Apology Letter, project status and risks


#1

Apology Letter

Hi Pimax community:

Please accept our sincere apologies that we made a mistake on the communication, and the team didn’t address 75Hz/90Hz issue in time and precisely, both with our staffs and community. That’s our fault!

First of all, no doubt the 4K CLPL display panel supports 90Hz, and another project with Qualcomm platform can reach stable 90Hz. What’s more, the whole system including cable/interface/processor/display panels is all designed for running 90Hz.

As you know, our previous solution is using 2HDMI 1.4b. then we moved to 1DP1.4 solution by introducing a new interface chipset. During the first round roadshow (V1.5 with two HDMI cables, each cable is ~2 meter), we did some steam VR games demo ( The Blu and Fruit Nijia ), and the games can run up to 90Hz at that time, but not so stable, sometimes we have to spend ~1 hour to run the demo successfully, by keep trying plug in\plug out\restart computer. Even we succeed in demoing the game at 90Hz, some frame skips occurred, that’s why Tested reviewer feel some random lags while playing Fruit Nijia. At the beginning, we though it’s individual issue. After the first round roadshow, we got more time to investigate this issue deeply and finally found the stability has something to do with the frame rate: higher frame rate, worse stability, and no improvement on V2 version (2*HMDI with 3.5-meter cable plus some other design changes). Unfortunately, the stability of high frame rate (>85Hz) is a little bit worse in the new DP solution(V3 prototype). The firmware engineers took a wrong assumption that they can fix this issue soon and just make a simple decision to lower down the refresh rate to 75Hz for new public demos.

Here, our team did a bad job in communicating internally and externally, and didn’t update real status in time with the staffs in the events. We admit, we did drop the ball by neglecting to relay this to staff at the events. Our new staffs tried their best to answer as many questions as possible during the demo show, but obviously not ideal when they don’t have all of the information!

Internally, when we meet the challenge, the first thing comes to our engineers’ mind is to solve it by ourselves, other than let the community know as soon as possible. We definitely need to be more transparent and update our progress with the community more frequently in the future.

Here we have learned the lessons and take some actions to prevent such thing happen again.

Action 1 - We will share our progress with the community more frequently. especially when we find some new issues or challenges.

Action 2 - We will provide better training for our reps to make sure they only answer the questions that they know clearly. If they are not sure, we will make sure they get back to the team to get answers instead of to give a rough guess.

Action 3 - We will provide better training to teach the team becomes more effective in internal and external communication. especially for new staffs.

So we have updated the risk analysis as below to let our backers do the final assessment before Kickstarter campaign end.

Although we have still been a small team, we are expanding fast and have new faces joining us every week. We understand we have allocated most of our resources in R&D and have limited resources in marketing and communication, and we didn’t take time to provide all of our staffs proper, professional, and enough training in terms of communication.

Meanwhile, it is our first time to meet with global enthusiasts and backers in person, who are usually professionals and even experts in VR. We are still learning the best way to communicate with people from all different regions and cultural backgrounds. If we made mistakes, please let us know and we will do analysis and improve next time.

We are passionate about VR and work very hard. We will do out best and always stick with our goal of creating the best VR experience ever.

Thanks for your support, understanding, and criticism, we will keep learning as an organization, enhance communication, be stronger and deliver even better products to our community.

Best Regards,

The Pimax Team and,
Robin Weng, the founder of Pimax VR


8K project risks

  • Refresh Rate

The display panel supports 90Hz according to it’s specification, and it has proven a stable 90Hz in another project. The display port is DP1.4 and the chip we used supports DP1.4 as well. So theoretically, Pimax 8K can support 90Hz.

But the stability is much important because our HMD should work out of the lab in thousands of computers condition. In the past two weeks, we have done more stress tests from 75Hz to 85Hz base on V3 hardware (latest DP 1.4 solution). Up to now, the 80Hz is confirmed stable. 82Hz just pass the initial test standard. And now we’re trying to optimize on 85Hz and 87Hz. Since 90Hz is the upper limit of the whole system. Several hardware reasons might make the refresh rate drop: the clock rate, cable length, display adapter FPC, EMI desense issue. Contact impedance from different Video Card’s DP connectors, etc.

