The latest virtual reality headset to join the race is a headset not bothering to court the consumer market at at all. The Infinitus Prime tVR headset packs two 1440p displays and the Czech company behind the project are aiming the device squarely at industry applications.

The consumer VR ‘race’ has begun in earnest. With 2 major players, Oculus and Valve / HTC, now sending (or at least trying to) get VR headsets into people’s homes and Sony planning to unleash PlayStation VR in October, the retail market is already starting to feel well populated.

But what about the high-end commercial sector, where industrial budgets are potentially much higher with hardware requirements to match? A Czech company thinks its ready to tap into that market with its new product which is trying to push what is capable with currently available components to make what they describe as the “world’s most advanced and visually striking virtual reality headset” available. It’s called the Infinitus Prime tVR, and if you’re a long time VR enthusiast and that name reminds you of something, that feeling of deja vu you may be experiencing may be warranted.

Ignoring the marketing waffle, the specifications are certainly look impressive on paper. The Infinitus Prime packs dual 2560×1440 IPS LCD panels in what looks to be a canted arrangement. As a result, the new HMD boasts not only a pretty sizeable footprint, it also claims to deliver a pretty substantial 140 degrees horizontal field of view. Again, if this is starting to sound and look a little familiar, you may recall a French project called InfinitEye, another VR headset which sported similar design and specification goals and of course became StarVR, unveiled during the E3 in LA last year. Even the logo bears more than a passing resemblance to StarVR’s ancestor. The Starbreeze owned StarVR of course also boasts a 5k horizontal resolution, but ramps the FOV up to a staggering 210 degrees. With that in mind then, it’s probably no surprise then that StarVR doesn’t appear in the product comparison chart populated by the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and GearVR – against which Infinitus Prime’s raw display numbers look impressive.

infinitus-prime-tvr-comparison-chart

To be fair to Infinitus Global, the company behind the new device, it’s pretty difficult to build a headset in this sort of configuration and have it look any other way, but the naming and branding did raise some eyebrows on first inspection. Lets be clear here though, Infinitus Prime is not related to StarVR or Starbreeze, we’ve checked.

All that aside, Infinitus Global claims the Prime is the product of a 3-year development programme comprising 10 technology partners, 8 engineers, 5 software developers and 3 designers. If that’s the case, the company behind the project us certainly serious about VR. “Infinitus Global has launched more than a VR headset, we have launched an enterprise offering which has been designed to provide our customers with industry leading return on investment (ROI), low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), high durability, a versatile engagement model, and a deep understanding of the VR marketplace and its technical breath[sic],” says Howard Thompson, CEO of Infinitus Global.

So where do Infinitus Global see this new device fitting in terms of market share? The company produced a handy info-graphic designed to illustrate just that (click to view larger version).

infinitus-prime-tvr-infographic

So it’s not crystal clear as to where the focus is, but there’s certainly a leaning towards the commercial sector and perhaps out of home marketing and entertainment venues.

We’re trying to dig up some more pricing and technical information on the Infinitus Prime tVR for you, as well as details on how developers will be supported, what state is the company’s SDK in and whether the new headset is compatible with existing devices in any way.

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  • Although I love IPS colors, 60hz does not provide a good experience in virtual reality.

    • Have to disagree there. Sure, fair to say it’s not the best or ideal, but 60fps is well into the “good enough” realm. Mind you, I say this as someone who owns the DK1, DK2, CV, Vive, GearVR and works in Cardboard/GearVR daily AND constantly has to evaluate our app in Cardboard at 30fps vs 60fps and then GearVR at 60fps, THEN jumps in and out of Vive/CV. At 30 fps, I hesitate to even use the term VR because there’s no immersion. At 60fps, immersion happens. At 75/90, it’s better, but the difference is marginal compared to a complete lack of immersion (at sub-60fps).

      This headset looks a LOT like Clair by VR Union: http://vrunion.com/#claire

      • Shawn

        90Hz/90FPS is the minimum for a presence-inducing VR experience, 75Hz can work since it can enable low persistence (as shown with Rift DK2) when-used with an OLED or AMOLED display.

        A 60Hz display, and an LCD display at that without low persistence capabilities, is not even considerable to view as a proper VR HMD (except potentially an early DevKit from a startup company unable to obtain OLED/AMOLED panels); some 60Hz OLEd/AMOLED displays operate with workarounds to enable low persistence, which his what Gear VR successfully achieves.

        90Hz displays / 90FPS targets should, and probably will be, the industry standard for consumer VR HMDs (the exception being smartphone-based adapters such as Gear VR, standalone mobile VR devices will be able to implement their own 90Hz display solutions most likely). Oculus, Valve and Sony are all targeting 90Hz+ refresh rates / 90FPS for their VR HMDs; there’s a reason for this, and it’s a minimum requirement to be met to achieve presence.

