Panasonic teased major updates to its super slim VR glasses at CES 2021.
We saw the glasses for the first time at the CES last year and noticed some issues with its optics, but it was an early prototype and its weight reduction compared to current VR designs is an incredible achievement. It even featured finely-tuned adjustment for interpupillary distance.
The latest version of the glasses add 6DOF tracking and Panasonic told us via email that the latest design now includes a “stepless diopter adjustment mechanism with each eyepiece adjustable independently”. Diopter adjustment is a feature often seen in cameras and binoculars that adjusts optics to compensate for the differences in a person’s vision. If, say, a camera appears blurry through the lens but images are coming out clear, it might be that the user needs to adjust the diopter to get a clear view through the lens without adjusting the capture itself. Individually different adjusters for each eye in this headset could help users further fine-tune the optics to make it clear for them, then.
A Panasonic website adds that the unit includes “HDR, 2.6K micro-OLED panels for each eye.”
There are also changes to the fitting that Panasonic says should enhance its wearability. Check out the version of the glasses below from CES 2020 to see how it looks compared to the latest edition shown above.
There’s also a speaker installed at the temple and the glasses should be able to connect to a 5G smartphone to provide processing power for the unit.
Overall, these look like very promising enhancements to the glasses. It is still an open question how much the device might cost if it actually becomes a real product. We’re also curious to see what kind of content might be a good fit for the glasses. It may not compete effectively with something like the Oculus Quest for games, but it might find a market as an ultra-comfortable passive media viewer. That’s speculation at this point, however, as we’ll need to go eyes-in with the new device to get a better feel for it.