We got a peek at them at CES 2017 in Jan but they were not a refined product and details about how they were going to achieve a expected high frame rate without creating VR/Motion sickness were a bit sketchy for belief.
But after a very successful kickstarter campaign, these 2 models are about to be released. This certainly will provide some drive to the upper end of the market both in quality and price points for that quality. While at the same time the Oculus GO should be driving the market at the lower end of the scale.
So, let’s take a peek at the PiMAX 8K Goggles…
All of this starting at $349 for the 5K and $449 for the 8K. And they say it will be compatible with Valve’s ‘Lighthouse’ room tracking… WOW !
The magic sauce…
A technique they call ‘Brainwarp’, which renders a 4K image only on a single display at time, doing it 150/180 times per second. Pimax says users “perceive a complete 8K at 150/180 Hz with high frame rate,” and that it “boosts refresh rate, reduces latency and decreases GPU pressure for Pimax 8K.”
Glasses or Goggles ?
There is as much confusion, if not more, in the terminology of glasses or goggles as there is with VR,AR,MR,XR and I have been wondering just when that will get itself straight.
Glasses really do not block your natural vision and do not offer a high level of immersion currently and it’s not that they can’t do that, it’s just a cost factor. Most Glasses are more than twice the price of the best VR goggles and still have the ambient light problem.
It’s one of the reasons it will mostly be a Enterprise device where the cost/performance ratio includes a increase in productivity whereas there is a payback on the investment. And we don’t have the need for full immersive graphics in most cases with them. Translucent imagery is almost desired in use cases like engineering.
But the new Windows Mixed reality products thus far are not glasses.
You might perhaps get away with calling them e-glasses…. LOL
Hololens would be considered a glasses device.Even though they double the field of view, they still have a ambient light issue. Perhaps that will be better on the consumer release, but it will still be present. Not a issue for Enterprise to a large extent.
So now you have a fix for the ambient light problem with immersive AR graphics… the mixed reality goggle.
Because the ‘real’ part of augmented reality is brought to you via a camera to a VR screen inside of a goggle.
But be it known that glasses are a open eye design. Goggles are a closed eye design.
Goggles are the quick cheap fix for a ambient light problem with AR.
Perhaps at a latter date ar-goggle’s will improve enough to allow you to drive a car with them or at least safely walk down the street.
Producing a VR 360 degree video presents problems by itself.
It’s number one issue is how any average person can make that video and not present themselves in the video without looking a bit stupid as you pay attention to what is being captured.
Number two would be the enormous size of a 360 3D spherical video being harder to edit and harder to stream.
So, as this VR video gets started, it benefits the entire industry that they have created a standard for a hemi-spherical or 180 video format.
Outside of the benefits just mentioned, the extra benefit is the lower cost of the hardware for such a cam. For it really eliminates the need for a larger faster processor and additional firmware to stitch multiple images together since we are really talking about a wide-angle 3D camera.
Now that the standard has been created for YouTube, more hardware manufacture’s will come on board. Below is one that has been out there that started from a KickStarter campaign,
The LucidCam… www.lucidcam.com
Others have either announced they are going to enter the market or have had products ready for the release including ‘YI’
Expecting to ship March 7, 2017 with a Retail price to ring in at $800 usd, it is sure to make VR Production of content by more people possible.
Not a device that lacks quality since it uses 8 Full High Definition cameras whose output is stitched together to be optimized in any VR format and HMD/VR Goggle.
This camera, and others that will certainly follow, will help break ground in the production of more content by more people. Something we may be in shortage of without them.
I await the creative juices of the new VR Producer !
We have seen the start of Virtual and Augmented Reality in 2016.
But this is developing much faster than many might think, despite some of the rocky starts that the Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR – Note7 and others had.
To Be Expected in 2017…
I might just say, watch CES-2017 for most of the preview but everything is not likely to be shown there. It’s hard to steal the headline with so many competing for it.
So here is a run-down for what we believe you will see for the coming year.
Samsung’s Beast of a VR Phone, the S8 with new GearVR. And likely the same for the Note8 later in the year where they unveil a AR device… likely GearAR ?
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Open Source Platform is likely to show in other models like the Oculus code named Santa Cruz where tether-less room scale VR becomes a new norm using front facing cameras to map the room and perhaps provide a little of the real world in a overlay. This will also be shown in the “ALLOY”, Intel’s “Merged Reality” open source platform.
And HTC should be revealing a new version of a VR Goggle code named Oasis that is rumored to have dual 4K displays, wireless tether to keep the mind blowing lead they have in the high end of the market.
A ‘revised’ commercial HoloLens and all the “HoloLens Like” AR devices are expected to be sold in the 2nd half of 2017 from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and even Acer who is playing this from every angle with investments in StarVR and backpack PC’s is on the HoloLens ‘like’ bandwagon. Perhaps some ‘introductions’ at CES ?
One thing for sure, this is not going away anytime soon. In fact once all this new hardware is out there in consumer hands, many more add-on tech’s should appear and plenty of new software experiences. Haptic feedback suits are a likely next step looking forward till we can obtain the holy grail of the HoloDeck !
Things to look forward to !
From Hot Game To Hollywood VR Hit
CNET reports that Matt Lewis, the “Assassin’s Creed” VR project director aims to lift the bar for VR in general and break some rules as well. “360 video experiences should be just as powerful and rich as an actual film,” he explained. “We’re in the Pong era of VR right now,” he added.
According to Digital Trends, “Assassin’s Creed” is scheduled to release on Dec. 21 and it is part of Lewis’ VR experience project. It is based on the famous gaming franchise where Oscar-nominee Michael Fassbender stars in the movie as a felon sent off to the genetic memories of his ancestor in the course of the Spanish Inquisition.
Consumer Electronics Show 2017 Teaser !
Surprise ! Is just what it was with the announcement in late October from Microsoft that they will be entering the VR Race with a affordable VR HMD that not only includes
“Eye Tracking”, but 6 Degrees of freedom with “Inside Out” tracking. Allowing you to have a virtual operating space without outside complicated setup hardware. Simple room mapping will be done with cameras.
While this is rumored to be VR/AR mixed reality device, it has not been stated by Microsoft in any clear way to support that thus far.
Partnering with other manufacture’s, there seems to be plans for a whole string of hardware starting in the spring of 2017.
All of it seems to center on Windows 10 Update coming soon. Working within Windows Holographic Technology.
It would be interesting to know if the new device is set to work with the New XBOX. And since the timing is right, I would think so.
But at a retail price target of just $299, it is sure to have the hearts and minds of many who have been priced out of the VR market since this may only require a graphics upgrade to your existing computer.