While most people are excited that the first proper consumer HMDs are finally hitting the markets, it was easy to forget that they are – as the name implies – mainly meant to be for the final consumers. At least we have always applied the thinking that they might as well be used for B2B purposes as well, particularly in light of our recent visit to vrei. Now there is a company that is targeting the B2B market specifically – Infinitus Global. Their product, the Infinitus Prime tVR HMD, was first presented publicly approximately two weeks ago.
As mentioned, they position themselves into the B2B corner, not having final consumers as their target group. Hardware-wise, the claim that their 5k resolution HMD is superior to the other HMDs currently on the markets, or the fact that it can run on any computer and is not limited to any special platform are definite advantages. Furthermore, their lenses are switchable and the HMDs are customizable in regards to both hard- and software. The headset is built to last, designed with high volumes of users using a single device in mind. However, when comparing the specifications of the Infinitus Prime, one cannot miss the 60Hz refresh rate.
In general, the refresh rate describes how often an image is updated per second on any given display. In VR specifically, a refresh rate of 60Hz is equivalent to the Gear VR, but a refresh rate of less than 75Hz is considered by many as not optimal and cyber sickness inducing. For that reason, both the Rift and Vive have refresh rates of 90Hz. In an interview with VR Related, the company’s CEO explained that the simple reason for this is that they paid more attention to quality instead of the refresh rate, despite ackonowledging its importance. Seeing how they are not targeting gaming applications, this argument may be valid, but it might also backfire if people start to complain about cyber sickness.
The company has only recently gone into the pre-order phase, but states that there are already thousands of units pre-ordered. The final price point for the HMD is expected to be around US 3,000$. Pre-orders can be made on the company’s website and require a deposit of 750$ per unit. After three years of development, they are expected to ship in fall of 2016. We can only hope that they do not experience the same shipping delays as their counterparts for the consumer market.
We are not yet completely convinced that this is the right choice for tourism stakeholders. The prospects of having a durable headset that is built to be used by multitudes of consumers may be reassuring for some, and the numberous benefits it brings in comparison to the consumer headsets speak for themselves. But both the lower refresh rate, that would have to establish its suitability in tourism applications first, and the higher price point may be arguments against the headset. We will keep an eye out on the developments regarding this headset and hope to see it establish itself successfully.