Last year at CES, RealMax blew away the AR headset competition with a prototype AR headset surpassing 100 degrees field of view.
This year, after announcing the launch of the new RealMax Qian headset in December, the company has returned to Las Vegas with a product that is ready to go to market.
The RealMax Qian is an all-inclusive headset, with sensors, CPU, and battery enclosed in the headset's housing rather than a tethered computer pack. As a result, the headset still looks very utilitarian, like a digital picture frame with a head strap.
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Based on footage from inside the headset released in October, it appears that the headset makes good on its claim of 100.8 degrees field of view, with AR content clipping only occurring at the very edges of the frame.
The company told Venture Beat that the dual display device runs on a Snapdragon 835 and is capable of six degrees of freedom via a nine-axis IMU sensor. The headset does not support hand gestures natively, relying instead on a controller for user input. However, users can also connect a Leap Motion sensor via a USB port for hand gesture input.
While the company has not disclosed a timeline for ordering and shipping the devices, RealMax claims that it has finished a pilot production run ready and plans to sell Qian headsets for less than $1,000.
Although the RealMax Qian appears ready for market, it looks a hard sell for mainstream consumers, with companies like Nreal and ThirdEye Gen offering smartglasses capable of displaying 3D content in augmented reality in much more fashionable (and slimmer) packages. But RealMax believes it has a shot at the consumer market for several reasons.
"First is the size of the picture, that these give a really immersive, large augmented reality experience," said Nigel Burton, chief technology officer, in a statement (see Instagram video above).
"Second, I think, is the mobility of our glasses. They're self-contained [and] can go everywhere. And third, I think, is the fact that these are mass-produced in China, and we expect them to sell to consumers for the same or less than a high-end mobile phone."
At a fraction of the price of a HoloLens or Magic Leap One, RealMax Qian may represent an enticing option for early adopters who are looking for a living room AR experience on a budget.