Remarkerable Beat Saber, from an 8-year music player’s view

I’ve been a music game player for more than 8 years, supposed to be picky enough about them. But I still could not forget the shock brought to me by the first sight of Beat Saber, so that whenever VR comes to my mind, Beat Saber comes up. And the first thing I did after switching to a 2060 PC, was to buy a VR device to play it.

Dance Monkey • Expert • Beat Saber • Mixed Reality [1]

Published since 2018, Beat Saber is now still a widely praised VR Game on Steam. The content of Beat Saber is good, but it couldn’t achieve such a huge success without VR. On my first sight of it, a player was like a brave warrior, wielding two fantastic red and blue swords, like sword-dance, nimbly avoiding the oncoming light wall, with gorgeous light effect and epic BGM sound effect. This sums up why Beat Saber is so enaging: the strong visual impact brought by VR, the wonderful interactive UI, and the sense of engaging rooted in a music game.

Immersive VR’s application

Too many wonderful music games I’ve tried, so that I won’t cast a glance at average ones. However, in Beat Saber, it differs. Vivid music blocks, FLY onto your face, and you waving your awesome lightswords, like dancing to the beat, especially in a unacquainted wonderland. What an impressive experience! And it’s what VR can offer, a fictional world full of fancy.

Less is more. Simple UI but a multisensory interation.

[Beat Saber] YOASOBI – Racing into the Night (Yoru ni Kakeru) Collaboration with MASO [2]

On the first sight of Beat Saber, you can find there are few words in it. Instead, you are embraced by a new music world where there are many instructions hiding in the properties of objects, from sight, hearing to touch. For example, the red/blue sword is to split red/blue blocks, arrows on blocks tell you in which direction to split them, feedback like an electric shock tell you bombs and walls are to elude, and etc. All of these make the game are easy to play, like you are born to know.

Sense of engaging rooted in a music game

Hearing plays an important in our life. Even without sight, simply a piece of music can make one feel sense of engaging. In some extend, “VR in sound” is the earlist and mature technology in VR developmenyt. As a music game, Beat Saber’s sound effect is no doubt excellent. In my opinion, when a VR application is able to offer me wonderful sight and hearing experience, it’s praisable enough.

Limitations of nowadays VR interation

Not just Beat Saber, nowadays many VR applications’ interation is limited to 6 DoF VR Controller. However, due to the limited technology of the current spatial positioning equipment, the interaction between the base station and the headset VR controller will cause disorder after the user moves his/her body greatly. During the game involving movement of entire body, users may find themselves gradually move to a direction where VR controllers don’t work well.

What’ more, space is much more expensive than VR equipments. These kinds of VR applications equire a lot of space, and in small rooms, such as bedrooms, it is difficult to play, likely to hit the furniture in the room. As a result, the highest cost of this game is to have a wide room rather than a VR device, which will make such kind of VR applications not applicable.


In a conclusion, nowadays a successful VR application, in my opinion, should be a VR+X application. Only VR doesn’t work. When it combine with a good content, in this article, a wonder music game, it may be potential to gain a success.


[1] Dance Monkey • Expert • Beat Saber • Mixed Reality, xoxobluff, Youtube

[2] [Beat Saber] YOASOBI – Racing into the Night (Yoru ni Kakeru) Collaboration with MASO, Artemisblue, Youtube

Google Lens


The concept of augmented reality is highly intriguing, offering a wealth of possibilities and the potential to transform our daily lives. It enables us to augment our perception of the physical world by providing an additional layer of information, without the need for active searching.

The application that I will be talking about in this post is one that is readily accessible to most people and might have already been used by most readers. That application is Google Lens.

About Google Lens

Google Lens was originally announced during Google I/O 2017 and was originally as a visual add on to Google assistant. Google lens was originally pre-installed only on the Pixel 2 however over the following two years it was rolled out to non pixel devices and from June 2018 it was separated out into its own standalone app.

How Google lens enhances my life(The features I like and are well done)

For the few people unfamiliar with Google Lens, Here is a short demo of the features it possesses:

The translate feature has been available on Google since 2006, but it had limited functionality in day to day life. Sure it could allow you to read text on your computer that was written in a language that you don’t comprehend, but it was unable to help in situations outside of computers. Google lens bridges that disconnect between the virtual and physical world. With google lens, travelling to a different country and understanding signage isn’t a hassle. It’s intuitive and it just works. This real time processing and translation is far from the flashy visions of XR that we imagine, but in my opinion, it is one that impacts our life the greatest to such an extent that we already take it for granted.

