Let’s be honest, VR headsets are exciting tools for immersive experiences in virtual or augmented reality applications, but damn they are too bulky to account for any practical usage for an extended period of time.
Be it the Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive Pro 2, or Meta Quest 2; each one of them is still not compact for the masses to garner major attention. That could change with the Beyond VR headset, one of the lightest and most compact VR headsets for a comfortable Metaverse exploration.
For someone like me who’s always eager about new technologies infusion into the gaming and entertainment world, the Bigscreen Beyond VR headset is as exciting as it could be. All the powerful VR headsets currently on the market are bulky and heavy – not igniting my interest beyond just a few minutes of curiosity. This PC-only headset is different though, weighing just 127 grams, it is six times lighter than any other headset currently up for grabs. At its thinnest point, the VR headset measures less than an inch and has a very low profile (something akin to the DJI FPV goggles), which is a major design advantage.
If you are thinking, this compact form factor would have some hardware compromises, then that’s not true. The VR headset comes with two 1-inch OLED microdisplays, each at a resolution of 5120×2560, and support for 75Hz and 90 Hz refresh rates. The headset has a 90 to 93-degree horizontal field of view, along with the six-degrees of freedom tracking (requires SteamVR Base Stations) and three-element pancake optics to eliminate the screen door effect which used to hamper the overall viewing experience in other VR headsets. Bigscreen also includes stereo microphones, and a proximity sensor to detect the distance between the face and the headset for an immersive experience.
The significant reduction in size of the Beyond headset is achieved by making some strategic sacrifices like adjusting knobs or other controls that are not vital. Those face cushions on the headset can be customized using the accompanying app to fit your face snugly. There’s a catch though, for now, only the iPhone XR or newer Apple phones can use the TrueDepth sensor to create a “ millimeter precision 3D mesh of your face.” Device sharing is also possible since the face cushions can be swapped with another one.
Beyond VR headset is available for pre-order in the US for $999, with shipping promised in Q3 this year, and the amount is fully refundable. You’ll have to buy the compatible SteamVR base station, and the Valve Index controllers to get going right away with the VR exploration. Also, the built-in headphones only come with the optional Audio Strap, and the video feed can only be tethered via a PC.