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Shiftall Unveiled Ultra-Compact 5K VR Headset at CES 2022

2022 seems to be shaping up as the year of VR glasses.

 

CES is one of the most anticipated events in the virtual and augmented reality industry. Held in Las Vegas every year from 5th to 8th January, this marketing event unveils some of the greatest and most exciting immersive technologies and allied gadgets. CES 2022 was no exception either.

Among hundreds of impressive new releases, the one that garnered immediate attention was Shiftall’s ultra-compact 5K VR glasses. The Tokyo-based company launched MeganeX, the ultra-lightweight VR headset compatible with SteamVR platforms. Unlike the chunky VR headsets available today, MeganeX’s lightweight form factor makes it more comfortable and convenient to wear for extended periods.

Developed in collaboration with Shiftall’s parent company Panasonic, this killer VR hardware has many features similar to another popular VR headset recently launched—HTC Vive Flow. It also has a striking resemblance to the previous Panasonic Ultra HD VR Eyeglasses that came out during CES 2020.

To date, Shiftwall was best known for HaritoraX—the unique motion-tracking device designed for SteamVR. With MeganeX, the company pushes its VR ambitions a notch further. Instead of featuring the standard, block-like design similar to HTC Vive or Meta Quest 2, Meganex resembles a pair of large bifocal glasses with compact lenses and extra handles on the side. It features two 1.3-inch Micro OLED displays that offer an incredible immersive 5.2K resolution (2560X2560 per eye) along with a stunning refresh rate of 120GHz. The VR headset is powered by a Snapdragon® XR1 processor and supports 6DoF inside-out tracking. MeganeX is exclusively compatible with SteamVR platform, allowing users access to a massive collection of apps and games. It also comes with its own controllers, although Shiftall gave no further details on the matter.

The stunning 1.3-inch Micro OLED display of MeganeX is a contribution of Kopin Corporation, the company that Panasonic previously partnered with for their proposed VR headset teased during CES 2020. Kopin is also reportedly helping Shiftall with the lenses. Thanks to its technology, MeganeX features Kopin’s all-plastic pancake lenses that significantly reduce the weight of the headset. Kopin’s Slim Pancake Optics technology also enables the VR headset to provide for interpupillary distance (IPD) for diopter adjustment, resulting in enhanced portability. The stunning 2.6Kx2.6K OLED is built with Kopin’s patented backplane architecture. This helps the device reduce power consumption as well as deliver high frame rates (up to 120GHz), and 10 bits of colour (30 full-colour bits).

Much like the HTC Vive Flow, the unique VR headset is designed to sit atop the user’s head. More interestingly, it comes with a foldable frame that makes it easier to use. It has two built-in speakers to deliver better audio quality as well as maximum convenience. The highlight of the VR hardware is, however, is its ultra-compact design. Despite having so many convenient features, it weighs roughly 253 grams less than the Meta Quest 2.

Shiftall reported that the final product is expected to hit the market in Spring 2022 for less than $900. However, no information has been given on whether the sale will be area-specific or worldwide.

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