XTAL In-Depth Interview



it is good to broaden the horizon and have a look at what other wide-FOV, high-resolution headsets are out there. I met with VRgineers CEO to learn more about the XTAL. It is very interesting what he has to say about Fresnel lenses, OLED displays and so on. Have a look: https://youtu.be/saLkQtN57tc

Bye, Sebastian


Cool, thanks for this! Going to watch it now.


Great interview Sebastian, very interesting thanks, I really appreciated Marek Polčák’s explanation of things and his views, he is an hell of engineer.


Auto IPD and self developed eyetracking. Marek did some nice work there! Kudos to him and his team. But the pricetag is still steep. 4800 euro for a HMD. The research alone and the contemplations. What an effort. Is the car in the desert with the leather upholstery the only experience with Xtal you had @mixedrealityTV? Or did you do some gaming too?


Nice interview, this guy knows what he’s talking about, I love it how he rather designs his own eye tracking system, LOL. What I’d like to hear though is your experience with this HMD, are you going to do a review? I’m a bit concerned about the ergonomics of this thing, seems so heavy. I wonder how well this would be suitable for gamers who just want THE best HMD.


As far as I know he already recorded a review and gathered lots of stuff about it. He said in one of his vids that he still needs to cut it though which takes longer since it is lots of content. I think it will be released soon.


The Xtal definitely has the right idea about having a manageable fov and good lenses. I think modding the 8k to work with a good set of Aspherical lenses will be on my to do list.

I love the idea of a wide field of view, but with a bit of a sacrifice of FOV and good glass optics, the experience would (in my opinion) wow a lot of people.


The problem is that Pimax started with 6+ inch panels and then started to develop lenses (while companies like StarVR designed both). I think it’s actually a big challenge to come up with a lens that uses more than 50% of the panel size. I’m not sure if it’s possible, I don’t know much about optics, but if an (aspherical) wide FoV lens exists that can do this, then that would be a huge win. The Pimax 2:1 (?) sized panels might be tough to capture with a lens.

StarVR said their panels are about 5:4, I guess that’s a lot easier for lenses to use near 100% (which StarVR claims).

I would love to hear how panel usage is for the XTAL


Hi @George, no I also played a SteamVR game: War Thunder. It was pretty impressive. Also they had some other, more professional showcase where you could walk through a house and change floor, wallpaper, etc. Architecture stuff. Then they had another simulator, where I was sitting in another pilot chair, with a real helicopter helmet on that had an XTAL mounted to it. Really nice. Will show you all of that on the channel. Was really an interesting trip.


Hi @sjefdeklerk yeah, I have lots of footage and I will do a “hands-on impression”. All that I can say after I checked out the device for a couple of hours. Cannot do a full review since I did not have it at home and also since I do not really understand all the actual apps that would be used with it in professional environments (Autodesk etc.). But I will give you an impression about clarity, FOV etc. Will come up on my channel some time in the future.

At the moment, I do not see this to be suitable for gamers, it is just so geared towards professionals.


They do have a nice balance there, @VRGIMP27. And especially not having any godrays is nice.


Pimax us using 16:9 panels.

My lg g4 is 16:9 at 25601440
My Lg G6 is 18:9(2:1) at 2880

So with Pimax panel res being 38402160 & 25601440 are 16:9.

On the other hand have you looked at the Xtal? It makes Pimax 8k look tiny & weighs over 700g (but you can get a 400g counter weight) lol


According to Ben, the StarVR one is the HMD to watch: https://www.roadtovr.com/starvr-one-hands-on-most-complete-ultra-wide-fov-vr-headset-to-date/

Unless it’s extremely priced (>$3500) or something bad comes to light (not featuring my high IPD for example), I think I’m going to buy this one. Supposedly it’s up for sale ‘soon’ … Personal guess btw is that the price will be $1800.


Yes, I am meeting the team soon and will go hands on. Will of course report.


Thank you for the really good interview!

So based on your impressions playing War Thunder on XTAL (that is a sort of flight sim, if I’m not mistaken?) their 70Hz refresh rate is not a problem for wide-FOV headsets? I’m really interested because of if they were comfortable to demo the fast-paced flight sim to the public, then they are not concerned that there is a problem. Do you think it’s due to the lower FOV, custom OLED screens or they have a good custom render?

EDIT: My bad, I haven’t realised WT is air-to-surface-to-sea sim. Have they demoed ground or air or sea?


@mixedrealityTV On the Xtal interview, Marek told it costed around $4800 dollars at the moment? Sebastian asked if it were possible to make it cheaper. Marek told it was a matter of scalability. If they can produce more headsets, the price would go down. But in the near future they were focusing on B2B partners. Xtal for consumers is maybe a while away.

My personal guess would be that Xtal waits for the next Oculus HMD to hit the market and then act on it whether to go mass product or not. Oculus has still the biggest pockets of money around.


This years‘ Oculus Connect appears to announce the Santa Cruz stand-alone system, one which really intruiges me quite a bit (while the Go could not raise any interest as it offered something comparable to the GearVR which I never cared about either).
Lower graphics performace than a PC based system of course, but autonomous world-scale true 6DoF with VR controllers, that could really be a treat.

However, that would pretty much mean that we will not learn much, or rather nothing about the Rift 2. And I would not be astonished if that only releases somewhere in 2020, being announced during Oculus Connect 6 in 2019.

If they want to wait for so long to consider a consumer version of the Xtal, it may have become obsolete by other manufacturer‘s products in the meantime though.


I have the feeling they are working up to the CV2. The screen tech just isn’t quite there yet. If the new OLED’s were available Star VR would have used them for sure.

It would be interesting though if the Santa Cruse could plug in using virtual link