Cell Phone Accessories Virtual Reality

Figment smartphone case makes virtual reality out of digital figments

editors-choiceVirtual reality got its renaissance on Kickstarter with the Oculus Rift campaign. As such, it’s only natural a more portable, affordable version is made available on it, too. The Figment is made for the device that accompanies everyone, everywhere: the smartphone.

Quantum Bakery’s slim smartphone case incorporates a fold-out set of lenses that, when paired with VR or AR mobile content, is able to render it wherever the user may want to consume it. The case sturdy, built from 6000-grade aluminum and embedded with scratch resistant lenses for longevity. And of course, the case acts like a kickstand for more traditional content. A single Figment is $55 and is expected to ship in March 2016. Quantum Bakery is looking for $75,000 in funding by January 13th, 2016 to make Figment more of a reality.

Smartphone cases providing virtual reality experiences have been seen before in products like the Pinć VR, a successfully backed campaign that produced a much more immersive and mobile VR experience that included gestural support. While Figment isn’t as serious as the Pinć VR, and thus lacks its more hardcore appeal, going the route of increased accessibility will be a smart move for Quantum Bakery. A sturdy, sleek finish will catch attention when it’s not being waved around the air looking at rocket ships that aren’t there, too.

Virtual Reality

ViSR VR cardboard headset is a low cost of entry for a high-quality virtual experience

One of the boldest moves in the past few years, in the midst of tech companies chasing the dream of virtual reality, was Google coming out with Cardboard. If you hadn’t heard, it was a pair of VR googles made completely made out of the ho-hum material that worked in tandem with Android devices. As ridiculous as it may seemed, what most surprised everyone was that it worked. 

Now, there are Google Cardboard imitators pretty much everywhere, but the folks at ViSR VR would be quick to point out the superiority of their Mark I headset. Theirs is a laminated, high-quality quality cardboard visor that is extremely durable and can last as long as most smartphones.

At the end of the day, though, it isn’t a very new idea to upgrade Google Cardboard with better material, but its durability will certainly attract those who had been previously been on the fence about VR. Compatible with iPhones, Android devices, and Windows phones, most anyone can get into the VR game as long as they have £15 (~$23) to spare. Notable stretch goals include special edition versions in gold, a day with the team, or even a backer’s own ViSR game! The £25,000 (~$37,900) campaign is looking to ship the Mark I ViSR by March 2015.

Cell Phone Accessories Virtual Reality

Get comfy with the Viewbox neoprene virtual reality headset

If it wasn’t already apparent, virtual reality, or VR, is here to stay. Events like Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift prove exactly that. As such, the future is one where both augmented and virtual reality will be as commonplace as the smartphones and tablets are in our lives now. For now, though, the industry is still in its infancy.

Currently, the most inexpensive and popular route to a full VR experience is with the use of smartphones alongside headsets designed to facilitate a user’s experience, with Google Cardboard being the most popular example. Company evomade has taken up a notch by creating the Viewbox, a product remarkably similar to Cardboard but with minor differences that end up making all the difference.

Instead of being made from cardboard, the Viewbox is made of soft neoprene which allows it to fold up and be easily transported from one location to the next. In addition, the material makes wearing the product comfortable even with glasses on, and ventilation holes prevent moisture and fog to build up within the viewing area. The kr350 (~$45) product is expected to ship in April of 2015 with a successful campaign goal of kr80,000 (~$10,197).

Although users can easily create their own VR headset, the Viewbox is a very streamlined and low-key way to enjoy a wide variety of VR apps already available now, and the fact that it works with smartphones with screens as big as 5.7″ ensures many can use it. The AirVR looks kind of wacky to wear practically, while the Samsung Gear VR offers a similar experience to the Viewbox, but with a steep premium and bulkier design.