As a vegetarian, I have dietary restrictions. I look at ingredients for products that I buy to ensure that they don’t contain any animal product. This ends up being hard for products which are in a language other than in English. Google Lens has simplified that entire process for me and others who have similar dietary restrictions or allergies.

While travelling, gone are the days of running around with a pocket translator book, or typing in words in a foreign language into google translate. With the Live Translate feature, all you need to do is open the camera app and have the translated terms superimposed on top of whatever you would like to translate. And for devices after Pixel 6, all this translation occurs on device thanks to the tensor processing units.

The seamlessness and the fact that instead of showing it up in a separate window, lens ends up just overlapping on top of the original text while giving you additional functionality hidden off to the side like copying the translation or sending it to linked devices makes it a truly unique product which allows it to do things that no other product can do.

Future Possibilities and Upcoming Updates

And this is just the beginning of the interactions possible with Augmented Reality and Computer vision in Google Lens. During the 2022 Google I/O, Google announced an expansion to their Multi search feature that allows you to add search queries on top of a picture. Adding onto this, Google announced Scene exploration, a feature that would work very similarly to “Ctrl+F” for the real world. Google Lens’s “Scene Exploration” feature allows users to identify multiple products or objects in their surroundings by moving their camera around and gathering information. The feature can automatically recognize multiple objects and provide insights.

The demo that they gave during the presentation was about identifying the chocolates in a grocery isle and based on the user’s nutritional needs and reviews, picking out a chocolate and pointing it out to them using AR. The demo can be found here:

What makes Google lens engaging

During the Made By Google event in 2019, Google’s SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh discussed Google’s vision for the future of computing. He described a world beyond smartphones, where computing is not confined to a device in your pocket, but is all around you and integrated into everything. He referred to this concept as “ambient computing”. The idea is that devices and services work together with artificial intelligence to provide assistance and help wherever you want it, and the technology should be seamless and fade into the background when not needed, with the focus on the user, not the device. Google lens is a step in the direction of seamless ambient computing where the interactions needed to get the information you need are so natural that they don’t stick out. What makes google lens engaging is that fact that it’s seamless and so intuitive to use that anyone can very easily pick it up and explore the environment around them that they might not be able to otherwise. Its clean UI and unobtrusive interface makes it blend right into the scene it is analyzing. Engagement is defined as the quality of being engrossed and connected. When looking out of a window, one doesn’t think look at the glass, rather the view outside. Google lens is a window, to an augmented world, and the fact that we forget its existence, is a testament to how engaging it is.

What can be made better?

For all their talk of ambient computing and computing that just exists, in most phones other than their own products, Google lens is still a standalone app that has to be launched separately. This needs to be improved since it ends up being several extra steps which the user could have used to search for the information they are seeking on a traditional browser, breaking the immersion and preventing them from completely connecting with what is in front of them. Google needs to work on integrating lens with third party manufacturer’s camera applications natively to allow the average consumer access to this technology. Google Lens is still a more niche product by Google and this move would allow them to reach a lot more consumers.

Google lens is unfortunately also only able to translate these languages:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

They can improve their product by branching out to include other languages and helping create an ultimately more interconnected multilingual world.


Terracotta Warriors and XR


Qin Shi Huang’s Tomb is China’s first grand, well-laid, well-preserved imperial tomb. The terracotta warriors preserved in the tomb were buried with Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. In 1987, the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and the pit of Terracotta Warriors were approved by UNESCO to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, known as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

The application of XR technology enables people to get closer to the terracotta warriors, and even restores the original colors of the terracotta warriors, making them seem to come to life. At the same time, XR technology also recreates the scenes of ancient craftsmen building terracotta warriors.

Why the XR application is engaging

Before the application of XR technology, visitors could only look at the terracotta warriors in the pit from a distance while standing on a high platform. People can only see the general appearance of the terracotta warriors, and they cannot carefully view the details of the artworks, such as the decoration on the armor and the appearance of the terracotta warriors.

With the application of XR technology, visitors can scan the QR code with their mobile phones and watch different types of terracotta warriors on their phones. By rotating the terracotta warriors on the screen, visitors can watch the front and back of terracotta warriors, their faces, weapons, horses, and so on. It gives people an insight into the history of the First Emperor’s reign and the details of the crafting of these terracotta warriors.

Additionally, people can also wear VR devices to see the artworks in a more immersive way. Although mobile phones allow people to see the terracotta warriors in more detail, the images are flat graphics. VR devices make the terracotta warriors three-dimensional, and the size of the terracotta warriors in VR glasses is the same as the real ones. In addition to allowing people to take a closer look at the terracotta warriors, visitors can watch how the terracotta warriors were created step by step in ancient times.

