Panasonic’s very compact VR headset MeganeX gets SteamVR support
An upgrade brings support for SteamVR and the Index controllers to Panasonic’s slim VR headset MeganeX.
In January, Panasonic’s subsidiary Shiftall introduced the very compact and lightweight PC VR headset MeganeX. Micro OLED displays (1.3 inches (3.3 cm)) and pancake plastic lenses from the manufacturer Kopin allow for a compact form factor at only 250 grams.
The display’s specifications are nevertheless impressive: 2,560 by 2,560 pixels per eye, a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz and HDR capability (30-bit color depth). Besides the lens distance, the user can even adjust the visual acuity.
MeganeX now runs with Valve Index controllers
At the time of the unveiling, it was still unclear whether Shiftall plans to develop the device as a standalone VR headset or dock it with existing ecosystems. A new prototype points to the latter: In a tweet, the company presents a Lighthouse adapter for external SteamVR tracking in the style of Valve Index or HTC Vive.
Shiftall also confirmed support for Index controllers. Thus, other accessories from the SteamVR ecosystem should also be usable, such as the Vive trackers or Tundra trackers for body tracking.
In a first video snippet, the image still proves to be quite shaky, since it is an unfiltered signal without post-processing. In addition, the exposed sensors can still be seen in the prototype of the Lighthouse extension.
Both of these things should change in the production-ready version. Although it looks bulky in the photo, the accessory only weighs 68 grams according to the manufacturer.
This is a prototype, so there is a hole through which the sensors can be seen, but the production version will not expose the inside like this.
The adapter may look heavy, but it weighs only about 2.4 oz. pic.twitter.com/80UHl1Jkri
— Shiftall Inc. (@shiftall_global) October 14, 2022
Native PC VR connection via Displayport
Shiftall also plans a Displayport connection for native PC VR. This is achieved via an included converter box (DP + USB 2.0 to USB Type-C).
Face and eye tracking are not planned for now. On Twitter, the company held out the prospect that a corresponding extension will “hopefully be available” for the USB-C port sometime in the future.
Like the HTC Vive Flow, the device is powered by a Snapdragon XR1. It takes over tasks like the still existing inside-out tracking. However, the VR headset has to be connected to a PC player via cable, which supplies energy and computing power.
The current model of the VR headset will be presented in more detail at the AWE Europe 2022 conference in Lisbon on October 20 and 21. A release date and use cases could also be announced there. Originally, MeganeX was supposed to be launched worldwide as early as spring 2022 at a price of less than $900.
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