There are two camps when it comes to virtual reality (VR), the positive one which sees the technology as an important future entertainment medium, and those that just decry it as idiotic and a fad. When Oculus first reignited the VR spark back in 2012 with its Kickstarter campaign it smashed through its funding goal of $250,000 USD to hit just over $2 million. Today sees the closure of Pimax’s funding campaign and that interest in VR seems to have only grown as its $200,000 goal has been dwarfed by the final amount of $4.2 million.
Pimax caught the industries attention by offering one major advancement over current VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) and that’s resolution. While the Kickstarter is for two models, a 5K version and an 8K version, it’s the latter that has caught most people’s eye due to the increased resolution and wide field of view (FoV) at 200-degrees – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are both 110-degrees.
The Kickstarter has secured pledges from just under 6000 people, and by achieving over $4 million backers have unlocked another stretch goal to do with the controllers. Pimax has been trying to gauge whether a thumbstick style controller (like Oculus Touch) or a thumbpad style (like HTC Vive) would be best. But due to that stretch goal being hit the company will offer backers the choice of either one instead.
An update today on the campaign page also confirmed that the mechanical design of the headset is locked down for kicking off tooling next week and that Pimax has joined the OpenXR working group, so it will be much easier for developers and partners to access and integrate their work with Pimax headsets.
The highly successful Kickstarter has seen a multitude of different stretch goals unlock, at $1.5 million the option of a comfort kit and prescription visor became available, then at the $2 million point a voucher for the upcoming wireless module was unlocked. When the campaign hit $3 million backers unlocked the eye-tracking option so they’ll all get the module once the device is ready.
As with all Kickstarters funding success doesn’t always mean product success, as companies can run into all sorts of unforeseen problems which can put back shipping. The first headsets are estimated to begin shipping early 2018, if that does or doesn’t happen VRFocus will let you know.