At CES 2019 this week, Pimax is showing off the production versions of their “8K” and “5K” Plus headsets, their upcoming Knuckles-style controllers, as well as hand-tracking and eye-tracking modules.
Pimax has begun delivering its ultrawide crowd-funded “8K” and “5K” Plus headsets to Kickstarter backers, and has also begun taking open orders. And while headsets are slowing getting into backers hands, they’re still missing a handful of additional components that were promised as part of the crowdfunding campaign.
At CES 2019 this week, the company is showing off its latest progress with the headsets and additional components. On the show floor the company intends to demonstrate the production versions of the Pimax “8K” and “5K” Plus headsets, and functional ‘open-palm’ controllers for the first time. Additionally they’re showing two of the modules that will extend the functionality of the headsets: controller-less hand-tracking from Leap Motion, and eye-tracking from 7invensun.
Other modules (like the promised wireless transmitter) are still in the works, the company says, but won’t be shown off at CES this week.
Pimax’s controllers, which look like a mashup between Oculus Touch and Valve’s Knuckles controllers, are said to support an ‘open-palm’ design, meaning a strap will keep the controller attached to the hand even when the user is not ‘holding’ it. Though the controller purportedly includes capacitive sensing on the handle for finger tracking (like Knuckles), it also has a grip trigger (like Touch).
Pimax plans to offer the controllers in two variations, one with thumbsticks (like Touch) and one with trackpads (like the Vive wands). The company will also offer mixed-and-matched options—one thumbstick controller and one trackpad controller—though we’re struggling to think of practical reasons to have one of each rather than a matching pair.
The controllers use SteamVR Tracking, and Pimax indicates that they will be headset agnostic (among headsets using SteamVR Tracking), meaning Vive users could use them as an upgrade to the Vive wands.
Pimax says that the controllers will work with both 1.0 and 2.0 base stations, and plans to ship two 2.0 base stations together with the pair of controllers for $300 (though Vive users eyeing up this package should be aware that 2.0 base stations do not support the original Vive).
Last year at CES we dove deep into Pimax’s latest headsets and came away impressed with the company’s progress but noted that there was still some real kinks to iron out before launch. This week we’ll be going hands-on with the company’s latest kit to see what kind of progress they’ve made in a year’s time. Stay tuned.