Pimax – a modular platform for VR

The fellows at Tested recently spent hands-on time with the Pimax 8K VR Head Mounted Display (HMD) and sat down for a talk with the CEO, Robin Weng.  I recommend watching the interview and hands-on impressions video, there are a lot of details there and, unanswered questions and some caveats before you buy.

Rather than focus on the 8K resolution, I think it’s important to point out that this HMD design is modular, there are USB connections on the top and bottom that allow third-party developers to attach various hardware modules.  Examples are given in the video, including

  • eye tracking (enables foveated rendering in the future)
  • hand tracking (similar to Leap Motion Controller)
  • scent module
  • wireless (no more wires!)

Until HMDs reach the stage that virtual content is indistinguishable from reality, a modular platform makes a lot of sense for prototyping, experimenting, and allowing third-party developers to enter the VR market without having to build their own HMD first.  I fully expect everyone who purchases this device to be a hardcore VR user or developer and not mind the challenges of being an early adopter.

Kickstarter campaign
Goal met in ~60 minutes!

Pimax opened a Kickstarter campaign about a day ago, and met their seemingly small $200K goal in just over one hour!  There are a lot of questions about the various packages (5K, 8K, and 8K X) and what GPU(s) will be required to fuel them.

For me, the most exciting development is the Field of View (FOV) at 200° and the modular platform.  For comparison, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both have a 110° FOV.