A Bit of History Behind Pimax VR

A Bit of History Behind Pimax VR

Pimax VR

A video popped up on my YouTube recommended feed recently called “The WEIRDEST VR headset I have EVER tried” by a channel called ThrillSeeker. ThrillSeeker is a dedicated virtual reality enthusiast that has an audience of nearly half a million; with a title like “The WEIRDEST VR headset I have EVER tried,” how could I not take a look? It was here where I found out about a virtual reality company called Pimax, who developed this so-called “weirdest VR headset ever.” So I did some research to look into just who exactly Pimax is and what they do, as well as a history of the company. So let’s take a look at the history of Pimax and see how they are revolutionizing the virtual reality industry!

Who is Pimax?

According to the About Us page of their website, “The Pimax team is a group of engineers and VR enthusiasts. We are obsessed with the beauty of mathematics and innovations. For example, the founder’s favorite equation is the Euler’s Identity e^(πi)+1=0. Pimax was dreamed up in Shanghai and Silicon Valley. We are a group of developers that have decades of experience in smart devices, including many years experience in VR headset R&D and manufacturing.We are addicted gamers.We are motivated to create 4K headset to eliminate the screen-door effect. We created Pimax 8K to remove the binoculars, so that you can use peripheral vision to detect enemies in VR.”

Timeline

Pimax provides a timeline of when exactly specific events in the company’s history have unfolded, so let’s take a look at said timeline:

  • Pimax team established (May 2014)
  • Pimax 2K prototype built (March 2015)
  • Pimax 4K prototype built (September 2015)
  • Pimax launches first 4K headset (April 2016)
  • Pimax 4K wins “Best VR Product” at CES Asia (May 2016)
  • Pimax 8K prototype built (November 2016)
  • Pimax 8K revealed at CES (January 2017)
  • Added positional tracking and integrated hand motion module (April 2017)
  • Global roadshow for feedback (July 2017)
  • Pimax 8K Kickstarter launch (September 2017)
  • Pimax’s first commercial product combined with hand motion debuted (January 2018)
  • Controller prototype revealed at CES (January 2019)
  • Production capacity ramp-up (February 2019)
  • Kickstarter delivery completed (March 2019)
  • Overseas warehouse & support centers built (April 2019)
  • Pimax Amazon JP/AU/US/EU launch (March 2019)

Pimax Headsets

Pimax currently has a pretty solid lineup of virtual reality headsets available for purchase, however they will run you a pretty hefty chunk of cash, so be warned.

  • Vision 8K X ($1299)
  • Vision 5K Super ($749)
  • Vision 8K PLUS ($899)
  • Vision Artisan ($449)
  • Vision 5K Plus ($649)

Yeah, so definitely not cheap headsets. The kicker? You still need to have base stations and controllers in order to use the Pimax headsets which are…..not included. Not only are they not included, Pimax doesn’t even make them….yet. However, it does look like they are very busy prototyping some controllers called the Pimax Sword and Sword Sense. You’ll need to purchase the required base stations and controllers from a third party like Valve. However, you can buy a hand tracking module for $169.95 and an eye tracking module for $229, but it’ll all be useless if you don’t have the base stations or controllers to use the headset. I guess it’s nice that the headset supports outside base stations and controllers, but man with a $1300 headset, I feel like it’s unacceptable not to include everything you need to use the headset.

Why are these headsets so expensive, you ask? Well, Pimax claims to have the only headset (currently) to offer a 200 degree field of view, the Vision 5K Super, which allows for a much more immersive virtual reality experience, although according to ThrillSeeker’s video, 200 degrees is stretching the truth. They also claim that these headsets are 5K and 8K resolution, which is just not true. Each display in the 8K headset has a 4K resolution, however two 4K displays does not equate to a single 8K display, same with the 5K HMD. The final selling point of the Pimax headsets is the 180 Hz refresh rate, which is an experimental feature, with a couple of drawbacks. The first of which is that it is an experimental feature, so it is not all finished yet. The second of which is a pretty big one and that is the field of view when using more than 120 Hz refresh rate. If you decide to push the headset to use 180 Hz, your field of view will drop substantially to 150 degrees. This is not ideal, especially when the two major selling points for the 5K Super are the 180 Hz refresh rate and the 200 degree field of view.

Well, there’s a fairly brief history of the virtual reality company, Pimax. I think that Pimax has a lot of potential, however they definitely still have some room for improvement on their headsets.

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