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Pimax Announces $2499 Standalone Headset With 200° FoV

Pimax just announced Reality 12K QLED, a future $2399 standalone VR headset with 5.7K per eye resolution and an astonishing 200 degree horizontal field of view.

Reality will use dual 5620×2720 200Hz HDR LCD panels with mini LED backlighting and quantum dot layer. While traditional small LCD panels use a single backlight across the entire display, Mini LED displays have thousands of tiny LED elements instead, delivering near-OLED contrast levels though with the tradeoff of some blooming. The quantum dots between the LEDs and pixels enables an extremely wide color range, which Pimax says surpasses OLED.

Pimax says Reality will use a compound lens design combining a fresnel and aspheric element to get the advantages of both. The company claims the geometric distortion seen in the peripheral view on its current products will no longer be present in Reality. The field of view is listed as 200 degrees horizontal and 120 degrees vertical – covering the majority of human vision.

Through a partnership with Tobii, Reality will have integrated eye tracking cameras driving automatic lens separation adjustment and dynamic foveated rendering.

Pimax says an array of cameras on the bottom of the headset also enable facial expression tracking and full body tracking. Fully standalone body tracking would be a first for the industry – this is something seen only in research papers so far.

Reality will support two separate PC VR modes. The standard method sends frames over your existing WiFi network, similar to Oculus Air Link – though it’s unclear how well that will really work at this resolution. The high fidelity mode uses a fiber optic cable or dedicated WiGig 2 (802.11ay) transmitter for a much higher bandwidth connection, presumably sold separately.

If you don’t already own a high end gaming PC, Pimax will sell a console-like “VR Station”, a prebuilt PC with an integrated WiGig 2 adapter which exclusively works with Pimax Reality headsets.

In standalone mode, Pimax says Reality’s resolution is limited to below 4K per eye, the field of view is reduced to 150 degrees horizontal, and the refresh rate is capped at 120Hz. Pimax announced two standalone games, Ragnarok and Hyperstacks. It’s unclear how many current VR games could actually run at Reality’s specs given the device uses the same XR2 processor found in Oculus Quest 2 (though with two cooling fans instead of one).

Pimax says Reality 12K QLED will start shipping in Q4 2022, a year from now. Preorders will begin in summer 2022. Existing Pimax owners will be able to trade in their current headset for a preorder discount equal to the original purchase price.

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