Bigscreen announced last minute optical improvements to Beyond ahead of its launch later this year.
Beyond was announced in February. It’s an ultra-compact and ultra-light SteamVR headset designed to enable truly comfortable long duration PC-based VR sessions. The key drivers of its tiny size and light weight are the use of OLED microdisplays and the fact that each unit is custom-fitted for the buyer’s eyes, based on an iPhone face scan they provide upon ordering.
Beyond is priced at $1000 but doesn’t come with positional tracking or controllers out of the box. It uses the SteamVR tracking system, so you’ll need at minimum one base station – and ideally at least two – alongside your own input devices such as Valve Index controllers.
UploadVR’s Ian Hamilton tried out a Beyond pre-production prototype in April, writing that it was “such a striking difference to feel so little weight on your face while still feeling entirely transported to a virtual environment”.
Bigscreen today announced the optics have been improved, expanding the field of view from 93 degrees to 102 degrees – placing it between Quest 2 and Quest Pro despite its tiny size. However, this increase won’t apply for buyers with an IPD of over 70mm “due to physical size limitations”.
The startup has also increased the central angular resolution from 28 pixels per degree (PPD) to 32 PPD, a significant jump over the 22 central PPD of Quest Pro for example.
It also claims the new lenses improve clarity and sweet spot, while reducing artifacts such as blur.
Finally, they support a wider range of IPDs, from 53mm to 74mm via physical lens spacing available from 55mm to 72mm, tailored to each user’s face scan.
Bigscreen says it’s still on track to start shipping Beyond in Q3 this year in the US, and Q4 worldwide. We plan to review the finished product when it’s available to give you our thoughts and analysis.