VR headsets are a hot item that everyone wants to get their hands on, but why not beat the rush and convert some existing technology into a fully functional VR headset instead?
That’s the philosophy behind AirVR, an iPad Mini or iPhone 6+ mount that straps onto the head to create a VR headset with visuals on a high-quality retina display. By taking a tablet or phone consumers may already have, the cost of adopting a VR device is cut significantly, requiring consumers only to purchase the mount. With foam padding and adjustable nylon straps, the AirVR is easy to adjust to any head size or shape. The front-facing camera also allows the iOS device to pick up on augmented reality markers and create a 3-D environment that users can move and look around it with complete motion tracking.
Utilizing only a portion of the screen for the virtual experience, AirVR does not simply waste the additional space on the iPad Mini screen. Instead, a dynamic touch interface is put at the bottom allowing users to comfortably navigate through content without having to remove the device, change the content, and then put the headset back on. Toronto, Ontario designer Metatecture is raising $20,000 CAD (~$18,000 USD) to get AirVR out in time for the holidays. Existing iPad Mini and iPhone 6+ owners only need to pay $49 CAD (~$43 USD) to have their own VR headset in February 2015.
Devices like the AirVR and Samsung Galaxy Gear VR are looking to leapfrog the delayed VR headset manufacturers that built all the excitement up, but have yet to release a product. If it fits consumers’ needs and existing hardware, they’ll take the easier, cheaper route. The market is primed for a product like AirVR to be wildly successful.