Chinese Knockoff of Apple Vision Pro Tried at CES
A Chinese startup called EmdoorVR has released a knockoff version of Apple Vision Pro, which was tried out at CES 2024.
AX162: A Knockoff Design
EmdoorVR's AX162 is a Chinese knockoff of Apple Vision Pro and is currently available for purchase from retailers like Aliexpress at a price of around $500. While it clearly aims to resemble Apple's product and take advantage of its reputation and popularity, the similarities end at the basic design language.
Although the AX162 includes color passthrough cameras like the Apple Vision Pro, the quality of the view is significantly different. According to reports, the passthrough on the AX162 is low resolution, low framerate, and incorrectly scaled, resulting in a 'zoomed in' appearance. Additionally, unlike the Vision Pro, which features pancake lenses paired with dual near-4K OLED microdisplays, the AX162 utilizes standard fresnel lenses with a single LCD panel, providing a resolution of less than 1884×1920 per eye, the same as Meta Quest 2.
The AX162 lacks 6DoF positional tracking, which means that its virtual interface overlayed on the passthrough falls short compared to the experience provided by the Vision Pro. While the Vision Pro's virtual objects appear to be floating in space with 6DoF tracking, the AX162's interface resembles that of media viewer glasses like Xreal Air. It does offer features such as web browsing, video streaming, and the ability to view content from a phone or PC on a virtual screen, inspired by Apple's visionOS design.
However, there is a significant difference in the performance and power between the two devices. While the Vision Pro is powered by the high-performance M2 chipset, the AX162 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, resulting in lower performance. This lower-tier chipset impacts the passthrough framerate and may make browsing the web on the AX162 feel sluggish.
Limited Interaction and Comfort
The AX162 lacks advanced interaction capabilities compared to the Vision Pro. Currently, it is controlled by pointing with the user's head and clicking a button on the side of the headset, whereas the Vision Pro allows users to aim with eye tracking and click by pinching their fingers, creating a more intuitive interaction system.
Despite its drawbacks, the AX162 is praised for feeling light and comfortable by those who have worn it, including Kyle Riesenbeck, UploadVR's Operations Manager. Interestingly, testers have reported that the weight and comfort of the actual Apple Vision Pro have been issues, highlighting a potential advantage of the knockoff version.
Future of Knockoff Products
As the real Apple Vision Pro is set to launch on February 2 with preorders opening next week, it is likely that EmdoorVR's AX162 won't be the last Chinese knockoff of this popular device. The availability of imitation products raises concerns about the quality and performance compared to the original Apple product.
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