Those looking for viable alternatives to the Oculus Quest 2 don’t have a lot to choose from and most standalone headsets from the likes of HTC Vive or Pico Interactive tend to be focused on enterprise use cases. However, Chinese hardware maker arpara might just fill that void, revealing an all-in-one headset (AIO) and a tethered one, alongside its own social platform arparaland.
Both headsets have the same display hardware, promising two 1.03-inch 2560 x 2560 resolution micro-OLED displays for a combined 5K resolution, so there should be no screendoor effect to worry about. Arpara says the displays boast 3514 PPI alongside a 95° field of view (FoV), plus both designs look far more compact in comparison to rival headsets.
First to market will be the tethered arpara VR headset which is due to launch in August retailing for $599 USD. This PC, phone and console connectable headset weighs in at a very light 200g and can achieve a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s also got a manual IPD adjustment of 56 – 72mm and rather uniquely, a diopter adjustment with a stated range between -100° – 500°. What it doesn’t have is its own tracking solution for full 6DoF immersion. This can only be achieved using a separate solution like the Nolo Tracking Kit.
The arpara all-in-one VR headset has a bit more jam-packed into it, with four cameras providing inside-out head and hand tracking all powered by Qualcomm’s XR2 platform. It has the same IPD and diopter adjustment as the other headset but to ensure a comfortable experience the 4600mAh battery is located at the rear to counterbalance the headset. This does mean it weighs a little more, 380g to be precise. And to ensure maximum gaming versatility the arpara AIO VR headset supports both wired and wireless SteamVR or Viveport streaming. A price hasn’t been revealed at the moment, with a launch taking place after the tethered edition.
In addition to those devices will be arparaland, one giant social world to hang out, have virtual meetings or attend live events, quite the challenge indeed. It’ll also feature avatar and environmental customisation tools so you can build your character and home to live in. “Ownership of digital assets in arparaland is recorded on regulated blockchains and stored digitally forever. Digital assets can be minted as NFTs for auctions,” notes the company in a statement. Arparaland will launch in August as well.