Revealing an immersive playground for the mind, Headspace XR is a first-of-its-kind XR product where users can move, play, meditate and explore an open world with their friends, all while learning lifelong mindfulness skills they can benefit from in the real world.

Download Headspace XR exclusively in the Meta Quest Store here.

As Strategic Innovation Partners and Developers, Nexus Studios brought this flagship wellness product to life from conception to launch in partnership with Headspace and Meta.

A highlight when building this world on the Meta Quest platform was the opportunity to lean into the power of play – both alone and with friends. Playing has been shown to reduce stress, increase focus and creativity, improve problem solving and overall well being. So we introduced mindful play into every corner of this beautiful world designed to meet the player’s needs.

In Headspace XR players are invited to check-in and share how they are feeling using mood balloons. This allows us to meet them where they are: happy, angry, anxious, lonely, sad, or bored. Offering them a wide range of mindfulness experiences tailored to their mood that they can jump right into. All guided by renowned Headspace teachers Dora Kamau and Kessonga Giscombe. So they get what they need, right when they need it, while learning lifelong skills they can benefit from in the real world.

The Why

In a world facing a mental health crisis, especially among young people, Headspace, Meta, and Nexus Studios saw a powerful opportunity to provide new audiences with wellness techniques using XR. Headspace XR is the result of a long history between Nexus Studios and both Headspace and Meta. It was carefully designed to engage younger generations – particularly Gen Z – with mindfulness and meditation techniques through a new and innovative medium.

The Innovation

The biggest innovation in Headspace XR sits at the core of this ambitious project. We took the best of the Quest platform; its social, immersive, playful qualities and reimagined Headspace’s mindfulness techniques for a younger audience. Allowing them to feel the powerful benefits of mindfulness while having fun and spending time with friends.

As you enter Headspace XR you are greeted with a vast open world of possibilities. Achieving the style, fidelity and vibrancy of the art direction at scale on a mobile headset required a lot of innovation. The attention to detail in the visuals and sound design serves a wellness purpose, the feeling of immersion in this positive place is fast and powerful. The reactive and ever-evolving spatialised soundscape by Brain Audio plays a large role in the feeling of really being there.

Offering players a controller free experience allows users to form an even deeper mind, body connection. So we invented a new way to move using hand tracking called “Slingshot Locomotion”. You pinch and pull back to slingshot your way forward. An innovative mental model with a simple gesture. Our “Slingshot Locomotion” is just one of many ways we’ve innovated in this diegetic user experience.

The Inclusive Avatars

This audience is under a lot of social pressure, often feeling judged for their appearance or their identity. In recognizing the diverse and unique identities within our player community, we have taken a deliberate step to ensure that avatars are not confined to represent a specific gender instead allowing them to inhabit these playful abstract avatars, alive with particle energy we call flow. Self-expression is positive and important to this audience, so we have an innovative approach to avatar customisation. Taking part in mindfulness experiences allows you to unlock a palette of colour and pattern in the form of Flow Burst, free-play objects that guide your breath and allow you to customise your avatar and the world, too. The avatars were designed by Nexus Studios’ Director Laurie Rowan.