You may have seen the viral video of cows in Russia using virtual reality headsets to reduce anxiety. This post has nothing to do with cows, but more to do with the headsets that cows may or may not frequently use.
According to 2021 figures, the VR and AR market in Russia is set to grow five-fold in the next five years, which was 1.4 billion rubles in 2020. It’s safe to say that Russia is betting on VR and its applications in a range of different fields, such as education. In location-based entertainment, Anvio VR has been setting up internationally, reaching so far as Hollywood on the west coast of the United States. They even reached our list of top virtual reality experiences in the world.
But what’s the situation like on the Russian market for VR headsets?
There’s been significant progress in this direction, as well, with a range of different headsets being released for commercial, industrial and corporate applications since 2015. In this post, we’ll outline the 3 best Russian VR headsets that you may not have known about, but have received widespread acclaim.
But before we begin! The industry-standard VR headset, the Meta Quest 2 is currently available as an affiliate link for just over $400 right here.
Table of Contents
- Roscosmos XR-1 / XR-2
- Povstanets “Rebel”
- Hard Made VR
Roscosmos XR-1 / XR-2
In February of last year, Roscosmos, the state space corporation of the Russian Federation, announced that it was developing virtual reality equipment for consumers. At The Startup Village expo, the features of the Roscosmos XR-1 virtual reality headset were unveiled. And they were very impressive.
Roscosmos XR-1 specifications
Display: 2 LCD each 2.89″
Resolution: 2880 × 1440 (1440 × 1440 by eye)
Display refresh rate: 90/120Hz (optional)
Viewing Angle: 105 degrees diagonal
Optics: Hybrid Fresnel lens
PC connection: Wired
Sensors: gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer
Connectors: miniDP, miniUSB
Power supply: 5 volt
Weight: less than 500 grams
Support: Windows 10 and SteamVR
Tracking: base stations
A report from the Russian technology news publication Holographica.space reported that the headset is designed to test various Roscosmos technologies. Thus, it is unlikely that consumers will be able to get a prototype of the device. The XR-2 was also announced later that year.
The Roscosmos XR-2 or “Falcon-1” has improved resolution (5760 × 2880), a wider field of view (157 degrees diagonally), and additional features, such as gaze tracking.
Roscosmos XR-2 specifications
Viewing Angle: 157 degrees diagonally
Resolution: 5760 × 2880
Eye tracking: Available
Tracking: Base stations with unlimited tracking area and the ability to track up to 256 objects, 5 mm accuracy or less, 2 base stations cover 200 square meters.
Last year, the Sokol design bureau in Moscow presented a working prototype of their VR headset called Povstanets, which translates to rebel.
The headset was first displayed at the international forum “Army-2021”, which makes it clear that this headset targets the military and government segments of applications. The headset is available in a dark green color (pictured) and the prototype is attached to the head from behind with a special strap.
The glasses have two LCD displays inside with a resolution of 4860 by 2520 and the ability to view 140 degrees. Proprietary short-focus proprietary lenses have been created for the optics.
What’s interesting about this headset is the shallow depth of the front of the body. The final version should have a depth of only 30 millimeters. The Oculus Quest 2, for instance, has a depth of about 70 millimeters. The shallower the glasses, the less pressure on the bridge of the nose and other parts of the face and the greater the comfort of active actions such as turning the head. This would make it very mobile and ideal for military applications.
This is definitely a headset we will follow in the years ahead.
Hard Made VR
This next headset is a wild card in our list. This is because its development belongs to a university graduate and VR enthusiast, Vladislav Cherniauskas. According to VRDigest, this is what Vladislav, himself, had to say about the development of the headset (translated into English):
Hard Made VR derives from stereoscope technology. This technology was widespread at the end of the 19th century, and it was two pictures that were attached to the device with lenses, and already looking into the device, you get a three-dimensional picture. Doesn’t it remind you of anything? As I began my journey in building a VR helmet, I began to have problems with the design of the helmet itself (or to be more precise, how to make them at all). I tried making them out of bent plastic, making them out of rectangular plywood boxes, a bunch of other ways, but I came up with exactly the way that was invented in that same late 19th century! Namely, a sheet of decorative plywood bent into an oval.
Vladislav Cherniauskas to VRDigest
Hard Made VR specifications
- Resolution: 2560*1440 (2k), 60 Hz
- Interface: HDMI & Micro USB
- VR Software: Steam VR or Depth 3D
- Head Tracker: Point Tracker (Open Track, Free Track and others)
- Comfort: Adjustable interpupillary and focal distance individually for each eye. Also adjustable latex face padding.
- Optional: Room Scale (requires connection to Nolo VR, PS Move, or other devices)
To create something this detailed at such young age is impressive. For this reason, we’ll be calling Cherniauskas the Russian Palmer Luckey. We will undoubtedly continue to follow the developments of the Hard Made VR headset.
It’s safe to say that there are many interesting developments coming from the Russian VR headset scene. Honorable mentions include Fibrum, which was released in 2016 on the European and American markets but has unfortunately disappeared from the limelight.
The three headsets included here serve as an indicator that most of the VR headsets coming from Russia are mostly targeted towards military applications. It would be interesting to see whether a private Russian company could step up and penetrate the international VR headset markets. China has done so with the acquisition of Pico, for example.
We await to see further developments in the largest country on Earth.