Acer’s press event in New York City last week might’ve centered largely around its new PCs, but they were also showcasing how its new products are going to help power tomorrow’s virtual reality systems. The Acer Predator 17X, in particular, is one of the few gaming laptops in circulation that has the raw power that’s necessary to handle the demanding operations of virtual reality. And it was at Acer’s event where we got the chance to see it being used with a peculiar upcoming virtual reality headset – the Project StarVR.
One quick peek at the Project StarVR, there’s no denying it has a unique look of its own. While its premise is the same as any other VR headset, like the Oculus Rift, its main differentiator is its wider field of view. Current VR headsets, like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, max out at a field of view of 110-degrees. However, the Project StarVR headset goes the distance by reaching a wider 210-degree field of view, which covers nearly 75% of the human vision.
That wider view is evident looking at the headset for the first time, as the compartment on the front covering our eyes appear distinguishably wider than most headsets. Other key specs to note about the Project StarVR include the following:
- Dual 5.5-inch displays
- 2560 x 1440 – 2.5K per eye
- 5K total panoramic definition
- 210-degree horizontal FOV
- 130-degree vertical FOV
Visually, it’s by far one of the more aggressive looking headsets, especially with the red color of its cushions. Combine that with the rectangular shaped compartments that go over our eyes, the StarVR definitely has a unique look. With this pre-production model, there are wires exposed around the top that connect to each display, but it looks like the final model will hide or mask them for a more seamless design.
Okay, after some adjustment around our head, we were ready to experience the StarVR headset. Before getting straight to the demo, a virtual tour of a special gift shop, we were shown the field of view of current VR headsets. Of course, most of the visuals were focused to a narrow area, but things surely got interesting once they opened it up to the full 210-degree view. The blacked-out areas to the far left and right areas were soon exposed to see more of the scene, a magic gift shop of sorts that had a few surprised as we looked around. Frankly, there wasn’t much to the gift shop experience, since it was more of a video footage than anything else.
Who knows why, but it felt a bit disorienting after a minute or so looking around the gift shop. And it became more apparent as we looked around, in the hopes that we’d become adjusted to its wider field of view. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, as we felt dizzier as time went on. It could’ve been due to the haziness of the display, or a combination of things, but the dizziness never went away. To be fair, though, this is a pre-production model that we were dealing with. Others who tried it out didn’t seem to be affected in the same way, so we suppose that it’ll vary between users.
As for availability and pricing, they’re still unknown at this point, so we’re eager to see what kind of splash it’ll make. Given its dual Quad-HD displays and wider field of view, this can easily be on the upper end of the spectrum.