Expectations are high for backers of Pimax’s very successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $4.2 million in crowdfunding last year for a VR headset promising an ultra-wide field of view and high resolution. Following a critical reception of the headset’s latest prototype at CES this week, the company has responded to backer’s concerns.
With an initially estimated shipping date set for this month, backers of the “8K” headset were understandably uneasy after reading our hands-on report, and others, which indicated a number of issues ideally needing to be tackled before shipping out to customers. Responding in the comments of a Reddit thread linking to our hands-on, the company stated:
Hey all, I’m a Pimax staff, my name is xunshu. Thanks to Ben for the review. Here is what’s going on:
V5 is the first prototype after the tooling for mass production. It requests lots of tuning works. However, we still decide to bring it to CES to showcase the backers the latest version.
We made several changes with v5 before CES. For example, the lenses and the mechanical design of the lenses are both new tooling version. The change may lead to new issues, e.g. the reflections, but the issues will be eliminated and the benefit of the new design will reveal after fine tuning. To reach approximate 30% increase in brightness level, we added 3 more LEDs in the backlight panel from 12 to 15 and increased the LED current supply to the panel as well. As a result, the current supply in other parts decreases and new issues occurs e.g. tracking performance. It’s not hard to resolve, the team is working on it. We use valve tracking technology, the tracking performance won’t be an issue at all in the final product.
After hardware and software fine tuning and all the issues resolved, we plan to ship limited number of testing units to selected backers, and may bring the units to more backers to test via roadshows. The details of the issues and analysis, along with shipping schedule will be updated later this month.
We’ll be looking forward to trying the headset at the next opportunity as it sees further tweaks.