Panasonic Subsidiary Shiftall Unveils Ultra-High Resolution Consumer VR Headset
Panasonic subsidiary Shiftall has unveiled its ultra-high-resolution MeganeX PC VR headset which, thanks to the latest virtual reality technology, has a very narrow and light form factor, weighing just 250 grams.
The MeganeX VR headset has 1.3-inch OLED microdisplays along with a 2,560 x 2,560 per-eye resolution, a maximum refresh rate 120Hz and HDR compatibility (30-bit color depth). It is a 6DoF headset with built-in speakers and a foldable frame. The headset is compact and lightweight, weighing just 250 grams or approximately 8.8oz without the cables. The headset can also play SteamVR content. The low-profile headset is slated for launch in Spring 2020 and will go for $900.
The high resolution MeganeX PC VR headset looks like welding goggles. The slim form factor in the Shiftall headset is as a result of the mini screens (just 1.3 inches) and pancake plastic lenses from Kopin. The pancake lenses allow both the display and the lenses to lie very close together.
The HTC Vive Flow headset that was released last year was the first commercial virtual reality headset to use the pancake lenses. Additional virtual reality products that are based on the same technology are expected to launch later this year including Meta’s next VR headset Cambria.
MeganeX Sales to Commence in 2022
MeganeX also gives a setting for the lens distance and prescription. The latter will come in handy when wearing prescription glasses and contact lenses. Panasonic did not mention the field of view in the unveil. The MeganeX headset can be folded and the speakers have been built into the headset casing.
Like the HTC Vive Flow, MeganeX has a Snapdragon XR1 chip and must be connected via a cable to a PC player which supplies the energy and the computing power. For the time being, MeganeX provides support for SteamVR and other unnamed VR platforms ae set to come later on. Panasonic will also release a statement on the subject of VR controllers soon. The Shiftall VR headset also features integrated spatial headset tracking. Worldwide launch of the headset is scheduled for Spring 20200 and the device will cost less than $900.
Panasonic Has Been Experimenting with VR For Years
The launch of the MeganeX headset shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company has previously developed two prototypes that it unveiled at the CES 2020 and CES 2021. The first Panasonic prototype captured some attention due to its form factor while the second prototype featured spatial tracking. With the just unveiled Shiftall spinoff along with an official product name, it appears Panasonic is finally ready to market its own virtual reality technology.
However, there are still questions regarding the VR controllers and whether the Shiftall is planning to develop the device into a standalone virtual reality headset or dock it with the existing ecosystems.
YouTuber and hardware analyst Brad Lynch got the opportunity to try out the Shiftall headset at the CES 2022 and describes the clarity and brightness of the headset as “actually pretty good” which is expected, thanks to the Kopin-made pancake optics. Pancake optics have also been used in the Pico and Huawei prototype headsets and HTC also used them to slim down its standalone VR headset, Vive Flow.
Below is the full spec sheet for the MeganeX headset: –
- Weight: Approximately 250 grams ior 8.8oz without the cable
- Display: Uses a 1.3-inch OLED microdisplay with a resolution of 5.2K or 2,560 x 2,560 per eye, a 10bit HDR/120Hz
- Processor: Based on the Snapdragon XR1 platform
- Tracking System: Has camera-based inside-out head tracking, 6DoF
- Connection: DisplayPort + USB2.0 or DisplayPort Alternate Mode.
- Price Estimate: Under $900