As Bigscreen Beyond continues to navigate the challenges of manufacturing and delivery, new contenders continue to emerge in the highly competitive VR hardware market. This raises the question: Is Bigscreen Beyond entering the market too late?
Bigscreen Beyond, a product of collaboration by dozens of companies, has now been in the development phase for over three years. The device’s components range from micro-OLED displays and fiber optic cables to packaging materials. With overseas partners managing sub-assemblies and a dedicated factory in Los Angeles for final assembly, the company ensures a personalized fit for each unit. By submitting a facial scan, customers can have a unit tailored to their unique facial features.
In 2021, the first prototypes were unveiled to a select group of customers under a non-disclosure agreement. By 2022, the first headsets, known as engineering samples, were dispatched for home use. These units showcased the final product’s potential, with the core components housed in 3D printed plastics. By the close of 2022, the company had transitioned to production-grade injection molded plastics.
2023 began with the shipment of around 100 pre-release units to early customers. Following the positive reception, Bigscreen Beyond was publicly announced in February 2023, with preorders commencing shortly afterwards.
While the company had initially projected US orders to be dispatched between July and September and global orders between October and December, unforeseen manufacturing and supply chain delays pushed the mass production start to July. However, the company managed to commence shipments by September, as promised. Despite these achievements, the company faces challenges in meeting its daily production targets. Current production rates are hovering at roughly 25% of the desired rate.
For those who preordered in the US for Q3, approximately 20% will be shipped by next week, primarily catering to February orders. The remaining 80% are expected to be dispatched between November 6 and November 19. Orders placed between June and September, both domestic and international, are on track for Q4 delivery. By early 2024, the company anticipates a streamlined delivery process, with orders being shipped within weeks of order placement.
While Bigscreen acknowledges the disappointment many may feel due to the delays, they assure customers that efforts are in full swing to expedite the delivery process and to further boost production, a second night shift will be introduced, and the LA factory team has been doubled in size.
With new competitors such as the Visor from Immersed making waves in the market and receiving positive feedback, Bigscreen Beyond faces increasingly stiff competition. The delays in Bigscreen Beyond’s production and delivery could give potential competitors an edge, allowing them to time to establish a solid customer base. While Bigscreen Beyond has shown a lot of promise, its success could ultimately hinge on its ability to adapt quickly and meet consumer demands in this ever changing market.