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Hands-On: VRGineers XTAL Is A 5K, 170-Degree FOV Headset W/ Leap Motion
Last week I got the chance to go hands-on with the new enterprise-focused 5K VR headset (that’s 2560 x 1440 per eye, or 5120 x 1440 total,) XTAL, from VRgineers, the same company behind the VRHero 5K headset. For all intents and purposes, the XTAL is taking the place of the VRHero in the company’s repertoire. What sets the XTAL apart from the VRHero and other high-end headsets is that it comes fully-loaded with other features — not just an increased resolution. The field-of-view (FOV) inside the device is a staggering 170-degrees, Leap Motion hand-tracking is built directly into the front cameras on the device, it has VoiceMacro-powered voice recognition included as well, and can even automatically adjust the IPD based on included eye-tracking hardware. The display type is an OLED with patented, custom-designed aspherical, non-Fresnel, lenses. You can read more about the technical specs here. Soon they plan to upgrade the internal software to also enable general eye-tracking, foveated rendering, as well as inside-out tracking using the front cameras, similar to how the Windows VR headsets work. Other than being wireless, it packs pretty much every feature modern VR technology has up its sleeve into a single device. That helps explain the $5,800 price tag, doesn’t it? If you’re appalled at that price, then chances are this isn’t a product for you. It’s not designed as an “order online and start playing VR games when it arrives” type of headset like the Rift, Vive, or Windows VR devices. In fact, even the Vive Pro is more of a consumer-caliber unit than this one. The XTAL is very specifically engineered for the big-budget production, industrial, and enterprise-level crowd. Part of the package when a company buys the XTAL is that they’re also paying for ongoing support from VRgineers, eventual upgrades like inside-out tracking, and more. And even though it includes a ton more features than the VRHero did, XTAL is actually coming in cheaper than VRHero when it first debuted — plus existing clients will get it at a discount. During my demo with XTAL I got to see four types of experiences. First I walked around a showroom with a high-quality 3D model of a car. I didn’t need any controllers like Touch or Vive wands to interact with it because of the embedded Leap Motion sensors, so all I did was reach out. You know how when someone new to VR always reaches their hands out to touch things even though every other modern VR headset doesn’t hand-tracking included? Well, that actually works in the XTAL. I could open and close car doors, grip the steering wheel, and start the engine. I was missing out on the haptic feedback aspect, but it was still pretty immersive to see my hands inside of a 5K, 170-degree FOV device. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Seeing a 3D model of a car inside an environment that high quality was extremely impressive. While sitting upright in the seat [...]