German startup Vality developing a VR headset, which aims to offer a solution almost like on the retina in a compact form factor. This week, Road to VR got an exclusive hands-on experience with an early prototype of the headset Vality.
Vality want to rewrite the definition of “comfort” when talking about virtual VR headsets, dramatically reducing size and weight while still providing ultra-high resolution.
There is a reason why even the latest generation of virtual VR headsets has a similar form factor “box on the face”: the use of macro-displays and relatively simple optics requires lenses remain a minimum distance from the display to achieve focus. This simple design brings low cost and a wide field of view, but inconvenient in size and resolution.
Another approach, which uses Vality, is to use micro-displays with complex optics with high magnification. This reduces the optical path for a more compact form factor, and provide ultra-high resolution thanks to the pixel density of micro-displays. The inconvenience in this case, pretty much the opposite of the above: cost and field of view.
Vality believes that in a corporate environment there is a market for a compact, comfortable headset with a resolution close to the retina of the eye, and they created a prototype to prove a concept.
Comparison of dimensions Vality and Oculus Rift
The company has no plans to release its initial product to the 1st quarter of 2021, so it really is a prototype in every sense , and although it is obvious that yet to produce numerous settings, the form factor of the headset, of course, savidan.
The current prototype Vality is largely a proof of concept, as the company plans to make several improvements and add new features as the development of the design. The weight of the prototype is about 200 grams, less than half the weight of the headset, such as the original Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, and Vality expects that the finished product may be weighing less than 150 grams.
Prototype Vality currently offers tracking only 3DOF, but the company plans a full 6DOF tracking with a solution that is still in development. The company also confirmed the development of controllers for the headset, but not yet ready to show them to the General public.
The prototype uses a pair of 2K × 2K micro-displays that are in your field of view 80 × 80 degrees offer 36 PPD (pixels per degree) in the centre of the review. In the final version the company plans to use displays with higher resolution and a slightly wider field of view (85 × 85 degrees or so) and eventually land on 46 PPD.
This is a very high pixel density — approximately two times more HP than the Reverb, but not quite “resolution of the retina” (which would mean sufficient pixel density to match or exceed the resolution of the human eye). Vality says the headset is “close to the resolution of the retina”, which they define about 60 PPD.
The view through the headset (according to people who have tested it) impressively clear. Despite some clear problems that still need to be addressed when further developing the prototype, it is clear that resolution is the biggest advantage of the headset compared to its compact size.
The image has also been found particularly striking. Vality ‘s not much to say about its compact multi-element lenses, but States that they are very effective from the point of view of light transmittance in comparison with lens approach that is sometimes used in combination with micro-displays. However, the company has not yet implemented a low resistance on the headset (which reduces the blur when moving due to the impulse backlight) that could affect the final brightness of the image. Although the prototype currently operates at a frequency of 60 Hz (which is probably also affect the brightness), it is expected that the final version of the headset will operate at a frequency of 90 Hz or 120 Hz.
Of course, compact size and ultra-high resolution face restrictions of the visual field, which are observed in all typefaces with similar characteristics. When you put on the headset field of view, of course, creates a feeling of swimming goggles, and, although the company expects to provide a slightly larger angle of view 85 × 85 degrees in the finished product, it will still be significantly reduced, compared with the more features the more cumbersome class set.
For this reason, the headset Valityis likely best suited for cases when high pixel density is more important than high dive. It may be better for certain types of training and simulators where it is important to be able to read small text and see distant objects and landscapes.
Indeed, the Vality is building your product, primarily to businesses. Although the consumer segment is not in the spotlight, the company expects that the finished version will cost about $ 1,000, which does not go beyond the likely users of such helmets, as Valve Index and Vive Pro.
In addition to the bound functionality PC Vality also plans to offer a retail unit with a complete set, which includes a mobile “belt unit”, which will match the headset with the mobile computing unit, similar to Magic Leap. The company believes that the mobile version will be suitable for other use (especially for training) than is bound to the PC version. In both versions it is planned to use one headset and connect using adapter VirtualLink.
Vality wants to do more than just put on the market headset. The company said it also wants to provide a platform enterprise applications for VR, so that enterprises can more easily find high-quality VR app for the headset, although currently they do not provide detailed information about these plans.
This is an early view of the prototype Vality shows that the company is serious about their vision headsets and their belief that in a corporate environment there is a demand for a VR headset that offers a compact form factor and ultra-high resolution, even if it means less exciting sight.
With the finished version which, as already mentioned, is not expected until the 1st quarter of 2021, they also determine a reasonable period of time to continue to hone the prototype into a product, which they ultimately expect to produce.