After we went hands-on with Kopin’s prototype headset featuring their 2K VR micro display last week, people are curious to know when the screens might actually hit the market. Speaking with Kopin and manufacturing partner Goertek, the companies tell us that the first products incorporating the ‘Lightning’ display are expected by the end of 2018.
We explained in our hands-on that although functional, the Kopin ‘Elf’ headset isn’t a consumer product but actually a demo for the company’s 2K 120Hz Lightning display:
One important thing to remember is that Elf headset is not going to become a product, it’s simply a pitch for Kopin’s VR microdisplays and Goertek’s manufacturing capabilities. The company’s hope is that a consumer electronics company will want to produce a product based on the Lightning display, and the Elf headset is the demo to sell them on the form-factor that it enables. Goertek says that the companies are “actively marketing” the Elf headset to potential consumer electronics companies. That means that an end product containing Kopin’s Lightning display might end up looking quite a bit different than the Elf headset today. In fact, although Elf is tethered, Kopin says that the foundation of the headset is also suitable for all-in-one mobile VR headsets.
Speaking with Goertek—Kopin’s partner and one of the manufacturers behind the Oculus Rift and PSVR—at the company’s Silicon Valley office, I was told that the first products to launch with the Lightning display are expected toward the end of 2018, which puts products around five quarters away.