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Bigscreen’s Custom-Made ‘Beyond’ is the World’s Smallest PC VR Headset


The VR headset space has seen substantial advancements in recent years as companies attempt to develop new ways to make the technology more accessible. Despite their best efforts, VR headsets are far from mainstream, partially due to them being too big, bulky and uncomfortable to wear for longer durations. However, a Los Angeles-based tech firm has apparently managed to solve one of the biggest hurdles that a majority of VR headsets currently struggle with – size.

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Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen
Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen

Bigscreen VR recently introduced its first PC-only virtual reality headset dubbed, “Beyond,” which it says is the “world’s smallest VR headset.” Bigscreen has been a notable player in the VR space and the company has its own VR social platform, which clocks over 6 million users across Meta Quest and Valve Index. The tech firm is now jumping into the highly-lucrative and cut-throat VR headset business, looking to take on existing giants like Meta, HTC and others.

Weighing just under 127 grams, Beyond is a wired, PC-only VR headset that’s custom-built according to the shape of the wearer’s face “for uncompromising comfort.” To achieve its “world’s smallest” status, the headset has ditched all dials and controls and has opted for a rather unconventional yet smart approach to ensure a suitable and secure fit. Bigscreen is taking advantage of facial scans to custom manufacture one’s custom-fit cushion.

You can customise the headset’s shape by simply scanning an image of your face and uploading it to Bigscreen’s application. An iPhone XR or above is recommended for this (sorry Android folks!) since the scanning process utilises the smartphone’s TrueDepth sensor to create “a detailed sub-millimetre precision 3D mesh of your face.”

Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen
Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen

The company has made no compromises in the specs department either, fitting the device with “breakthrough OLED displays and pancake optics for stunning immersion.” The Beyond VR headset features two 5K (5,120 x 2,560) 90Hz OLED screens, six-degrees-of-freedom tracking and three-element pancake lenses that apparently allow the headset to have a slimmer and more lightweight form factor with “massively improved optical clarity.”

You also get a 90° × 93° field of view along with built-in SteamVR tracking that’s compatible with SteamVR base stations, controllers, and accessories. The headset comes equipped with stereo microphones, a proximity sensor, a USB accessory port and there’s even a replaceable cable bundled in with the package. You can plug the device into a PC through a link box that supplies both video and power. The Beyond supports the SteamVR platform and will work with any compatible controllers (including the Vive and Valve’s Index) and full-body trackers. There aren’t any controllers included with the bundle, so you might need to purchase one separately if you don’t own a compatible pair.

Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen
Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen

However, the company is providing an “ultra-lightweight” Soft Strap with the headset to ensure overall comfort. In a release, Bigscreen founder and CEO Darshan Shankar commented on the state of modern VR headsets, saying, “Today’s leading VR headsets have doubled in weight compared to headsets from 2016. We built Beyond because we felt VR was too heavy, bulky and uncomfortable. We invented new technologies to increase comfort and developed ultra-high-end components like OLED microdisplays and pancake optics to increase immersion. To deliver the best software experience for watching movies in Bigscreen, we also had to build the best hardware with Bigscreen Beyond.

The Beyond VR headset is currently available for pre-order in the US and is priced at USD$999, which is a hell lot cheaper than both the Meta Quest Pro and HTC Vive XR Elite. However, no controller is included here and the headset’s custom-fit design makes it harder to be used by others. To add to the troubles, the Beyond VR headset only supports SteamVR, which locks users down to a rather restricted ecosystem. So there’s obviously some give and take involved.

The company plans to start shipping these sometime in the third quarter of this year in the US, while these will be available in Canada and Europe in the fourth quarter. Potential buyers in Australia, New Zealand and Japan will have to wait until the very end of the year to get their hands on one and Bigscreen plans to release these in additional countries sometime in 2024.

Check it out

Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen
Bigscreen Beyond VR | Image: Bigscreen