I published a piece about the extremely experimental VR headset from the NFT and blockchain-based social VR network Somnium Space a year ago. The announcement was followed by silence from the gadget. Before now.
The Somnium VR1 is a PC-only VR headset with no independent mode, the Czech business revealed in stunning new renders of the industrial design ahead of CES. In early January, attendees of the electronics expo will be able to examine the gadget for themselves. The final design will be demonstrated using a working devkit, according to Somnium Space.
For modders and enthusiasts, a headset: The open-source nature and modularity of the other two main elements, according to the business, were preserved. Somnium Space provides the following information on the headset in the Medium announcement:
The “Somnium VR1 is an opensource high-end PCVR headset featuring high-resolution displays, custom non-fresnel, crystal clear lenses, eye tracking, hand tracking, high-resolution pass-through cameras, and a modular architecture that allows users to swap, add, or modify many aspects of the headset. Furthermore, Somnium Space will provide access to the majority of sensors, enabling experienced users to design unique VR and mixed-reality applications.
The following specifications are provided by the company:
- Display: 2 x 3.2″ 2,880 × 2,880 Fast LCD. Horizontal FOV 120°, Vertical FOV 100°.
- Passthrough cameras: 2 x 3.864 × 2.192, 90 FPS (foveated transport), FOV 120° × 100°.
- Ultraleap hand tracking
- Custom-made eye tracking
- WiFi 6e
- Wireless PC VR streaming
- Native wired PC Mode (lossless)
- Native Steam VR & OpenXR support
- 3x USB-C 10 Gbps for external accessories (USB 3.2 Gen2)
- Integrated high-quality stereo microphones
- Headphone jack
- Custom-made head strap with included in-ear headphones
- 3 modular customizable and 3D printable anchor points
A mixed reality module and a Wi-Fi 6 module for PC VR streaming are the two modules that Somnium Space aims to display at CES. They will be presented utilizing a VRgineers XTAL headset from the Czech Republic as an illustration.
According to the company’s tweets, the lenses are made-to-order pancake lenses. Custom VR controllers won’t be offered for purchase at first. Any controller that is compatible with Lighthouse can be used, though.
Standalone version to come later: The device is “aimed at enthusiasts, who want to totally own their VR hardware and those, who want to play with their hardware and software to get the most out of their experience,” according to the manufacturer.
The new VR headset, according to Somnium Space, seeks to provide enthusiasts and the entire community the freedom to create their own headsets without being constrained by large corporations. As a result, the system is being constructed on a platform that is as open and modular as is practical.
Users will be able to order electronic parts, sensors, and lenses directly from the manufacturer as well as download and print 3D designs of the parts.
The Somnium VR1 was promoted as a stand-alone VR headset a year ago. The launch was postponed due to “supply chain bottlenecks and more difficult than anticipated agreements with key suppliers.” But research and development keep going. The Somnium VR1 is anticipated to be released in the following year. The cost is still a mystery.