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Lenovo has introduced a prototype version of its first virtual reality headset. The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas. The prototype is a tethered PC headset that is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Holographic platform. The announcement signals Lenovo’s entry into the VR market. During the unveiling of the prototype precious little was revealed about the new VR headset which is still being developed.
Lenovo’s new headset seems to be heavily inspired by PlayStation VR. Moving away from the head strap design used by Rift and Vive, Lenovo has adopted a simple ring/crown with a hinge design to hold the display unit in front of the user’s eyes. The crown or ring rests on the forehead; the sponge padding at the front end increases the comfort level and holds the headset in place. The rear end of the ring sits low on the back of the head.
An adjustable knob on the ring ensures the device rests firmly on the users regardless of the head size. The main part of the VR headset is attached to the ring by way of a hinge. Lenovo’s headset’s simple design reduces pressure on the nose and cheeks. It’s also easily removable.
The exact weight of the prototype that was shown at CES 2017 is not known, but Lenovo says the end product when it’s released might weigh around 350 grams. If they succeed, the Lenovo VR headset would be a lot lighter than HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
During the event, Lenovo’s representative had hinted the use of Xbox One Controller as the standard input device for the HMD gadget. Lenovo has made it very clear that they are not currently working on a new controller for the headset. The functional VR headset will have Xbox One Controller or any controller that works on Windows Holographic Specifications.
Position tracking in this headset is done by the two cameras on the front of the main unit of the Lenovo VR headset. These forward facing cameras use the inside-out sensors to deliver the six-degree motion tracking. The six-degree of freedom feature places the yet-to-be-released Lenovo VR headset in the high-end gadget category. Now, there is no need to prep the room where the virtual reality device would be used.
Lenovo pleasantly surprised the audience by revealing its intention to cap the cost of the VR headset under $400. The final list of features and specifications are not clear yet, so it would be difficult to predict the exact cost of a working Lenovo VR headset. Lenovo has revealed that the team is doing their best to keep the cost close to the $300 mark.