Vrgineers, in cooperation with the company IMRNext, have developed a new wireless XTAL headset. The release of this high-fidelity standalone virtual reality (VR) headset was released at the CES 2023 show, in Las Vegas from 5-8 January 2023.

The upward trend in the VR industry is to switch from tethered to standalone headsets to lower overall costs and raise the users’ comfort level. In comparison to the solutions available on the market, the new wireless XTAL targets high-end customers, who are unable to run their demanding applications from mobile cores and need fully performing computers to calculate VR content.  

“As a supplier to the defense industry, we strongly believe that the wireless XTAL will be the best choice for such use cases as machine and aircraft maintenance, rescue or firefighting operations as well as special forces training. Everywhere, where the total immersion, freedom, and high performance, is a must,” explains Marek Polcak, Vrgineers CEO.

Vrgineers XTAL natively runs 4K resolution per eye, which requires a very substantial bitrate. For a smooth wireless experience, Vrgineers developed a special mode running a compressed resolution of 2560x1440 at 70 Hz per eye, which IMRNext proprietary technology transmits using Wi-Fi 6E. Instead of placing the antenna on the head as known with other headsets, Vrgineers decided to create an on-belt module, which includes a battery pack, with adjustable power capacity and wireless antennas.

“Freeing the cable from the XTAL will enable more dynamic use case scenarios and enhance the quality of single-user and multi-user simulation and training exercises,” says Phil Purdy, IMRNext Director of Engineering and Delivery.

The overall weight of the headset remains the same, while wearing an extra weight on the belt makes wireless usage convenient. The prototype showed at CES weighs 920 grams, like the size of an SLR camera. However, the expected final version will weigh under 500 grams and will be a similar size as a mobile phone. The computer connects one USB and Display Port from the GPU into a proprietary IMRNext Wi-Fi Access Point, which converts the signal into Wi-Fi 6E and streams it directly to the on-belt module.

Because Vrgineers is also working on Somnium VR1 development, the same wireless technology will be available as an add-on module for this headset after its release.