It’s becoming less and less surprising to see technology companies announce new virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD). Following the reveal that Samsung was entering the industry with its Gear VR HMD, companies such as LG, Archos and more have all announced their own products. Of course, these are all smartphone-based devices, relying on the user’s handset to deliver VR experiences. With that in mind, it’s much more surprising to hear that electronics company Panasonic may be entering the industry with a HMD that’s much closer to the likes of the Oculus Rift.
According to Nikkei Technology, Panasonic recently debuted a prototype for a new HMD at a private press event in Tokyo, Japan. However, instead of simply snapping in a smartphone as with many of today’s VR HMDs, this kit connects to a PC just as with the Oculus Rift. The device reportedly boasts an OLED display with a 90 degree field of view (FOV). Instead of using straps as with other HMDs, Panasonic’s device hooks to the user’s ears, resembling a set of glasses. The company states that this allows it to be worn ‘more easily’ than the Oculus Rift.
Crucially, the HMD remains in prototype stages, with the company yet to commit to a retail release. That said, it looks like the device will play a part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where Panasonic will use its seven-sensor 360 degree camera to film certain events, including the long jump. With that in mind, it has plenty of time to work on the device if it’s going to consider a potential release around the games. The company is yet to talk about any potential compatibility with VR-enabled PC software.
VRFocus will continue to follow Panasonic’s work in VR closely, reporting back with any further updates from the company.