Last month we reported on this year’s Immerse Global Summit Europe event, held at the Savoy Palace at Funchal, on the island of Madeira. With over 100 speakers, across more than 20 industry verticals, there was a lot to absorb over the two days. One of the highlights of the show, however, was the unveiling of American Chinese multinational technology company Lenovo’s new ThinkReality VRX extended reality (XR) headset by Head of Commercial for Virtual Reality, Jason McGuigan.
Billed as a “New All-in-One Virtual Reality Solution Designed for the Enterprise Metaverse”, the ThinkReality VRX is an enterprise, or business-focused XR headset aimed at helping companies of all sizes explore the possibilities of the metaverse. Purpose-built for the needs of enterprise organisations, Lenovo’s ThinkReality VRX’s competitors include Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition 2, HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus, Pico’s Neo 3 Pro and G2 4K Enterprise, and Meta’s recently released Meta’s Quest Pro headset.
Google launched the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 in 2019 and customers include GE, who have been using Google Glass to help mechanics assemble engines more accurately, and DHL, who have been using the smart glasses to support the vision picking process in warehouses. HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus was also launched in 2019, Pico’s G2 4K Enterprise was unveiled in 2021 and the Neo 3 Pro was launched in 2021. We recently covered the launch of Meta’s Quest Pro at this year’s Meta Connect 2022, the company’s annual conference. The Pico 4 was announced on the 22nd of September 2022, but this is a lower cost model aimed competing with Meta’s Quest 2.
So how does the ThinkReality VRX stack up against the competition? Other than the Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition 2, which are augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, the ThinkReality VRX has a similar look and fee to other mixed reality (XR) headsets. Like Meta’s headsets. Lenovo’s ThinkReality VRX headset uses fresnel lenses, which are good for VR because they are both lighter and more cost-effective that conventional lenses but require a large gap between the lenses and the display. This is overcome by the use of pancake optic technology, which allows headset to be significantly more compact, and therefore less bulky and more comfortable.
Also like Meta’s Quest Pro, the ThinkReality VRX is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ chipset. The Neo 3 Pro also utilises the Snapdragon XR2 chipset, while Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition 2 uses the less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1. Both HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus and Pico’s G2 4K Enterprise use the Snapdragon 835. The similarities don’t end there, like Meta’s Quest Pro, the ThinkReality VRX supports full-colour, high-resolution passthrough. This feature allows users (while still wearing the headset) to step outside their virtual world and see a real-time view of their surroundings using four world-facing cameras.
These four cameras allow the ThinkReality VRX headset to support six degrees of freedom, or DoF, the number of directions that an object can move in three-dimensional space. This is the same as the Meta Quest Pro, HTC’s VIVE Focus Plus, and Pico’s Neo 3 Pro. The Pico G2 4K Enterprise only offers 3 degrees of freedom.
Lenovo haven’t yet disclosed the cost of the ThinkReality VRX headset. But with Meta’s Quest Pro retailing at $1,500 and all other headsets costing less than $1,000, Lenovo might be targeting a price tag somewhere between these two pricing points. The ThinkReality VRX will be available for early access to select partners by the end of 2022 followed by general availability in select markets worldwide starting in early 2023. Please leave a comment below!