Friday February 01, 2019

Pimax Update Adds Support For Foveated Rendering and Smoothing

While Facebook's Oculus and Valve's Vive Headsets dominate the tethered VR headset scene now, some startups have big plans to disrupt the market. At the end of 2018, Blurbusters noted that Pimax, in particular, is a dark horse in the world of VR. Their headsets will supposedly offer a 200 degree FOV, as opposed to the Rift's and Vive's 110 degree view, and they're offering both "5K" and "8K" models. Driving 2 1440p or 4k displays at a consistent 90hz would normally take an absurd amount of GPU power, but a recent software update posted on Pimax's official forums should make rendering significantly faster. The developers added a "smart smoothing" interpolation function akin to Oculus's Asynchronous Space Warp and Valve's Motion Smoothing, but they also added support for foveated rendering, which reduces detail in parts of a scene users aren't looking at. Pimax claims they'll be shipping headsets out to non-backers later this month, while Valve's Vive Pro Eye headset with FR support isn't launching until sometime in Q2. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip. While we haven't seen Pimax's foveated rendering in action yet, Oculus demoed the tech at CES, which you can see below:

When this function is turned on, the visual field of the headset edge will be visualized. At present, according to the range of visualization, it can be divided into three levels, conservative, ballanced, aggressive. (This function is presently only supports RTX series graphics cards for the time being)

Update 2/1/2019: Pimax just issued a statement saying that the 8K headsets are delayed, and probably won't ship this month. Since DP 1.4 doesn't even support the 8K headset's native resolution and refresh rate, the 5K headset is probably the one you'd want anyway, and it looks like 5K Pimax shipments are unaffected by the LCD production issues.