In the previous update, we have shared the iterations of Pimax 8K to give you the context of what has changed in each prototype and why we made the changes. The team was focusing on v5 fine tuning on Jan, and now we would like to share the progress with you:
"Blurring effect of objects." "Blurred objects outside the middle 100 - 120 degrees field of view."
We used new lenses on v5, and magnification changed (please check image as below). The team is optimizing the lenses.
"Tracking issues" "Jittering and latency issues", "delay" "Choppiness, rotational latency, jumpiness"
We added more LEDs in the backlight panel to improve brightness. The LED current supply to the panel increased as well. As a result, the current supply in other parts decreases and makes the tracking unstable. The tracking is improved already, and we will keep testing with the new mainboards.
Latency - 1. The ATW algorithm was for versions with two HDMI interfaces. As we used one DP and new screens in v5, there was a mismatch. The algorithm is largely improved already.
2. V5 is the first prototype after the tooling for mass production. It was the very first time to assemble the new prototype, the position of the lights was not perfect, which impacted tracking in certain angles. We are improving the assembling accuracy and the issue will be resolved very soon.
Choppiness - We are analyzing the root cause and narrowing down to some possible reasons. Besides assembly accuracy, the material that covers the sensors would impact tracking, we are testing with different materials. While refining the prototype, the team is conducting comparative trials with the vive.
"Reflections at the edges of lenses" "weird reflections at edges of lenses" "slivers of moving imagery at the periphery."
One of the reasons is the magnification change on v5. Also, v5 is the first mass production prototype, the lenses and the mechanical design of the lenses are both new tooling version. The inner face is smooth in v5, which result in reflections. We will add texture on the surface in the final version to avoid reflection.
It would be an individual case, we didn't find mura during the tests, but we are still watching.
"eyes were straining a bit to keep the images fused"
IPD and the center of the image were not well aligned. the lens shift was 8.97, image shift was 11.06, the graphic below shows the misalignment.
In the next iteration, the lens shift and image shift will be the same and aligned.
Besides, automatic stepping was 1.6mm. We have changed the stepping to 0.2mm so the IPD adjustment will be smoother.
The team is testing different straps and optimizing the design of the headstrap and headset ergonomics.
V5 is the first prototype after the tooling for mass production, the build quality will be improved in mass production.
Thanks a lot for your passion and support! We are looking forward to updating you again in March.
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Following a very busy start to 2018 at CES, we've been taking on board all the feedback from both press, and you, the Pimax community.
As a result, we thought it best to update you on where we are in the build and iteration process, and to give you a bigger picture of the timeline and progress thus far, and what it means for you.
First off, we figured a timeline would help provide you with some context:
PIMAX 8K TIMELINE-: V1 - V5 HARDWARE ITERATIONS
Jan 2017: Prototype V1 - The 1st prototype was built - more of a display unit, and to give our audience an idea of what the HMD would look like
Aug 2017: Prototype V2 - Our first Roadshow prototype was developed, giving users the first chance to try Pimax 8K for themselves - from this we set goals for V3:
Change HDMI to DP
Improve build quality
Sept 2017: Kickstarter went live!
Oct 2017: Prototype V3
What we improved for V3:
Hardware IPD enabled
Changed HDMI to DP1.4
Changed USB to Adapter
- Improved sealing for dustproof
- Improved tablet compressing to prevent screen damage
Goals for V4:
Enable software IPD
- Damage resistance
- Reduce weight
- Improve ergonomics
Dec 2017: Prototype V4
What we improved for V4:
- Optimized the IPD adjustment design and mold
- Changed the cloth around the lenses for better elasticity and dustproof
The extendable interfaces enabled
- Reliability / Crash Test
- Better heat dissipation and strength with light-weighted alloy
- Optimized structure material to reduce weight
- Optimized ergonomics e.g. Increase distance of exit pupil to prevent eyelash from touching the lenses
Goals for V5:
Optimize visual quality with new lenses
Prepare for mass production
Jan 2018: Prototype V5 - The CES build!
What we improved for V5:
Added LEDs to improve brightness
- Production testing software and tools ready
- New material to cover sensor
- Mockup lens - lens tooling v1.0
- Headset tooling
Goals for M1:
Change the medium number of IPD
It's also worth noting, that for each iteration, the circuit boards were tested and optimized too!
So this brings you up to date with where we've been over the last year, and you can see, at each stage we've been painstakingly tweaking features and making improvements, to ensure that the end result of what we deliver to you is what you'd expect.
So, what's next? Well, after spring festival (when our suppliers usually take vacations for half a month), we will have the M1 version done - this is our close-to-mass production unit, so we're getting very close to delivery!
Starting from mid-March, we plan to showcase M1 in roadshows and bring the new build to you, our backers, to put your hands on the first mass production version. While this is happening, we also have a small, closed group from the community testing M1. From there, we've been working hard with our manufacturing and development teams to give you a realistic timeline for the completion of the final version, so we can give you a date for shipment of the finished product.
Currently, taking into account the fixes for the final version, we are now looking at a delivery window of Q2. So we're certainly getting there! We will continue to offer you more frequent updates as we pass those milestones and tweak towards our final version. We are so grateful for the feedback you've given us, and for the patience, you've shown in allowing us the time to really hone Pimax 8K to be the best it can be.
We do understand that our initial estimate for delivery was perhaps generous, and for this we sincerely apologize. It's been very encouraging to hear from press and community that have tested the latest version, and that they feel we're almost there, but we of course know we've got a lot of work to put in over the coming weeks. We don't want to let you down on final build quality, so we're back at the grindstone, and as M1 becomes available, we'll have an even clearer idea of our trajectory, which we will of course share with you ASAP.
Thanks again, and look forward to updating you very soon!
The Pimax Team