Bigscreen has launched its first VR headset, Beyond. This wired, PC-only VR headset uses pancake lenses to achieve a rather small form factor and weighs only 127 grams. The headset is loaded with high-end specs and features, but it doesn’t come cheap, starting at $999. It’s available for pre-order at the time of writing, and shipping is expected to start in Q3 2023, beginning with the US market.
There are no compromises on specs either, with the headset coming in with two OLED displays running at 5120 x 2560 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate with SteamVR tracking built into the headset itself. The field of view is only 90 degrees, but the headset more than makes up for it thanks to the decent SteamVR tracking, which is compatible with the SteamVR base stations, controllers and accessories.
Other features on the headset include stereo mics, a proximity sensor to detect the headset’s distance from your face and USB-C connectivity that Bigscreen claims allow you to connect the headset to a “range of audio sources or other USB items”. Finally, it also comes with two strap options, one lightweight band for comfort and another with built-in speakers for a “high-end” audio experience.
However, the unique feature of the headset is the custom-fitting face cushion. Using the Bigscreen app and an iPhone XR or newer, you can scan an image of your face to create a custom face cushion. This requires an iPhone XR or above because of the Truedepth sensors found on the iPhones that allow the app to create a “sub-millimetre precision 3D mesh of your face”. The cushion attaches using a magnet, meaning you can design multiple cushions for different users or create one with inserts for prescription lenses.
That said, there are several limitations to the headset. For starters, it’s compatible with PC-only and doesn’t come with wireless connectivity, meaning use cases are limited out of the box. Additionally, for $999, it doesn’t come with any of the required SteamVR base stations or Valve Index controllers. It recommends the Tundra or the HTC Vive tracker for full body tracking, which is not included in the package.
Last but not least, the headset achieves its small form factor by eliminating IPD (interpupillary distance) adjustments. This means that you’re going to have to choose from one of the 15 sizes at the time of purchase. These range from 58-72 cm and should fit most faces. That said, should Bigscreen’s adjustments and sizes don’t work for you, you might have to go with a more traditional VR headset.
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