Five ways the Crystal is different than other headsets

The Pimax Crystal is one of the top VR headsets coming out in 2023, and we already have a lot of first impressions from CES2023. In this article, we’ll take you through five essential areas where the Crystal is different than other VR headsets.

1: Crystal clear visuals

1.1 PPD, what is it?

Pixels-Per-Degree (PPD) is the number of horizontal pixels per degree of viewing angle, which shows the degree of the resolution of headsets. The larger the PPD number, the finer the display of details, and the clearer the user’s experience of the display screen.

  Here’s how you can calculate the PPD:

1.2 Why PPD?

Pixels-Per-Degree (PPD) is the most honest metric for VR pixel density:

  1. PPD isn’t fooled by display sizing tricks. If you take a display with a high resolution and stretch it out over a larger size (making it appear grainier to the human eye), this will lower the PPD.
  2. PPD takes into account how optical lenses affect visible pixel density. Most importantly, if your headset’s optics distort visible pixels negatively (or positively), this will be appropriately reflected in PPD.

You can definitely see the difference through the previous contract pictures. What is more, pixels per degree (PPD) is a nice way to specify the headset designer’s choice between higher pixel density and a wider field of view (FOV). For different usage scenarios, we customized two kinds of lenses. (It is mentioned that Crystal is the first headset in the history of VR to support interchangeable lenses.) One is 42 PPD with 120°FOV and the other is 35 PPD with 140°FOV. So using the higher PPD sacrifices some of the FOV (and vice versa). The PPD of mainstream headsets on sale is mostly between 25 to 28 PPD.

2: Exclusive QLED+MINI-LED

Crystal’s screen panel combines QLED and Mini-LED technologies. QLED has a color gamut about 20% higher than traditional OLED, and Mini-LED provides better black rendering, resulting in richer colors and more pure black. The built-in HDR algorithm of the device makes the color space more accurate and the contrast more comfortable, making it the best VR headset not to be missed by video editors, graphic artists, engineers, and gamers. Even in wireless mode, the high resolution of the prosumer level will not be affected.

3: Automatic IPD Adjustment

The Pimax Crystal has an adjustable IPD that ranges from 58mm-72mm, and it’s automatic thanks to eye-tracking. But first…

3.1 What is IPD?

Interpupillary distance (IPD) is the distance measured in millimeters between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. This measurement is different from person to person and also depends on whether they are looking at near objects or far away.

Source: Wikipedia (Representative data from the 1988 Anthropometric Survey based on Military Handbook 743A and the 2012 Anthropometric Survey of US Army Personnel)

3.3 Why Autonomous IPD Adjustment

In the past, it wasn’t easy for players to get a suitable IPD by themselves. Players need to use gears to adjust IPD at first in dedicated software, and then use SteamVR to adjust IPD for further steps. However, for now, using eye-tracking and automatic IPD adjustment technology, Crystal can automatically adjust to the most suitable IPD for each person and easily get the best first VR experience. This is thanks to the Tobii eye-tracking cameras and algorithms that adjusts the IPD using the internal motors in the headset.

4: Dual Mode (PC VR & Standalone VR)

As Pimax’s first PCVR and all-in-one dual-mode headset, Crystal is equipped with powerful Qualcomm XR2 and Pimax’s customized PCVR engine dual-processor chip, which has once again consolidated its leading position in performance.

4.1 PC VR

Players can use a DP cable or WIGig wireless receiver to connect the PC and the headset, which the images can be transmitted to the HMD for display, achieving an ultra-low-latency gaming experience. And for PC VR, Crystal supports two tracking ways, which are inside-out and outside-in. The inside-out tracking is less difficult and less expensive to use, and can be used without purchasing other accessories. The outside-in tracking is more accurate, but you need to purchase additional accessories like base stations and controllers.

4.2 Standalone VR

For this mode, players do not need a PC. Basically, the user uses Crystal’s built-in XR2 chip to play VR-games instead. It is also possible to wirelessly stream the screen of the game running on the PC through WIFI 6E.

5: Pimax Customized Chip

Crystal is powered by the Qualcomm XR2 & Pimax Customized PC VR engine dual-processor chips. This chip is customized by Pimax, so that it can run at 60GHz. By using WiGig’s receiving and sending modules, it can replace the traditional DP cable to realize wireless PC VR, and the effect is much better than the traditional Wi-Fi 6E wireless transmission.

Reactions from CES2023:

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