There’s been a lot of talk lately (including from yours truly), about the impressive comfort of Sony’s PlayStation VR headset, but Idealens K2, a mobile all-in-one VR headset out of China, features a promising new ergonomic approach that might be the most comfortable I’ve ever worn.

The Idealens K2 is an all-in-one VR headset. It’s got roughly the same internals you’ll find from a Galaxy S6 powered Gear VR headset, except everything is self-contained within the headset, rather than relying on a snap-in smartphone to power the experience.

The performance of the K2’s proprietary Android-based VR OS is impressive, and it uses a touchpad on the side of the headset along with a few buttons for interaction; it feels as responsive and performant as you’d expect from Gear VR (which is widely regarded as the current bar-setting device for mobile VR); that alone is something many other mobile VR headsets have struggled with, but perhaps the most impressive part of the Idealens K2 is its phenomenally comfortable design.


Yes, it looks a little crazy, but it doesn’t matter once you feel it on your head. At a mere 295 grams, the headset feels featherlight compared to its bulky looks. (For comparison, the latest Gear VR weighs in at 312 grams before snapping in another 138 grams or more of phone.) The springy band that arches high over the top of your head keeps the right amount of pressure on your forehead and the back of your head without the restrictive feeling of a left/right/top strap tightened around your cranium. The desire for a counterbalance on the back of the head makes a natural opportunity for the placement of a large battery, which we see on the K2, powering the headset for several hours of continuous use.

The height of the top band has the secondary benefit of not getting in the way of overhead headphones, and allows you to put your headphones on before the headset (avoiding that surprisingly annoying task of blindly finding them and determining their left/right orientation before putting them over your headset). The headset slides on with ease, and within seconds you’re inside of functional VR environment with resolution, headtracking performance, and field of view similar to Gear VR.

You might be concerned, as I was, that the lack of side straps would make the Idealens K2 prone to falling off one side of your face or the other. In normal use however, the centralized center of gravity leads to very little acceleration of the headset away from your head, keeping it easily in place. For more intense games, there are optional straps which attach to mounting points on the side and back of the headset to keep it more firmly in place, but in my time with the headset I didn’t feel any need for them. Once positional tracking is introduced, that could change.

The company is working on a laser-based positional tracking solution, but the 3D printed prototype they brought to the show was not in use due to unexpected interference, possibly due to SteamVR Tracking basestations in the booth directly next to Idealens, suspected Brent Jentzsch, the company’s Developer Relations Manager.

Final Specs Show PSVR is Heaviest Among Rift and Vive, But It Still Gets My Vote for Best Ergonomics

In general, I’m skeptical of new VR tracking technologies, especially from small Chinese-based startups, but according to Jentzsch, Idealens’ parent company, Idealsee Group, employs some 230 engineers across the company’s three major interests (Image Recognition/VR, VR Headsets, and VR cameras), about one third of which are working on the VR front.

Jentzsch told me he was proud of the performance of the company’s positional tracking system (currently called the T1000), which relies on small tracking spheres that clip onto the Idealens K2 and hand controllers. I’ll be interested to see how it performs once I can try the system in a stable testing environment.


Because the headset has everything built inside, the price is naturally higher than a snap-in smartphone headset like Gear VR (unless you factor in the cost of the phone). The Idealens K2 is currently available on the Chinese market for around $500 USD, with the available content (which the company says includes 100+ VR games and 1,000+ VR videos) understandably composed of Chinese-oriented games and apps. Meanwhile, the company is still deciding on its strategy for offering the headset in the US.

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  • DiGiCT Ltd

    @ben lang, you should give the pico neo a try.
    They solved the standalone android HMD weight issue by putting it into the gamepad that comes with it.
    That makes it ultra light, additional this HMD also can connect to the pc too.
    The good thing about alll those companies in China is that some of them might come up with a better idea.
    VR is a new field for all of us and therefor even a small startup company could make a groundbreaking invention.
    In China there is a huge investment been done on it and lots of companies work on VR.
    I must say that most of these devices also come with certain flaws, as thats always the case here.
    You mention the amount of engineers lol, thats also typically a thing here, showing how big their team is, but that does not say anything, the question rather is how many of them are realy skilled enough in this field as it is something you cant just learn from school and takes a good and creative mind to make it instead.

    It is always hard to find skilled people for high tech and R&D, everywhere in the world, especially here in China.
    At the end they are all racing here against the clock, one of them eventually will be having the device for mobile VR in china, as thats for sure going to be the biggest VR market here, not the pc or console.

    But I think already that the milestone is set here for China as if you look at youtube Unity LA keynote video, you will see that Xiao Mi already has their VR set + the VR platform ready for China, and even can arrange for western developers their entry to the Chinese market for selling their content.
    HTC and steam also arranges that for devs.

    I think this device might be fine, but so many own platforms will just be a pain, the android market here in China is already having over 200 platforms, which makes devs sick here.

    Hopefuly you can test some more of them, as its intresting to see for sure.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • benz145

      I’ve tried the Pico Neo and I think it’s a smart design as well.

      Of course the number of engineers isn’t that important, but I have a little more faith in a larger Chinese company delivering what they say than a very young startup with 5 employees. What they’ve achieved with the K2 also lends credence to their ability to deliver.

      You’re right to point out the platform issue, that seems to be a big reason why they don’t know what their US plan are yet, it would obviously be hard to get much dev/content traction when Daydream is right on the horizon, and Samsung/Oculus are backing Gear VR.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Great, would you mind to share your pico neo experience with us too ?

        As far as i seen it has potential, I might later on add it to the collection but im also worried about their store being their own again though.

        As a dev all those stores bringing your content in is also a lot of work, submitting everything required and webbased filling in the fields all the time.
        I hope VR does not go the same direction as those android stores, as its a pain to manage all those different shops.

        Hope you could convince me to add the Pico Neo earlier to my collection, else i will just by it later on as it hink those guys are also working to the correct direction.

        Thanks for sharing already so much with us, keep up the good work.

  • VRgameDevGirl

    I wish HTC could create some type of addon to the VIVE. I can’t play without getting a headache from the pressure on my face.

    • Tim

      American companies are underestimating how important this is. Many content makers are just waiting for an HMD like the Idealens.

      • John Robertson

        My content studio has been waiting for something like Idealens, and had the opportunity to try it and speak with the team at the West China Expo in Chengdu. A big step in the right direction IMHO.

  • OgreTactics

    Not convinced at all, the design is bulky, not sleek, the head-tracking sound like it adds to the bulk and in general integrated Android device if not a slidable smartphone, is a conceptual non-sense.