GDC 2016: First look: Sulon Q, the first tether-less VR headset


Sulon Q is the first tether-less virtual reality (VR) headset, but it’s much more than that – though, that would’ve been enough alone. It offers a mixed augmented reality (AR) and VR experience, with a healthy dose of spatial computing thrown in.

While Sulon CEO Dhan Balachand couldn’t show me an up-and-running unit yet, he did offer me a sneak peak at the hardware at GDC 2016.

The headset he let me try on is a matte- and shiny-black unit with a sizable (and heavy) battery pack on the back. The unit fits snugly on the head, and Velcro straps let you adjust it to fit it just right.

Sulon Q

How does it feel to use?

Unlike other VR headsets I’ve used, there was nothing pressing into the bridge of my nose. The weight of the battery pack also melted away as soon as it donned my head. It felt a little heavier than an Oculus Rift weight-wise, though Dhan says another iteration of the headset has already shed off some heft.

Foam around the edges keep it from cutting into your face, though the whole headset feels like it could use some refinement. It doesn’t quite look like the premium offerings we’ve seen from established rivals – yet.

The most promising feature, of course, is the lack of wires. You can walk around with the Sulon Q on and not be tethered to a PC or console. It was liberating not to have to finagle with connectors.

Sulon Q

What else can we expect?

When it ships in late spring, the headset will be an early edition and come packing custom earbuds, a keyboard and a mouse. Balachand explains that a keyboard and mouse are easiest means to control the Sulon Q, which is essentially a computer on your face.

However, Sulon Q will be able to comprehend and follow voice and gesture controls, as it runs Windows 10. Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana, for example, launches a demo Sulon has made available online.

I’ll have more from my conversation with Balachand later on. On the next page, you’ll find a few more up-close photos of the Sulon Q.

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