VR Glasses from Panasonic support HDR & UHD Capabilities
We are quite shocked when Panasonic Corporation announced their own VR glasses. Yeap, you heard it right. It might be because we seldom heard news or initiative related with VR, AR or MR from Panasonic as compare to its other electronic peers such as Sony, Samsung, HTC etc. So, when they announced about the VR eyeglasses on 6th January 2020 ago, it seems quite surprising.
The Panasonic VR Glasses…
Apparently, it does not look like usual VR headsets but instead it looks more like a pair of eyeglasses or stylish sunglasses. Its size is also small and does not look anywhere big and bulky like normal virtual reality headsets.
From the looks, it seems like it coming out straight from the “Pitch Black” movie or also from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” movie. Ohhh and not forgotten, you can look like Morpheus from “The Matrix” film. Awesome!
The plus thing about this device physical form and presentation is that you can straight away use it on your face without worrying what happen to your hair (or hat). No headband required. Fullstop. The comfort of wearing it instantenously like wearing the eyeglasses is really a big selling point for this product. Cool concept, isn’t it?
The device is also considered to be lightweight where it aims to be somewhere around 150 grams. As a comparison, Oculus Quest is around 571 grams and Oculus Rift is around 470 grams. That’s a big difference!
In terms of display, it supports UHD (Ultra-High Definition) with the resolution around 2560x 2560 and the refresh rate of 120Hz. The device also is HDR (High Dynamic Range) capable which result in greater contrast and more vivid colors. As far as we know, this is the first VR glasses with HDR capable in the world. Awesome!!
Panasonic works together with Kopin Corporation to produce the display device which is the micro OLED panel that has the size of 1.3 inch per eye. On the optical module, it is co-developed between Panasonic, Kopin Corporation and 3M Company.
The new optical module allows the display of natural and distortion-free images in super single focus. Furthermore, the optical technologies from LUMIX digital cameras is also incorporated into it. With all these advancement in the display technology, Panasonic VR glasses users are able to experience natural and smooth images without the “Screen Door Effect“.
In terms of audio, with the Technics drivers in the earbuds, the glasses will provide the user with rich and dynamic sound. Beside that, Panasonic also incorporated the signal processing technologies from the television and Blu-ray players as well.
The Panasonic’s VR eyeglasses was shown during CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the exhibition, the glasses is tethered to a PC and running on Steam VR.
From those who had tried the prototype, their earlier comments are the visual is very impressive and super sharp with nearly no “Screen Door Effect” or “Dot Feeling”. However, the micro OLED panel is too small that it resulted in squarer image and smaller field of view which is around 70 degrees diagonally. To compare, Oculus product’s FoV is around 100 degrees.
And the front part of the VR glasses seems a little bit heavy and sometimes sliding down the nose of the testers. But since this is a prototype, they will definitely find ways to fine tune the device further in order to improve the experience.
In summary, it looks like it is still in early development stage. It might take a while until it is ready in the market. At this moment, it seems that Panasonic wants to target the commercial market first for this product.
If this product can be made accessible to the public, this definitely will be a boost for the mass adoption of VR application. When the glasses soon able to tether to smartphone, perhaps this can rejuvenate the public interest on the mobile phone VR . For more information, you can read it at:
1) “Panasonic Develops World’s First1 HDR Capable UHD VR Eyeglasses” from Panasonic.
2) “Panasonic’s VR glasses support HDR and look pretty steampunk” from The Verge.
3) “Panasonic’s New VR Glasses Support HDR and Make You Look Like Morpheus” from Interesting Engineering.