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Imagine a VR headset that not only transports you to immersive virtual worlds but also fits your face perfectly, providing the utmost comfort and clarity. Well, the Bigscreen Beyond VR headset, designed by NokiaMA Headset Design, does exactly that. With its custom-made facepad and personalized features, this headset takes VR experiences to the next level.
A Facepad Like No Other
The Bigscreen Beyond headset stands out from the crowd with its custom-made facepad. Unlike other headsets that offer a limited number of options, this one takes customization to a whole new level. Bigscreen has developed a cutting-edge app that guides buyers through a 3D scanning process of their face. This scan is then used to create a facepad that is perfectly molded to each individual customer.
The difference is truly astounding. During a demonstration, Bigscreen CEO Darshan Shankar compared my custom facepad to someone else’s. The fit was remarkable; mine hugged my face like two perfectly aligned puzzle pieces, while the other facepad seemed to disagree with the wearer’s face in various places. This experience made me appreciate the importance of considering individual facial topology when designing VR headsets.
Shankar emphasized that the custom-fit facepad plays a vital role in ensuring both comfort and proper alignment of the user’s eyes with the lenses. This is particularly critical for the Beyond headset, which utilizes high magnification pancake optics with a small sweet spot. Moreover, thanks to the custom-fit facepad, no external light can seep into the headset, as demonstrated by Shankar shining a flashlight around the device while I was wearing it.
The customization of the Bigscreen Beyond headset does not stop at the facepad. Rather than including weighty and space-consuming mechanisms for IPD (inter-pupillary distance) adjustment, each headset is shipped with one of 15 fixed IPD distances, ranging from 58-72mm. The company selects the optimal IPD based on the same face scan used to create the custom facepad. Additionally, the compact size of the Beyond headset prevents glasses from fitting inside. However, worry not, as the company offers magnetically attached prescription inserts for those who need them, accommodating up to -10 diopter.
Diving into a Virtual World
Equipped with my custom facepad, I eagerly dove into the virtual realm with the Bigscreen Beyond headset. The baseline version of this $1,000 headset features a simple soft strap. I adjusted it to suit my preference, wearing it higher on the back of my head for a secure fit. Shankar informed me that an optional top-strap will be available soon, allowing for a lower rear strap position.
As I put on the headset, I found myself immersed in a dark Bigscreen theater environment. The first thing that caught my attention was the stunning OLED display, which showcased deep blacks and vibrant colors. However, I quickly realized that the baseline version lacked onboard audio. Consequently, I had to put on a pair of headphones separately.
Fortunately, Bigscreen also offers an optional $100 “Audio Strap” featuring a rigid headband with built-in speakers. As an enthusiast who values both comfort and integrated audio, this accessory is a no-brainer for me. Unfortunately, the company was unable to provide a demo of the Audio Strap at that time.
Shankar then guided me through a selection of VR environments that truly showcased the exceptional clarity of the Beyond headset’s 2,560 × 2,560 (6.5MP) per-eye displays. Although the field of view was slightly smaller than some other headsets at 90°H × 93°V, the absence of any noticeable screen-door effect was a remarkable achievement. The visuals appeared incredibly sharp, particularly when experiencing a game like Half-Life: Alyx, as it seemed to have received an instant graphics upgrade compared to other headsets.
It is worth noting that there is some persistence blurring and glare, which Shankar openly addressed. The brightness of the display directly affects the level of persistence. While the default brightness includes some persistence, adjusting it can significantly reduce the issue. Users have the flexibility to customize the brightness based on their preferences, allowing them to strike a balance between brightness and persistence.
Dialing In to the Future
The Bigscreen Beyond VR headset, designed by NokiaMA Headset Design, marks a significant leap forward in VR technology. Its custom-made facepad, personalized features, and exceptional display clarity offer an unparalleled virtual experience. With a headset like this, you can explore virtual worlds with comfort, precision, and a sense of wonder. So why settle for anything less?