It looks like many of you enjoyed our concise analysis of 3DHead. While we had a bit of fun with the company’s massive gaming helmet (making sure here that we don’t confuse it with an actual VR headset), we didn’t arrive at our conclusion lazily. We tested the unit and spoke directly with the company’s COO to try to get a sense of whether or not the folks involved were delusional about their “Oculus Killer” claim or just being dishonest. It seems to be the latter.

3dhead oculus comparison chart

For those who are a bit lost, a quick recap: ‘3DHead’ came to CES 2015 with an aggressive marketing strategy attempting to position the headset as an “Oculus Killer.” That might have been fine for a serious competitor, but 3DHead’s laughably bulky headset meets approximately nobody’s expectation of VR (except for 3DHead, that is). So attempting to not only market the product as virtual reality, but as being better than arguably the current best consumer VR the world has seen, is not something anyone should put up with. The only people we could see 3DHead selling their product to are those that don’t know any better. To sum it up: 3DHead asked for it.

In the last year or so, the phrase “poison in the well” has been used to mean that bad virtual reality could harm good virtual reality by failing to meet the public’s expectation. Fortunately, 3DHead is so far out there that it isn’t even in the well to begin with.

3dhead oculus killer ces 2015

Regarding our prior 3DHead article. As many of you picked up, it was a statement of more than its three words.

ASUS, Lenovo & Xbox Are All Making XR Headsets Running Meta's New Third-party Friendly Operating System

First, a company making outright dishonest claims for the sake of attention is not worth your time or ours (which is the reason why you won’t find any links to 3DHead in this article). Part of writing the prior article as we did was because we had plenty of actual stories about actual companies making actual products and are actually trying to be honest about their wares. We were able to push out more of these legitimate stories by not wasting our then-limited time on 3DHead.

Second, we are honored with the trust and rapport that we’ve built with our readership and the community, and believed that our words could be trusted on their own in this case. (P.S. we enjoyed the conversation that sprung up in the comments.)

3dhead oculus killer interview

That being said, there’s no way we’d say “It’s beyond bad” about anything without trying it and doing a proper analysis. And that’s why we stopped by the company’s booth for a hands-on and interview with COO James Jacobs.

Jacobs told me that “Oculus Killer” wasn’t his idea and shifted blame to the “marketing guys.” He told me the marketing message wasn’t under his control and that he didn’t agree with it. If so, I feel bad that he had to face the brunt of community outrage, and that he is stuck working with a company that does things that he doesn’t agree with. In the end though, I’m not sure if he wasn’t just trying to save face.

After the interview, Jacobs asked if I’d be “mean like the others.” I told him I would be fair.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • loki

    So really its more an Sony HMZ Personal 3D Viewer killer. Was it their first CES experience? if it was , it must have been a humbling experience. Cant wait to see what they bring next year XD, in the meantime I’m gonna replicate the 3D head for my SL avatar.

    • Gr8llama

      It really wasn’t even that good. While I’m not a fan of the personal viewer, I’d prefer it to watch movies or play games (it can be quite immersive with a TrackIR taped to it) than the 3D Head. I doubt we’ll be seeing these guys next year. Never know, but I don’t think they’ll be able to afford it when this goes bust. Using a,head replica for your SL avatar sounds like the best use I’ve heard for the device. :)

  • pittsburghjoe

    That interview made me cringe a lot

  • Fluke

    “If it’s a keyboard and mouse game, I do not want to take my hand off the keyboard and find a mouse.”

    Damn, if there was only some strange and weird way that I could use one hand on my keyboard and my other hand on the mouse…

    I felt sorry for the guy near the start, but no, the more I listened, the more it came across that he didn’t have a clue.

  • SaerDeQuincy

    Somehow, I feel really sorry for this guy. No, I pity this whole company. I think the owner might’ve been conned by someone using some pretty speech into starting this whole ordeal – signing contract with screen or tablet maker (or even already buying thousands of them with hard cash), with the shady marketing company, with whoever makes short term profits on the cost of their demise.

    They clearly had no idea what VR is – they still don’t. They also don’t know that it all has gone to this point of no return because there had to be a rat in the company that knew it will crash and is making some good cash out of it. If all the workers were this nuts there is no way they would achieve what they did. The probability is just too small.

