLED displays for a crisp picture resolution of 2880 by 1600 combined, a 78 percent increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD,” HTC said. The new head-mounted display also has improved ergonomics, built-in audio support and two front-facing cameras that open the door for augmented reality applications.
You can get a look at the new hardware in the video below:
Pimax, the company aiming to deliver three flavors of its high field of view (FOV) headset via their Kickstarter, have recently blasted past the $2 million funding mark. With only a week left in the crowdfunding campaign and now more than $2.45 million to their name, the company has reached arguably a more important milestone: they’ve surpassed the original Oculus Rift Kickstarter, becoming the top funded VR headset campaign in existence.
Successful kickstarter projects may be a rarity. But it would seem that the Pimax 8K VR headset is one project that is bucking the trend could offer real competition and innovation to boot.
The old adage “underpromise and overdeliver” doesn’t often apply to the tech industry, where impressive-sounding specs often outshine actual performance in headlines and companies raise millions in Kickstarter campaigns that don’t come to fruition.
But, every once in a while, an absurd sounding promise from an unknown manufacturer actually seems to pan out. Enter the Pimax 8K VR headset.
The new Pimax 8K headset makes a lot of promises. Among them, the headset promises to eliminate the screen door effect of existing headsets while nearly doubling the user’s field of view and reducing motion sickness.
On September 19, Pimax launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $200,000, which it was able to reach within the campaign’s first few hours. At the time of this post, the campaign had raised more than $1.7 million from around 2,700 backers.
Although that’s certainly impressive, what’s more impressive is that, since CES 2017, Pimax has been showing off and shipping out its 8K headset to reviewers and what we’re hearing back is overwhelmingly positive: the Pimax 8K HMD truly feels like a next-gen headset.
Pimax, the China-based VR headset manufacturer known for their 4K headset, have recently hit Kickstarter with their newest devices, the Pimax 8K and 5K VR headsets. Surpassing their initial goal of $200,000 within the first few hours, Pimax went on to gather a staggering $1 million in funding after only 5 days on the crowdfunding platform.
Despite the namesake, Pimax headsets aren’t actually 8K or 5K resolution, as they respectively feature dual 3840×2160 LCD panels and dual 2560×1440 OLED panels. These display resolutions are however higher than your standard Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, which is where some of the fanfare is coming from.
Arguably the biggest attraction is the headsets’ 200 degree field of view (FOV), which proved to be both impressive and helpful for peripheral awareness in our hands-on with an early prototype.
While virtual reality is not quite taking over the living room just yet, the experience is quickly finding its place in arcades and theme parks. With this in mind, Sensics is finally releasing its VR headset for public venues. The design of these goggles reportedly brings a more hygienic and comfortable experience while also sporting a higher resolution than consumer headsets.
Sensics, co-founder of Razer’s Open Source Virtual Reality, had certain features in mind in order to differentiate their public headsets from the consumer-grade HDK 2. First and foremost is hygiene. In a public setting, headsets come into contact with a lot of different faces. Not only does Sensics include a machine-washable, hypoallergenic face mask, it also is designed to physically separate from the display. This allows attendees to strap in and get comfortable before clipping into the display portion. This cuts down on time spent cleaning the headset between uses since the display attaches to each individual strap. Then, as the attendee enjoys the virtual world, the used straps can be properly sanitized. No longer will users have to don a wet headset after a particularly sweaty round.
PlayStation VR may be the least expensive way to enter the world of virtual reality, but it still isn’t cheap. Previously, the headset sold for $400 in addition to the mandatory PlayStation Camera for an additional $60, but that changes this week with the newest PlayStation VR bundle.
Starting on September 1, the PlayStation VR’s standard bundle will come with a PlayStation Camera for $400, effectively giving customers a $60 discount. Sony says that this will be the “core” PlayStation VR bundle moving forward, so if you already own the camera but haven’t picked up the headset yet, you might want to act quickly.
In addition to the $400 option, those looking to also pick up a game with PlayStation VR can check out the $450 PlayStation VR Worlds bundle — previously called the “launch bundle” at most retailers. The package contains everything from the standard bundle and adds two PlayStation Move controllers and the PlayStation VR Worlds game. Coming with several different mini-games, including The London Heist, Danger Ball, and the enthralling Ocean Descent, it’s a great way to get introduced to VR technology, though not all of the games are created equal. VR Luge is a pretty mediocre racing game, and Scavengers Odyssey is all but guaranteed to make you queasy.
Virtual reality has been a long time coming, but now it is easier than ever to get an immersive experience and take your first VR steps at home.
There are a host of headsets available, from powerful, high-end ones like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to mobile experiences like the Samsung Gear VR, the new Google Daydream View, or the do-it-yourself Google Cardboard.
But which one should you choose? There’s a lot of variety in the technology, from the headsets you can buy, to the apps you can play and the platforms that support them. Some simply need a smartphone to plug in, others use video games consoles or PC software to play.
Spacial Connect workflow allows for 3D audio to be controlled from within a VR environment.
The Spacial Connect workflow allows users to export data as object-based audio directly to the Unity engine for both Vr or 360-degree video production. Dear Reality are accepting applications for users to join the Beta testing. Further information can be found on the Dear Reality website.
Spacial Connect works with almost any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) connected to a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to allow any sound designer, audio engineer or musician to create 3D audio content for VR.
Microsoft will need the support of the greater VR development community if its new Windows 10 Mixed Reality VR headsets are to succeed when they launch later this year, but what about potential first-party content too? That’s in the works already, the company assures.
Speaking to GameSpot, Microsoft general manager Dave McCarthy stated that “several” of the company’s first-party studios are working on content for the headsets, which are made in partnership with companies like Acer, Dell, and Asus.
“I would say developers are still finding their way to define the killer experience there, which is great at this point in its evolution overall,” McCarthy said. “We believe in it enough that we have several of our first-party studios actually working on content for our Windows 10 devices. We’ll have more to talk about later this year on that.”