Pimax just announced Reality 12K QLED, a future $ 2,399 standalone VR headset with 5.7K per eye resolution and an astonishing 200-degree horizontal field of view.

Reality will use two 5620 × 2720 200Hz HDR LCD panels with Mini LED backlighting and a quantum dot layer. While traditional small LCD panels use a single backlight behind the entire display, Mini LED instead uses thousands of tiny LED elements, delivering contrast levels close to OLED – albeit with the compromise of a flowering. The quantum dot layer is expected to offer an extremely wide color gamut, which Pimax says even outperforms OLED.

Pimax says Reality will use a compound lens design combining a Fresnel element and an aspherical element to achieve the benefits of both. The company claims that the geometric distortion seen in the peripheral view of its current products will no longer be present in Reality. The field of view is listed as 200 degrees horizontal and 135 degrees vertical – covering the majority of human vision.

Four cameras on the front edges of Reality are used for tracking from the inside to the outside of the headset and its Oculus Touch-like controllers – or your hands free.

Through a partnership with Tobii, it will have built-in eye-tracking cameras, powering automatic lens separation adjustment and foveal dynamic rendering.

Pimax says that a set of cameras on the bottom and sides of the helmet also allow tracking of facial expressions and full body tracking. Fully autonomous body tracking would be an industry first – something that has only been seen in research papers so far.

Reality will support two separate PC VR modes. The standard method sends frames over an existing Wi-Fi network similar to Oculus Air Link or Virtual Desktop – although it’s not clear how well it will actually work at this resolution. High fidelity mode uses a fiber optic cable or a dedicated WiGig 2 (802.11ay) transmitter for a much higher bandwidth connection, presumably sold separately.

If you don’t already have a high-end gaming PC, Pimax plans to sell a console-style “VR Station”, a pre-built PC with a built-in WiGig 2 adapter that works exclusively with Pimax Reality headsets.

Reality will use the same Snapdragon XR2 processor as the Oculus Quest 2. An additional cooling fan and dynamic foveal rendering means it should outperform Quest 2, but rendering 4K images while processing 11 cameras seems difficult to achieve.

In fully stand-alone mode, Pimax says Reality’s resolution is limited to less than 4K per eye, the field of view is reduced to 150 degrees horizontally, and the refresh rate is capped at 120Hz. Pimax has announced two standalone games, Ragnarok. and Hyperstacks, while encouraging other interested developers to reach out

Pimax says Reality 12K QLED will begin shipping in Q4 2022, with pre-orders open in the summer. Existing Pimax owners will be able to trade in their current helmet for a pre-order discount equal to the original purchase price.


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