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New Aviator-type VR Glasses from Panasonic Showcased at CES 2020

The CES 2020 event was used by Panasonic as the platform to launch its news aviator-style virtual reality (VR) glasses. Sam Byford from the Verge said that VR headsets all looked like VR headsets, which cut people off from the world. According to him, the recent launch of the Panasonic glasses has changed that reality.

Panasonic, in its press release, stated that it was launching ultra-high definition (UHD) VR eyeglasses with HDR capability. Describing the design of the glasses, Byford remarked that they are similar to regular glasses with a steampunk style. Engadget’s senior news editor Richard Lawler, spoke about the product’s demo reels, saying that the benefits of Panasonic offering HDR video support are quite clear. One of the reels showed a drone footage of a beach, in which the overall quality improvement was evident, with HDR reducing most of the unwanted sky gradation.

Technology website Ars Technica said that Panasonic’s new glasses looked far better than conventional VR headsets. Wearable technology developer Wareable remarked that virtual reality never looked better. Users of VR technology have always prioritised the form factor and level of comfort provided by headsets. To prove the point, Ars Technica stated that, so far, the conventional ski goggles design which covers a wearer’s upper face completely, and is held by straps, is not really appealing.

VR glasses by Panasonic. Image source: Panasonic

It is true that many conventional virtual reality headsets offer high-resolution visuals, good sound quality and immersive experiences. But, as Panasonic pointed out, these glasses are generally sized too big and hence involve straps and headbands, leading to discomfort among wearers. Panasonic has developed the VR eyeglasses by joining forces with the Kopin Corporation and 3M.

The key features of the glasses were mentioned by Chris Burns in SlashGear. The Panasonic VR glasses have micro OLED panels developed by the company in cooperation with Kopin. The optical module of the glasses were developed by a collaboration of Panasonic, 3M and Kopin. Sound produced by the headset is powered by the Technics original dynamic driver. Speaking about the micro OLED panels created by Panasonic and Kopin, Byford said that they were extraordinarily high-resolution. He highlighted that the screen-door effect exhibited by most VR hardware was almost absent in the headset.

Aviator-like steampunk VR glasses by Panasonic. Image source: Panasonic

Kyle Orland, senior gaming editor, Ars Technica, remarked that the VR eyeglases had HDR colours, which may help in making virtual environments look more vibrant. However, there are some concerns with the weight distribution of the VR sunglasses, based on the comments of users of Ars Technica. One of the commenters said that the headset was front-heavy, and did not have a strap for supporting such a design. The commented explained that it would make the glasses ideal for scenarios where one’s head is not moving too much. But moving about with the glasses could be a hindrance for the eventuality of them falling off or being mounted too tightly, to the point of being uncomfortable.

Design concerns aside, Panasonic has revealed that it will be putting in efforts for further development of the VR glasses, to make them suited for different applications. It is set to utilise commercial 5G technology in combination with the wearable VR to offer solutions to its consumer base.

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