  • Gr8llama

    Honestly when i found out the main company was a marketing company all of the schemes associated with such companies came to mind. After I tried the device I left angry. I was angry that they suckered me in thinking I’d see an HMD, one that I doubted would be close to the Oculus, but perhaps a new competitor. Competition in the VR space is great. I love the Oculus and Gear VR, but I am also rooting for Vrvana, and Sulon, Razer and even AntVR (as they are at least a VR HMD), even CastAR, etc. And at nearly 600 bucks this really is one of the most elaborate scams I’ve ever seen or this is the most delusional marketing company ever.

    I’ve tried many HMDs, some military grade and it is a serious topic for me and for work. So to get pulled into their booth by the claims may have worked on their part for the traffic, but it left people angry and with a bad taste in their mouth. Will people be mean? How else are people supposed to respond to straight up dishonesty? They could have very well killed their entire product with this stupid move. The product itself it is laughable, but most of the people at CES aren’t stupid. I’m grateful that RtoVR covered this because you are a major voice for this industry with those of us involved in it. I was seriously hoping my facebook rant about this product would not be the only one.

    Anyway. The last article was still good, but I appreciate the video interview. No matter what this guy says he sounds like a guy trying to back track on all of his lies now that he’s been caught by someone who knows them for what they are. I can’t feel sorry for him. He’s the COO, he knows what is on his booth is not true, admits it in the interview (shakily). I know I won’t suggest doing any sort of business with a group that represents themselves in this fashion and I hope folks see articles like this so they don’t get duped into it either.

  • giraffey88

    Companies like this make me sick. They trick people into spending their hard earned cash on garbage instead of a product they can actually use. The COO is just hiding behind a bunch of lies and I seriously doubt he is a gamer. “If it’s a keyboard and mouse game, I don’t want to take my hand off the keyboard and find a mouse.” Does he even know how to use a keyboard and mouse? I bet he uses vista…

    • Gr8llama

      So the one he showed me on the floor he said was specifically for the XBox and they were working on the PS and PC version. He then handed me a handheld screen with a controller built into it and said this was for PC gamers. Huh? What do you mean? He never really answered that. Only had a comment when I said it wasn’t comfortable to use in my hands he turned it upside down and said imagine the screen on the top. I did and it still wasn’t comfortable, and it still wasn’t something for PC gaming. Heh. I just have to wonder who made it for them. When I asked about the design he just said, this is what the artists drew for us and so we made it. Huh? Artists say try this, you just spend the money to manufacture it? No trials, no Q&A, just, the next version will be better. Uh huh. Sure buddy.

      It was an interesting booth in some aspects (especially see all of this and looking back). The COO and an older woman that I think was probably his wife were the only ones doing demos. There were three other people sitting around that were supposed to be giving demos but they were too busy talking, The guy who started my demo seemed reluctant as well but he started (and gave me gads of incorrect information, at least according to the COO) and then the COO finished it. I was listening to the woman too and she would bristle every time someone tried to ask a question about it. She just wanted to get through her spiel. But with all of the questions that pop into your head about this device it is hard to wait until the end and then remember them all.

  • 100 degrees field of view, non-perceivable lag, so well balanced you cannot feel it… well with those specs this is amazing! Not sure I’m buying it though ;)

    Kind of ridiculous to go out as the OCULUS KILLER and then not even being a competitor in the same space, that’s some great marketing strategy there for sure, just look at all the press they’ve gotten… from people looking for VR tech.

    Apparently they can play any game today, which places them better in the market place than Oculus, but the same can be said about a normal computer monitor. Tape an air-mouse to it and you have your 3D-head tracker already there.

    And price is apparently too shameful to even mention. They also increased it just the other day… I really hope nobody buys into this, you can definitely do something similar with a plastic bucket, a bicycle helmet, a saw and some duct tape. Then just buy the same tablet they are using off of Alibaba for $150. Meh.

    • Oh, and just read the text too, remembered there was an actual article to the video.

      The last statement was a bit sad, asking if you would be mean, it does make me feel as if he does think their product has a place, but perhaps their marketing just made this entire ordeal a nightmare.

      I mean, if they did promote it as a personal media viewer or something… and perhaps selling it for a bit cheaper, then perhaps we could have taken them more seriously. I’m still not sure the product would actually attract any buyers, I mean it’s humongous, but I could hardly have been worse publicity.