Native resolution and frame rate per eye base on latest DP V3 prototype:

3840216080Hz (no risk, passed sufficient stability test, guaranteed)
3840216085Hz (medium risk, not passed initial stability test, not guaranteed)
3840216090Hz (high risk, not pass initial stability test, not guaranteed)

We will keep updating the progress. In a worse scenario where the refresh rate falls between 80 - 85Hz in the final product, we believe we can still guarantee to deliver the best VR experience with dual 4K resolution panels 、200 degree FOV and lighthouse tracking system, plus some other methods, such as the ASW/ATW/Brainwarp.

As we all know, the below facts of MTP (motion to photo)

MTP = sensor response time + GPU rendering time + 1/refresh rate + display switching time
The refresh rate is one fact of the MTP. Not all facts. There’re many other solutions could get good MTP performance.

  • Pimax 8K Module Status and Pimax Realizations Policy

All backers, thanks for your strong supports. As you know, our 8K HMD is modular designed, so we ourselves will mainly focus on the HMD devices developments and provide interfaces to partners, as for the modules, we will mainly open to 3rd party vendors.

We will open HDK for modular design, hope more and more partners and DIY enthusiasts to join us to create various exciting modules!

Please check the latest status as follows:

Eye tracking
We have 3 partners, one of them have already produced commercial level eye tracking module for vive, the other one is Adhawk introduced by our backer. We are evaluating the technical solutions and the detailed schedule, our target is to ship the modules from Q2 2018.
Risk level: low

Wireless
Our partner has the experience on commercial wireless products, we are working with our partner in adaptation, the shipping time estimated to be Q3 2018.
Risk level: medium

Hand motion module
We have finished the technical verifications and demo, currently working with our key partners on the detailed schedule.
Risk level: low

Inside-out tracking
We have designed the interface, currently working with partners with the detailed schedule.
Risk level: low

Scent enabling
We are working with Japanese partner to discuss the solution and development schedule
Risk level: low

VR frame/cooling fan
Estimated to ship on Q2 2018.
Risk level: no risk

All in one module
Will be developed in-house. Estimated to ship on Q3 2018.
Risk level: low

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pimax/comments/7a1wve/apology_letter_updated_project_status_and_risks/


Guarantee on 90hz for SHIPPED product
Is the eye tracking for foveated rendering?
5K/8K Official Updates
Pimax can make new update on manufacturing progress and risks
2017 (Q4) Bandwidth/Refresh Summit
2017 (Q4) Bandwidth/Refresh Summit
Is it 200 degrees horizontal?
What eye tracker has the highest chance to go to the backers who qualified for the free stuff?
What eye tracker has the highest chance to go to the backers who qualified for the free stuff?
Pimax 8K Progress [Updated: Feb 6, 2018]
M1 Prototype Progress [March 30th, 2018 Update]
#2

Thanks for the info!!!


#3

Much appreciated. Thank you! <3
I know you’ve always had good intentions and I’ve respected you for that. This makes it even better. Cheers


#4

Thanks for the Info and thank you for being so transparent!


#5

I just want to say thank you for being both forward thinking and transparent enough to provide this level of detail about your forthcoming products. I had the chance to test out the v2 prototype in San Francisco and meet Robin and Ru and a small group of passionate VR enthusiasts. While I have ultimately decided not to back a headset at this time, I am very excited to see what Pimax brings to the market and how the industry responds.


#6

Hi @xunshu, this is excellent and just what I was hoping for.

I don’t want to be too cheeky (:smile:), but could you give a brief statement on the perceived lack of clarity in BigScreen with the V2? Is this something the team are working on, or is it just an issue with overexpectations given the render resolution? Assuming it’s being worked on, a risk level on this would be super!


