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A look at the top-of-the-line commercial headsets...

We had the opportunity to work closely with the team behind the XTAL HMD, and it’s an interesting look into what the future of consumer HMD’s may look like in terms of technology.

... and the technology inside of it.

If there is one thing we’ve learned this year, is that not all the massive successes in the frontier tech space comes out of Silicon Valley.

Take Beat Saber for example - a small team of three down to earth, humble guys from Prague who came together to create one of the most highly rated games on Steam for both regular PC gaming and VR.

And it looks like this little country east of Germany is pushing the envelope further in another area - VR top-of-the-line commercial HMDs.

We had the opportunity to meet and work with the folks behind VRgineers, the makers of the VRHero and XTAL HMD, a high-resolution ultra wide FOV HMD for professionals.

Besides creating an HMD that boasts 5K resolution, 170° FOV, integrated Leap Motion sensors, automatic IPD and built-in voice controls, they are also some of the most down to earth and humble folks we’ve met in the VR industry. There must be something in the Prague water, or we’re just getting lucky.

Before we dive into what we have in store for you, we want to make one point really clear:

We are getting paid to help XTAL with promotion using LIV tech, and with integrating our SDK into their commercial demos. This includes both their UE4 demos and their Leap Motion demos.

Our goal is to give you folks a glimpse of what specs future consumer HMD’s may have and give you an honest review of having ultra wide FOV and crazy high resolution.

An important note: This is the first time we are getting paid for promotion and it’s not the norm. There is a misunderstanding that either we paid Beat Games, or Beat Games paid us, to create content with Beat Saber.

That’s not the case. The magic that happened between LIV and Beat Games is the result of Ikigai on everyone involved (minus the getting paid, of course).

Ikigai: What you love, are great at, the world needs, and you can be paid for.

We’re committed to making it 100% clear when/if we are getting paid to create something.

Back to XTAL and the promotion, in the coming weeks, we’re going to be focusing on what gaming looks & feels like when having the specs of an XTAL. Questions like:

  • How does the bump in resolution affect aiming down iron sights in a shooter?
  • How does the ultra wide FOV affect gameplay, and are there any drawbacks?
  • How can we use the built-in Leap Motion to create magical experiences?
  • How can we use the built-in voice commands to make VR streaming easier?
  • Why does the automatic IPD adjustment feel like you’re wearing an HMD from the distant future?

Along with that, we’ll release some resolution comparisons to current-gen HMDs and some footage that we took in our office that show off the points mentioned above.

Our goal is to give you an idea of how these features feel, and what impact it’ll have on consumer headsets as they move down the customer chain to us 'regular folks'.

The project between LIV and VRgineers will culminate in a live-streamed AMA with Marek Polcak, the CEO of VRgineers.

This will be your chance to ask the hard questions (we promise to not dodge any questions!) that you’ve been wondering about and get insight into what making a VR HMD is all about.

We’ll be opening up a form on Discord where you can dump your questions in advance, so hop into our Discordto stay up to date and take part in the information we’ll be sharing about the XTAL in these coming days & weeks.

With hugs from the Czech Republic,
- Dr Doom and team LIV

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