Features that can be improved

Interact with users

Although people can see these terracotta warriors more clearly now, I think if we can make these terracotta warriors move through animation technology, so that they can do some simple actions such as walking, squatting, shooting, or riding, it will significantly improve the interaction with tourists. In addition, technicians can add a voice interaction function, so that they can talk with visitors.

Internal structure

I think VR technology can help tourists have a deeper understanding of the internal structure of these terra-cotta warriors. For example, a terracotta warrior can be broken down into small parts and assembled by tourists themselves, or the process of making terra-cotta warriors can be turned into a game of passing through the customs. Tourists can fire their own terra-cotta warriors.

XR Gaming’s Finest: The Immersive Experience of Beat Saber and Rumble

XR, or Extended Reality, is a rapidly growing field that encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize how we interact with the digital world and offer new and exciting ways for people to engage with content. Let us will explore two VR games that I particularly enjoy: Beat Saber (2019) and Rumble (2022).

Beat Saber Trailer

Beat Saber

First, let’s take a look at Beat Saber. Beat Saber was revolutionary for its time, being one of the first games to fully embrace the VR medium, making good use of its interaction types and immersive qualities. Developed by Beat Games, Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game that has players slash through blocks representing musical beats with a pair of glowing swords. The game is set in a futuristic, neon-lit world, and players must slash the blocks in time with the beat of the music, while also avoiding obstacles that fly towards them.

What I like about Beat Saber is the way it immerses players in the game’s world. The neon-lit visuals and electronic music are incredibly engaging, and the sense of motion and physicality created by the VR headset and controllers makes it feel like you’re really in the game. The scoring system rewards long and accurate swings, encouraging players to commit to the satisfying motion of slashing that is unique to this medium. They also borrow the concept of sabers from the lightsabers in Star Wars, which gives players something familiar and intuitive to use, while also letting players live out the fantasy of wielding the sci-fi weapon.

One area where Beat Saber could be improved is in the variety of its content. While the game has a large selection of levels and songs, the gameplay itself does not change much from level to level. Adding more variety in gameplay, such as different types of blocks or obstacles, could make the game feel fresh and keep players engaged for longer. Examples include targets that players need to stab or look at, which are still immersive interactions that the VR medium offers.

Rumble Trailer


Now, let us take a look at Rumble. Rumble is one of the up-and-coming VR games that takes gesture controls to a whole new level. Developed by Buckethead Entertainment, Rumble is a VR one-on-one fighting game where players use martial arts-like movements to move the earth around them. Players erect walls and hurl rocks at their opponents, damaging them and knocking them out.

Everything I liked about Beat Saber can be seen implemented in Rumble as well. The act of controlling and dodging objects in the space around you is incredibly immersive. The gesture controls encourage exaggerated and fun movements that make the player feel like they are actually fighting. And of course, the main mechanic borrows itself from earth bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender, again being familiar, intuitive, and fascinating.

On top of that, Rumble goes above and beyond in its polish. The UI is unobtrusive – you look down to see your health in an arc on the ground, and the enemy’s health is displayed above them when you damage them, but other than that there is no UI at all which makes the experience extremely immersive. The particle effects help sell the movement and collision of the earth in the game in a very aesthetic manner. It is also surprisingly realistic, where rocks lift up dust from the ground as they emerge, and explode into a cloud of dust when they collide. This is not only immersive but also a surprising hidden mechanic of the game, obscuring vision in the middle of battle. Lastly, there are also small interactions like the ability to fistbump your opponent after a fight that really puts the cherry on top.


I’m addicted please send help.

XR application : Use of XR in the medical field

XR is getting more widely used, from recreational to educational purposes, its application is getting more and more engraving in our lives. One particular useful example is the use of XR for the medical field.

Five Ways VR Is Being Used In Modern Healthcare - VRScout
trainee on brain surgery exercice

The aim of this XR application is to help trainee to gain experience during their formation. It helps to bring better doctor and improve the quality of the healthcare field. Thus, it helps curing more efficiently patients, which is a topic I am very passionate about.

Helping people is always an engaging cause, thereby, helping our futures doctors are also beneficial to this cause.

As we all now, the medical path is really complicated, and future doctors have their patients’ life in their hands. Trainee surgeons are in dire need to train for operating clinical interventions and the use of bodies given for science are still nowadays a must, but they can be overused by the time.

However, with XR, they now have the possibility to perform a surgery in their real environment without a need of a physical body. Thus, trainees can try multiples times in an XR environment before operating on a body and lastly on a patient. They can also operate with multiple people which makes them more into a real-life situation they could face. Surgical tools can also be used in the XR with the help of captors which helps the students to get used to handling the needed material. Another well-made feature is the stats display : the stat of the virtual patient is changing like a real one, thus, if someone accidentally cut an artery, it can leads to the “patient death”.

