Although VR headsets have more or less settled down around a common set of specs, that doesn’t mean that there’s little motivation for innovation in that space. Screen resolution and field of view are two of the biggest areas for improvement in VR headsets. It’s hard to strike a balance, as shown by the Pimax, billed as the world’s first 8K VR headset. It promises to deliver a completely hi-res VR experience, if you’re willing to wear an almost embarrassingly large contraption on your head. As if wearing a regular VR headset isn’t bad enough.
There are two parts to Pimax’s revolutionary promise. The first is the 8K resolution, split between two 3840×2160 screens, one for each eye. This means that the Pimax uses 16.6 million pixels, claimed to be four times more than any headset in the market. In practice, this would mean you are less likely to notice individual pixels when viewing VR content, one of the most common criticisms of the current generation of VR headsets.
The second part of the promise is the 200-degree field of vision.Paired with the larger, higher resolution screens, that means that you are less likely to see the black areas around the screen even when you move your eyes around. Those black borders often break the illusion of being immersed inside the virtual environment.
It doesn’t come without a price, of course. The Pimax is easily larger than the already large VR headsets, which would mean putting more weight on your head. It also makes you look like you have an arrowhead in front of your head, making you look like the sci-fi equivalent of a Resident Evil creature.
But if you’re willing to live with that for the sake of living the promise of truly immersive virtual reality, then you’ll want to head over to Kickstarter and put in your $499 or more for an 8K headset. It definitely seems to have struck a chord with many believers this early into the campaign. Pimax promises to be compatible with some existing platforms and devices, though it has chosen to side with the Steam VR/Vive side of the VR fence.