Engadget has reported on Lenovo’s VR headset entry for Microsoft’s Holographic Platform. The most exciting details of the report include the lack of Vive-style external tracking base stations and the lightness of the device – only 350 grams.
In comparison, the Vive is around 550 grams of front-hanging weight, while the Rift is just somewhat better at 450 grams. This is a very important detail since in my mind, the ideal VR headset would in fact weigh nothing – or perhaps just weight a little more than contact lenses (yep, I read too much science fiction). These would somehow project media directly into the air in front of you, or onto your cornea.
The light weight is combined with a comfortable setup wherein the straps rest on the forehead instead of compressing the unit around the front of the face. The front of the device can also hinge away so the user can see out easily, when needed.All of these are definitely a steps in the right sci-fi direction.
Tracking is accomplished without external stations through the use of dual cameras situated on the front of the device – perhaps working through depth-perception technology, Engadget theorizes. Not much is known yet of the technology behind the device, nor the release date.
The best part of this Lenovo product? This is but the first of many units to be coming out under Microsoft’s Holographic Platform, and the price is not as wallet-emptying as the pioneers in the PC-based VR field like the Vive’s $800. This Lenovo product is projected to cost below $400, while accomplishing the same room-scale performance as the Vive. We will see if the software for this platform will materialize, but the low cost, good comfort, and backing of industry giant Microsoft might just turn this into a 4th major competitor in the VR industry space, along with HTC, Oculus, and Sony.
All images credit to Edgar Alvarez, Engadget