The concept of virtual reality was pushed into the consumer market last year with the release of the highly anticipated HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. However, these two high-end devices have been considered early-adopter models given the high entry-level PC hardware requirements and price tags, and for these reasons and other technical details, several industry watchers have considered 2017 to become "the year of VR" in spite of the technology debuting in 2016. Needless to say, we can expect more VR solutions to be launched on the market this year, and it appears that Lenovo will be among the upcoming promoters of VR technology with a new headset expected to carry a considerably more affordable price tag lower than $400.
Lenovo has created a virtual reality headset branded with the Windows Holographic logo and aims to launch the product sometime "later this year". Design-wise, the headset seems to have drawn more inspiration from the PlayStation VR rather than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, which is actually a positive thing given the fact that the PlayStation VR has been considered the most comfortable headset of the bunch despite the fact that it is heavier than both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. This is thanks to an improved strap design and much like the PlayStation VR, Lenovo's headset doesn't rest on the wearer's nose but instead it is attached to a solid head strap through a hinge. This design element also allows the wearer to flip the eyepiece upwards and take a look at the real world without having to remove the headset entirely or rest it on the forehead. In addition, the Lenovo headset is also considerably lighter than all three aforementioned devices, which might make the experience that much more comfortable. According to reports, Lenovo's creation weighs only 350 grams, whereas the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR weigh 470 grams, 555 grams, and 610 grams respectively.
As far as specifications are concerned, it's important to note that the Lenovo VR headset is equipped with two front-facing cameras for room-scale virtual experiences similar to HTC Vive's. However, unlike the Vive, the Lenovo headset relies solely on these depth-sensing cameras and doesn't require external sensors similar to the HTC Lighthouse or Oculus Sensor to achieve room-scale VR. But as far as the system's accuracy is concerned, it remains to be seen. Otherwise, the headset is equipped with two OLED displays with a resolution of 1440 x 1440 each, but other details are scarce. There's also the question of whether or not the headset will be paired with motion controllers, or if it will focus more on a "sitting" VR experience coupled with a regular controller. Availability details remain unknown, but according to Lenovo, the headset will be launched "later this year" for a price lower than $400. Feel free to browse the gallery below (courtesy of Engadget).