      Again people say any publicity is good publicity, but in all honesty sometimes it doesn’t feel that way to me :P

  • illuzion

    Its certainly clear that 3dhead haven’t done enough r&d or even basic research before deploying a product that gamers, enthusiasts and developers done actually desire.
    I nearly pissed myself when I saw how large the headset unit actually was, its so large its ridiculous to imagine anyone wearing it for enjoyment.
    I do feel sorry that the company has tunnel vision, but it also makes me angry that they think people are so stupid to believe the waffle spoken during that interview, the VR community and oculus deserves 3dheads explanation of its negative marketing towards oculus and prove why its a killer. If you talk the talk you better walk the walk.
    I love everything that the vr community has become and with all the challenges ahead we don’t need products like this making the general public think that VR is a joke. On a brighter note I can see 3dhead being useful at the next alien isolation dress up party.

  • tgsdev

    People are taking this way too seriously. They’re trolling, plain and simple. And their success is rather telling.

    • kendoka15

      But it’s a real product being shown at a serious event that’ll be sold at a high price
      If they’re trolling, they’re putting a lot of money into it.

  • Patrick Hogenboom

    Respect, Ben.
    For keeping a straight face and letting that guy make his statement.
    However cringeworthy that statement was.
    Must have been hard not to take the piss…

  • Curtrock

    For the 1st time ever on R2VR, I couldn’t watch the whole interview. Cringeworthy is an understatement! I feel bad for this guy…it’s like he unknowingly became the “fall guy” for a bad idea… After I heard him say “the latency is unmeasurable, it’s in the Mega-Hertz”.. Well, that’s when I had to turn it off…..I mean, give me a rather large F’in break, dude! Ben: you are a gentleman for maintaining your professionalism when faced with ignorance of this magnitude.

  • xxxyyy

    Oculus killer? Not just the Rift, they mean the whole company? Someone please send a warning message to Luckey, quickly!

  • AzumaNushi

    The Martians have landed!

  • trilion99

    That 3DHead thing is for sure good for a laugh, but I was wondering why you are spending a whole interview on something, which is obviously unrelated to VR and don’t cover other more important stuff at CES, like the FOVE eye tracking display? Is that because it doesn’t have anything to do with Oculus?

    • 3D Head made a lot of noise calling themselves an Oculus Killer, so for me I sure wanted to know what they were up to. It is an HMD, but as it turns out not a VR HMD… but yeah, they did grab a whole lot of attention with their marketing so I think it made sense to cover them even if it is only to show they have false claims.

      As for FOVE, it looks like they showed up with the same prototype as in November which they covered then: and they did at least talk about it on the podcast for day 4: :)

    • Paul James

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean. There was mass speculation, concern and confusion about 3D Head in the run up and duration of CES, in particular relating to their “Oculus killer” claims. Purely from a standpoint of clarifying the product’s position and the company’s approach, this was a worthwhile exercise – in fact it was absolutely required in our opinion.

      RE Fove, we’ve covered it before and we had correspondents check it out at the show. If there’s anything new to report we will.

      In the mean time, you can check out the rest of our CES 2015 coverage, the majority of which isn’t about Oculus:

      We’re a small operation, we’re not Engadget or the Verge. We get stories out as soon as humanly possible and there’ll be a lot more to come, but we are only human (despite appearances).

      • trilion99

        Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful. Absolutely appreciate your work.
        Sometimes the whole Oculus hype seems a bit overwhelming, so I just wanted to make a point about another HMD that I think has great potential. I wasn’t aware of your coverage in the podcast. Thanks for the great job. Keep it up!

      • drifter

        The only way to be sure is the Turing test.
        Ok I start :

        – Hi, how are you ?

  • drifter

    (responding to : “we are only human (despite appearances).”)

  • Jomas Benfell-McCormick

    I don’t know who I’m more sorry for. Ben Lang or the guy that made 3DHead

  • Jason Frimpong

    Doesnt Oculus have everything on the list that 3D head states it doesnt

    • Dmitry Kudriavtsev

      Oculus does not have a detachable 3D tablet.

  • David Austin

    Was never going to do vr any damage. Something has to have traction to do any industry harm and this, or course was fated from the start to have negative traction. An extremely expensive lesson in proper product development for a bunch of guys who thought this was a market of idiots (or enough idiots to justify their efforts), nothing more. Frankly it seems someone wouldn’t get so bent out of shape unless they were also concerned that at least some of their co-enthusiasts were complete morons. That has not been my experience. Was funny at first, but ultimately sad and getting more pathetic by the moment.

    • David Austin

      Still super funny though, guess what I’m saying is keep it light guys.

  • Johan Fredriksson

    Oh god :) This was bad 2015… Today… 2017 it REAAAAALLY bad! :’D ROTFLMAO!!!