virtual reality developer Bigscreen is expanding into hardware by unveiling a virtual reality headset that claims to be the “world’s smallest VR headset,” Beyond. That title isn’t completely worthless, either.
Furthermore (opens in a new tab) about 5.6 inches long, 2 inches wide, and a little over 4 ounces in weight minus any additional accessories. For comparison, the Oculus 2 . Quest, another lightweight VR headset, weighs almost four times as much at 17.7 ounces. Company CEO Darshan Shankar said TechCrunch that, as technology improves, VR headsets get bigger and bulkier. Heavier devices can lead to neck strain, limit user movement, and affect gameplay. So Bigscreen decided to go the opposite way by creating a more comfortable, compact machine. Granted, it achieves some of this weight loss by offloading the battery and some components to the connected PC.
And although it is a lightweight headset, the developers did not skimp on power as it boasts some impressive specifications.
Under the hood of the headset
Unlike Oculus Quest 2, Bigscreen does not create its own operating system. Beyond runs on Steam VR, allowing it to support the platform’s base station, controller, and myriad accessories. It even comes with Follow SteamVR (opens in a new tab) built-in so it can accurately track your body’s movements with high accuracy.
Outputting VR games are two MicroOLED 90Hz displays with 5K resolution (5,120 x 2560 pixels), which the company promises will deliver “spectacular colors” [and] razor-sharp clarity.” And thanks to that technology, users won’t have to deal with unwanted motion blur or annoying screen door effects, which is when thin black lines appear between pixels. , damage the image quality.
To achieve Beyond’s lightweight design, the developers have come up with some interesting design choices. For starters, the headphones come with a three-element pancake optical lens that allows for a compact fit without sacrificing clarity. It also doesn’t come with any on-device controls or buttons for the perfect fit as each device will be custom-fitted to your face. That fit is achieved through 3D face scanning.
Custom made for you
When you order Beyond, Bigscreen will email you a link to download the company’s own face-scanning app, which is exclusive to iOS. The app sends a detailed 3D mesh of your face to the company’s Los Angeles factory, which will use it to create the right headset for you.
Pre-orders are now open for (opens in a new tab) the Beyond, will retail for $999. A few accessories are also available for pre-order, and more are on the way. You can get an audio strap, which is essentially a pair of headphones, for $99, and a special magnetic prescription lens for $79 that goes over the eye socket. You’ll later be able to purchase a custom-fit face cushion and fiber optic cable, but at this point, there’s no price tag for those two.
In the US, the Beyond will ship in Q3 2023 (around mid-summer). But due to the custom nature of the headphones, it can take weeks or months before the headphones reach your home. Other countries like Canada, Japan and Australia won’t get Beyond until Q4.
All in all, the headphones are quite enjoyable. As we noted above, unlike the Oculus Quest, these are not wireless headphones. other report (opens in a new tab) indicates that you’ll need to plug the Beyond into its link box and connect that box to a PC to provide both video and power. We asked Bigscreen if it plans to create an Android version of its face-scanning app. This story will be updated if we hear back.
While we have you, be sure to check out TechRadar’s recent update list of best VR headsets in 2023.