#7

The only thing that has me concerned is this talk about cable length… we need at least 5m; anything less would be unacceptable for room scale VR in my opinion. Why is Pimax not including a breakout box with every HMD purchase? It doesn’t make sense as it helps to extend the length of the cable a bit more.

I’m honestly not too sure what to think at this point about the cable length… at the moment with my VIVE the breakout box allows me to plug in my VIVE at the front of my computer rather than from the back, which gives me a couple extra feet of cable length (even then 5m is barely enough to allow me to traverse my whole room). I won’t be too happy having to turn my whole computer around in order to even make it reach the entire room…


So @xunshu, can you comment on whether or not the final cable length will be at least 5m?

The cable has been confirmed to be 5m.


#8

Honesty is the best policy, thanks for the letter. With this information, backers know where they stand and can’t complain they were ‘tricked’ as some are on Kickstarter comments page.

My speculative opinion is Pimax had to ‘de-tune’ their headset to cater for the average medium-high end graphics card customers have now (GTX 1070/1080)- hence the issues of struggling to hit 90hz with such a wide FOV/pixel count. This was understandable and probably exacerbated by DP 1.4.

I would say if like myself you plan to get a next gen graphics card in 2018/2019, OR you already own a 1080ti/Titan Xp, or want to get one this holiday season, then there is no 90hz issue ‘surprise’ that backers will experience once they receive their headsets.

On that basis, I would say it’s best to keep the pledges and back the Pimax 8K headset because the issues discussed are not reported to also be happening on a GTX 1080ti/Titan XP and any future enthusiast level video cards will only be faster in 2018/2019.

Maybe what I wrote it nonsense, but this is how I perceive it to be, logically.


#9

Thank you for all the information! After demoing the V3 in New York I had concerns about the transparency between Pimax and the community. I had concerns that we were not going to get what we were promised. Thank you for acknowledging that and fixing it. I’m now much more confident that I’m going to get the device we all want Pimax 8k to be.


#10

Thanks for your feed back, we will check and try to find the root cause.


#11

I appreciate all the honesty, I was feeling a bit unsure these past few days, but now feel more or less assured. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to receiving my 8K-X in May!

Also…

“Scent enabling
We are working with Japanese partner to discuss the solution and development schedule
Risk level: low”

Very excited for this! If you need any help (translator / interpreter) let me know. I have lived in Japan for 7 years and have a strong command of the language. If I can help, more than willing.


#12

Thanks, our standard package is 5meter cable.to be honest we missed the breakout box requirements , and last month we added this requirements, but need more time, it can’t catch the ship schedule, in the future we will release as an accessory.at the same time we will provide an option for 10 meter cable


Additional power
#13

Thanks Bacon! Looking forward to your update.


#14

Thanks! Now we are working with their proxy, if need I will contact with you.


#15

That’s good that pimax team are becoming more open.
Even in spite of the difficulties, I will not renounce its support for the kickstarter, because I understand that the new headset is quite a difficult process.
Unfortunately, a lot of backers on kickstarter believe that they are buying the final product, but it is not so.


#16

No problem! If I can help make the scent module a success that would be a reward in itself! Just let me know!


#17

With proper ipd adjustments bigscreen should have better clarity. To test if your demoing on the v2 close 1 eye to see potenial clarity with proper convergence.


#18

Thanks for the reassurance, you guys are doing a great job :slight_smile:

Can’t wait to get my 8K!


#19

Great update.

Other suggestion, I found that backer always confuse about shipping cost for each module or more headset, may you make this to be cleared before end of campaign.

I am still be confused too, not sure that I have to add shipping cost for hand motion module or not, the campaign page still not update this detail although some staff said that we have to add $10, sometimes $5.

Other suggestion, you should have internal forum for your team, may copy the question to ask in the forum and make sure that the team get the correct answer and reply to the backers.


#20

Thanks we will update the shipping cost. @xunshu