The Pimax Crystal is the latest and most impressive VR headset from Pimax, boasting specifications that exceed those of the majority of other consumer VR headsets. Whilst Pimax has previously focused on headsets that use external Lighthouse base stations for tracking, the Pimax Crystal has made the switch to inside-out tracking using integrated tracking cameras on the headset.
Personally, I see the use of inside-out tracking as a positive move as it simplifies the setup of the Pimax Crystal and also reduces the expense required. It greatly increases the number of users who might be interested in purchasing the Pimax Crystal, as there are a lot of people who are put off by externally tracked VR headsets due to a range of factors including space constraints, complexity, and expense.
Despite these points, external base-station tracking remains the gold standard for accuracy and responsiveness and it would be a shame to completely lose the ability for people to use external Lighthouse tracking with the Pimax Crystal.
In response to this need, Pimax has released a faceplate accessory for the Pimax Crystal that enables you to use Lighthouse tracking. It involves attaching a faceplate to the front of the headset that allows you to use a new or existing Lighthouse tracking setup with the headset, ensuring tracking performance is as good as it can possibly be.
The faceplate comes with the following notable features:
- Integration with SteamVR Lighthouse: The Lighthouse Faceplate uses the SteamVR Lighthouse positioning system. This integration grants the Pimax Crystal VR headset access to a high-precision tracking system, aiming to offer users a more detailed and immersive virtual experience.
- Advanced Tracking Capabilities: Lighthouse tracking provides sub-millimeter precision, so the faceplate improves tracking accuracy and responsiveness.
- Enhanced Movement and Interaction: The faceplate supports multiple custom peripheral tracking options. This means more comprehensive full-body tracking and a more tangible interaction within consumer and professional VR applications.
- Compatibility with Existing Gear: For those invested in the SteamVR ecosystem, the Lighthouse Faceplate is designed to work seamlessly with existing SteamVR base stations and controllers, which might negate the necessity of replacing current devices.
You can purchase the Pimax Crystal Lighthouse faceplate from the Pimax website. They currently have a number of discount offers available, including a $100 discount when you purchase the lighthouse faceplate alongside a Pimax Crystal headset.
Whilst I have largely converted to using inside-out tracking for VR, there’s no doubt that external tracking is better, and there are a group of users and applications where external tracking is really important and desirable. It would be fantastic to see more companies going down a similar path, offering users the ability to choose the type of tracking that they wish to use.