We are thrilled the development of Pimax 8K moves to the last stage!
As we are the first team that working on the next generation headset for the consumer market, we have encountered lots of challenges and difficulties. The challenges for us are also the challenges for the VR industry. Luckily enough, we have a community that supports us with lots of patience, encouragement, criticism, and suggestions. We have been spending almost two years on the project, a big thank you to backers, VR enthusiasts, gamers, and partners that are always standing by our side. We are confident the efforts and waiting are worthwhile.
Besides industrial challenges, it's also challenging to deliver a product for VR enthusiasts worldwide, but we have faith in our community. We believe your feedback is crucial.
To learn from the backers to further improve the final version of Pimax 8K, we have initiated a closed beta for our backer community. So far, nine trusted community leaders, professional reviewers, and VR enthusiast groups have involved in the M1 closed beta. A beta test phase such as the one with M1 is unprecedented in its scale and scrutiny for a VR crowdfunding project.
We have collected lots of valuable feedback from our M1 testers and backers, it helps us to address the issues related to user experience in general, the vast subset of physical features, and user habits in different countries/regions. We want to make sure that our enthusiastic backers can join us to deliver the best possible Pimax 8K, which will eventually be launched commercially as well as well in advance to you, our loyal backers.
Since January, the critical paths of Pimax 8K project were the optics optimization and tracking solutions upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0.
We have delivered three iterations of the lens design, each iteration means additional time and resources. Now we are happy with the hardware and progressively speeding up the software fine tuning process to improve visual quality. Based on the feedback from backers and users, we decided to offer software options for both 200 degrees and 170 degrees FOV. i.e. You will be free to pick a FOV option before launching each content based on your preference and graphics cards capability.
Worth to mention the tracking upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0: we have been developing and testing the 1.0 tracking solution since last year. During Kickstarter campaign, we are uncertain about 2.0 tracking solution because the solution was not commercialized at that time. The big quantity commercial chips for 2.0 tracking were not available until March.
However, many users and backer expressed their expectations of the direct upgrade from 1.0 tracking to 2.0 tracking. We believe the upgrade is reasonable and beneficial to the final product. Thus, even it requires extra workload and whole project delays to change the design from 1.0 to 2.0, we still spent more resources and time since March to redesign and test the hardware structure and software fine tuning for the 2.0 tracking until today. We have made a lot of breakthroughs during the process. The experiences we accumulated during the upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 will be adopted to Pimax controllers as well, that will speed up the development and reduce the time to deliver the Pimax controllers.
Now we are confident and happy to announce the Pimax 8K can deliver 2.0 tracking solution that performs as good as 1.0 tracking and par with vive pro tracking. We will deliver the HMD to you with 2.0 tracking solution, i.e. you will be able to enjoy the newest innovation in lighthouse tracking with Pimax 8K.
* The single base station solution we shared in the previous update was an experiment. The two base station solution is the primary tracking solution.
To sum up the status of the headset:
- We are now at the hardware mass production stage, and we will tweak the ergonomics with accessories;
- Meanwhile, we are working on software fine tuning for better performance and virtual quality;
- The user interface requires intensive improvements as well.
The headset is still the top priority, and then controllers.
The priority of the headset project is to improve performance with the current graphics card, and software fine tuning with the new lenses.
Some of the team members are working closely with our partners in the states for better performance. Thanks to our partners including NVIDIA, AMD, and the M1 testers!
Pimax is a typical team with engineer culture, we are conservatives, all of our confidence comes from the performance of the products we create. We cannot give any answer until we have the confirmed ones.
Due to the hardware bottlenecks, the project team, manufacturing team, user experience team, and part of the software team have to wait until recently. The obstacles that prevent us from mass production have been eliminated last week, thus the whole project now can move on with full speed towards Kickstarter delivery. The team works 11 hours per day, 6 days per week to speed up the iterations.
While we are working on UX and software fine tuning together with M1 beta testers, we are preparing the production line as well. There are key parts for 1K sets of headsets ready in the factory already. The graphic below summarized our next step plan. We will keep you updated on the progress.
Before we meet your expectations of the final consumer version, we can already meet the expectations of some business clients with the current model. We will soon make a business version available as well. Business edition will be distinguished from consumer version in color and accessories.
For the past couple of months, we have learned a lot from our community, and the community grows a lot as well, attracting more and more idealists enthusiasts and is becoming a hub of VR.
The mission of Pimax team is to provide the most immersive VR experience for the niche enthusiasts market. We prefer not to wait until the VR industry and mass market ready for the premium VR experience, but rather, we would love to serve the VR enthusiasts niche and enjoy the process of creating with all the fails and trials. Hopefully, we can stimulate the VR industry to move faster for bigger FOV and higher resolution VR that expected by VR futurists all around the world.
Sincerely thanks to all the Pimax backers.
Founder of Pimax VR