AR/VR in Healthcare: Surgery, Meditation & Medical Practice | WeAR Blog
virtual patient with stats

Nevertheless, there is still room for improvements, such as the realism of the patient, of having resistance while performing the surgery. Indeed, the resistance of cutting or pinching tissues are playing an important part of the surgery, because a specific pressure needs to be applied depending on the handled tissue. Applying to much pressure can lead to cut another organ, cut too deeply or touch a nerve, which can leave great consequences to the patients. On the other hands, applying not enough pressure will require several cuts, which can leave bigger scars, a more difficult time to stitch back the tissues and a wrong cicatrization. Other features to improve can be the stats realism and accuracy and the database of possible train surgeries.

Using augmented reality (AR) to train health-care providers from virtually  anywhere - Hospital News
virtual patient on surgery block

To sum up this review, I would say that the XR in the medical field is an important topic that can improve a lot the quality of the medical students as well as the performance and the success rate of the surgery operations. It will also help to balance the shortage of the bodies that have been given for sciences purposes. However, besides its great help, we should not forget to improve its realism and try to improve this aspect graphically and physically speaking, such as replying to different pressure levels.

Latest XR hardware review

COVID-19 had dominated the year 2020 like no other. Most of the countries were forced to go into a full lockdown to prevent the widespread of that horrible virus. A silver lining here is that online communication tools became the sole viable method to communicate and interact with each other. Thanks to that, applications such as VR Chat gained a lot of popularity. Moreover, to substitute the missing physical presence, virtual reality technologies were used to host ceremony and conferences around the world. For example, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay used a virtual reality solution to host a convocation ceremony.

Unlike the traditional media, to consume XR (extended reality) contents, hardware such as head mount displays or glasses are required. Fortunately, based on my research, there are many options available for various platforms with respective price ranges that fit everyone’s needs. To help fellow enthusiasts, who don’t yet own an XR device and want to experience this amazing technology, I have listed down a few latest VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality) devices that are great in my opinion.

Latest VR devices

DevicePrice (USD)ResolutionRefresh RateFOVAudio
HP Reverb G$5992160×216090 Hz114ºOff-ear speakers
Valve Index$4991440×1600120 Hz130ºOff-ear speakers,
audio jack,
Oculus Quest 2$299 1832×192090 Hz90ºIntegrated stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Oculus Rift S$3991280×144080 Hz110ºIn-line audio speakers
1x 3.5 mm audio jack
HTC Vive Cosmos$6991920×108090 Hz110ºIn-line audio speakers

If I am to buy a VR device right now, I would definitely go for an Oculus Quest 2. Despite being the latest release of the Oculus Quest product line, Oculus Quest 2 is surprisingly affordable with the starting price of only USD 299 for 64GB version, which makes it a no-brainer choice for a starter VR device. On top of that, Occulus Quest 2 is highly portable since it does not have to tether to a VR capable machine to work. It has a high resolution (1832×1920 pixels per eye) and comes with built-in audio speakers. It is also equipped with 2 non-rechargeable touch controllers that provide great comfort for gaming.

Oculus Quest 2

The downsides of Oculus Quest 2 is that you need a Facebook account to use it, and it only has access to a limited number of games on Quest Store right now. However, creating a Facebook account is free and by tethering with a single USB-C cable, Oculus Quest 2 can also function as PCVR which has access to a bigger game library. Although the controllers are not rechargeable, using rechargeable AAA batteries does the trick. All in all, Oculus Quest 2 is a solid choice for both starters and veterans who are looking for an upgrade at the start of 2021.

Latest MR devices

DevicePrice (USD)ResolutionFOV
Magic Leap One$2,2951280×196040º
Microsoft HoloLens 2$3,5002048×108052°
Nreal Light$1,0001920×108052°

Among the listed devices, my perferred choice is Microsoft HoloLens 2. Since it is a successor of the original HoloLens, it has access to the wider range of programs. Having wider field of view than most of the devices, it also support more intuitive gestures that fit around natural interactions used in day-to-day lives; think pinches, pulls and drags, unlike the original HoloLens. Being developed by Microsoft, the developer ecosystem is relatively stronger. Dynamics 365 integrations, just like office 360 integrations, will soon be available too.

Microsoft HoloLens 2

That being said Microsoft HoloLens 2 is very pricy and slightly bulkier than my confort level. It may simply because the target auidence of the devices are industry workers and the benefits for user business seems justify the cost of it. I hope that in the near future more advanced and slimer devices for mixed reality become available.