        VR refresh rates will only go higher as generations move forward, but 90Hz is the minimum requirement; Rift, Vive and PSVR, and 1st gen. VR in general all “just meets” the minimum requirement to induce presence.

        • Austin

          Thanks for the info; very interesting.

        • Tommy

          60 for the masses. 90 for the pros. Most normal people don’t even know what refresh rate or low persistence is.

          • Tony_Neville

            If you were the kingmaker with regard to setting the standard in VR display quality, I’d invest all my money into selling puke buckets.

          • Shawn

            Most people don’t need to know, but it’s a standard that needs to be met to avoid what Tony just stated; motion/VR sickness caused by lower refresh rates, which is subconsciously perceptible, and the blurring effect from a lack of low persistence capabilities of LCD displays and displays that aren’t set to 90Hz (60Hz/75Hz for special circumstances on OLED/AMOLED for DK2, and Gear VR’s specialized low persistence capability).

            60Hz/FPS works for conventional monitors, it’s fine; I think you’re confusing conventional monitor/display norms with VR standards/requirements which are needed for comfort of the user.

          • Tommy

            Thanks for the insightful input buddy. Good to know.

        • VR_WONDERLAND

          shawn, hello! are you working in this field? cause we are planning location based vr themepark and i am searching for HMDs with better res and fov than the vive.. not an easy task;) would you have time to chat? best wishes from Berlin, Cyril Tuschi

          • Shawn

            Sorry I do not work in the development of VR hardware; I simply keep a close watch on VR advancements.

            It won’t be until 2nd gen. that we’ll see wider FOV displays most likely; though I can’t say that for sure with certainty that they will feature significantly wider FOV than 1st gen. hardware. Any current gen. HMD marketed with a wide FOV suffers from issues regarding optics and/or displays using LCD and/or a lower refresh rate than the 90Hz minimum standard as far as I know.

            Most “enterprise-focused” HMDs are still in experimental / prototypical development stages and aren’t ready for-use; the only potential so far is The VOID as far as I know, but I can’t confirm how good of an HMD it utilizes or its FOV.

      • Doctor Whit

        I think what needs to be taken under consideration here is the end user audience, gamers by their very nature need to be encapsulated and immersed in an experience.

        This is being aimed at the commercial market, design studios, architectural firms, building designers, interior designers. Folks who have a different set of requirements from a headset, high fidelity display being a primary. The reduction in frames per second for display purposes would not be as much of an issue.

        Precise head tracking / controller location would be of greater import and also ability to work off of more desktop spec pc’s would be greater influencer in the decision making process as commercial work places don’t want to be seen spending exorbitant amounts on “Gamer level pc’s

        I am available for consultancy :D

        • Zen_Punk

          This isn’t about Max fps for getting the headshot in a video game. It’s about the minimum threshold you have to meet to actually enable the central advantages of vr and illness and discomfort that would make the device practically unusable.

      • Barret

        VR Union is a Czech-based company and they haven’t updated their website in forever. Perhaps Infinitus Prime formed from VR Union?

    • CMcD

      I agree, this high ticket item at 60hz is shooting itself in the foot.

  • psuedonymous

    With the design and branding near-identical to an existing product, specs a carbon copy, and absolutely no evidence they have even made a non-functional hardware mockup let alone actually have a functioning prototype?
    Yeah, I’m sticking this firmly in the same category as Horizon V.

  • Albert Hartman

    They just need to start making curved OLEDs instead of the planar ones they use for each eye. This will allow wider FOVs.

    • Doctor Bambi

      Certainly seems like the ideal solution and we’ve heard reports that the Void will use curved displays. Even further, domed displays would increase both horizontal and vertical fov while reducing needed space in the headset. But I have a hard time believing that neither Oculus nor HTC did some kind of R&D into this topic. If it was feasible or practical, I think we would have seen some form of this in the consumer versions of their headsets. :/

      • G-man

        curving display technology is one whole huge rabbit hole to go down. i think they would be better of getting higher resolution screens, reduce the width of the gap between pixels o remove the screen door effect and then work on eye tracking depth of field in the rendered image.

        curving the screen just adds more lens based issues, pixel density ditribution problems, nd the ideal of a double axis bend in the screen would just be a nightmare for now… maybe in 5-10 years

  • OhYeah!

    Seems to me they are focusing on the wrong problem. Oled and higher refresh rate help with experience more than a slightly better fov and low refresh, low pixel switching time.

  • Tommy

    Pic of the front reminds me of the Audi R8. It’s only lacking 2 more circles on its logo.

  • dfdf

    why not project directly to eye

  • CMcD

    So you get tons of pixels and it will be insanely expensive… But only 60hz, no thanks.

  • G-man

    5120×1440 is not 5k, 5120×2880 is, this is half 5k, so 2.5k
    dont try to bs people with “horizontal resolution”