Cell Phone Accessories Virtual Reality

2VR foldable VR glasses lets you keep whole worlds in your pocket

The recently priced HTC Vive will join the Oculus Rift this year in rolling out the red carpet to the world of virtual reality, or VR. Until then, consumers have the choice of grabbing something like Samsung’s Gear VR or go cheap and grab themselves some Cardboard. The one problem with these options is their absolute lack of portability, limiting where these types of immersive experiences can take place.

The 2VR is out to change perceptions of the VR world with a pair of fold-up glasses with small arms that can hold a smartphone with a screen size between 4.7″ and 6″.It boasts biconvex lenses for both virtual and augmented reality content and the cleverly created ear grips that make sure the 2VR don’t become loose or fall off while being worn. Each pair is going for $25 and is expected to ship June 2016. The 2VR’s Kickstarter campaign is looking for $30,000 by March 25th, 2016.

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.

Input Virtual Reality

You want to sit while you navigate virtual reality, Ergo, VRGO

editors-choiceMovement is the biggest obstacle yet to be solved for true virtual reality experiences. While there are locomotion setups on the market that attempt to address the issue, not many people have the money nor the space to install and maintain them as they’re usually larger.

Inventor Joe Ryan’s VRGO is a VR controller in the form of a self-righting, egg-shaped seat. Made of aircraft composite for strength and weighing at only four kilograms, the wireless motion controller seat connects with the touch of a button using Bluetooth to PCs, Macs and headsets like Oculus Rift to facilitate more involved VR experiences.

Cycling Virtual Reality

WideRun VR lets you bike through any world while staying put

There’s nothing like a long, challenging bike ride on a crisp day surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life or the lush landscapes of nature. Granted, this is only true so long as there’s no rain, sleet, snow or extremely cold temperatures. Put simply, inclement weather is a cyclist’s biggest enemy, often leading to missed opportunities for both pleasure and fitness.

WideRun’s marriage of both cycling and virtual reality eliminates the tedium of stationary biking, offering eager cyclists a chance to ride in diverse environments when they’re forced to stay indoors. Of course, the biggest challenge with all VR experiences is achieving a suitable level of immersion. WideRun’s system accomplishes this by employing a bike trainer engineered to apply pedal resistance and let cyclists turn their handlebars; these two variables are essential in convincing riders that they’re riding the Great Wall of China or through an abandoned, zombie-infested city.

While WideRun is compatible with any bike, it is currently only compatible with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and smart TVs (for those who don’t have access to a VR headset). No matter which route a cyclist chooses to take, WideRun must be connected to a smartphone or PC. In exchange, the software lets users check their performance, ride with community members, and challenge other riders as a means to keep things interesting.

The full system can be had for $446 with an expected ship date of April 2016. The campaign is looking for $44,475 in funding by May 2, 2015.

While WideRun claims its pedal resistance can successfully mirror the feeling of riding uphill, it may not do enough. Because the system lacks the means to transmit other types of feedback — like bumps in the road or uneven paths — the fullness of the experience might be compromised. Still, the product is very well thought out, sporting similarities to the VirtuixOmni.

Imaging Input Virtual Reality

Ovrvision Oculus Rift attachment lets users create their own virtual reality

Since the Oculus Rift was introduced to the world, the dream of a fully immersive virtual reality experience has been closer than ever before. Some people, however, are not content with waiting for what the Oculus team has planned and have taken to personally shaping the type of virtual reality experience they desire. Ovrvision is one such example.

Ovrvision works by augmenting the current Oculus Rift experience. It accomplishes this by introducing a more immersive augmented reality experience through a dual 5MP camera system. This, in turn, allows users to do things like manipulate objects in 3D space through a combination of hand tracking, high viewing angles, and a smooth 60FPS frame rate. Additionally, the product is extremely scalable, having been demonstrated working on small robotics, for example. Ovrvision is also extremely developer friendly, supporting multiple programming languages and popular gaming engines. An Ovrvision device will set you back $284 and is slated to be shipped in November 2015.

Interested tinkerers and developers will undoubtedly love the chance to play around with something like Ovrvision. The use cases are endless and can potentially cover applications as far ranging as gaming and medicine. While Microsoft’s recently announced Holo Lens certainly presents a sizable challenge to Ovrvision, this product may still have some legs for those who have long dreamt of a virtual reality filled future.