iQiyi, the Baidu-owned video streaming service referred to as China’s version of Netflix is creating its own inroads into the virtual reality media business with the announcement of world’s first 4K VR headset with 8K panoramic video playback capabilities. The headset will apparently be known as VR II, and it’s scheduled to launch in may.
Having previously partnered with Qualcomm on VR technology, iQiyi declared that the new product will be an upgrade to the Qiyu VR II headset it showed at CES in January. The new VR II guarantees to deliver a transportable 4K theatre viewing experience together with the sense of immersion in a virtual theatre as well as support for panoramic 8K (7680 x 3840) videos.
As the company says it’s employing a 4K LCD quick response screen backed by a 35 % improvement in computing performance, the 8K video support is likely achieved through downsampling. Even so, VR II will be capable of rendering videos at fourfold the resolution of common 1080p/2K displays. iQiyi has aforesaid that it’ll include 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) tracking, accessory-upgradeable to 6DOF.
“Clarity, fluidity, and the sense of immersion in a virtual theatre are crucial to the VR experience. iQiyi’s VR II takes each of these to the next level, with four-times higher resolution than standard 2K screens and a 35% improvement in computing performance. We’re confident our upcoming 4K VR headset will set an entirely new benchmark for VR, and once again transform the consumer entertainment experience”, said Mr. Yu Gong, the founder and CEO of iQiyi.
iQiyi was founded nearly eight years ago by China’s prime search engine company Baidu, and after rapid growth within the recent years reportedly boasts over five hundred million active monthly users. Similar to Netflix, iQiyi both produces and licenses video content, including Netflix original videos for distribution in China. The company says that it already features a “vast content library” prepared for the new headset, together with everything from “VR panoramic videos and pictures, 3D video, 2D video, iQiyi original VR films and television dramas and VR games.” iQiyi has previously promised access to “10,000 movies, 20,000 programs with panoramic content,” and hundreds of VR II-customized 8K/4K videos.
The price of the VR set isn’t yet known however it’s possible that it might be bundled into the subscription price of the service. If they manage to pull it off, with all the enticing features, it’ll prove to be a serious competitor in the market of ultra HD media space.