Connected Objects Imaging Virtual Reality

EYSE live-streaming VR device transports you to somewhere more interesting

Every day, people around the world wish they were somewhere else: With friends on a trip, with family on a special day, on a tropical island relaxing, in the depths of a balmy jungle exploring — wherever. Usually, they feel this way to get away from the mundane of the current situation and while smartphone have given most people the power to live stream, it isn’t as immersive

patent-claimedIn the age of virtual reality of experience, it’s no surprise that the team at Vairdo developed EYSE, a VR-enhanced camera with dual 5MP cameras, an internal speaker and microphone that lets user live stream stereoscopic video others can enjoy with a VR headset. EYSE has a wide range of applications: It can be used to be present at far-off birthday parties and family gatherings, experience the wonder of drone flight first-hand, for better one-on-one instruction, to get an alternate, more aquatic view of the world, remotely monitor the home, and even treat phobias through immersion.

Video Games Virtual Reality

The VicoVR lets you step directly into virtual reality

The long-awaited era of virtual reality is finally here, with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive leading the charge alongside less powerful alternatives like Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s recently announced Daydream. Despite the already crowded marketplace, companies are still developing alternative virtual experiences for a cut of that not-so-virtual pie.

One of the next big questions when it comes to VR technology is how to get the user’s body into the space. While most of the leading solutions offer controls, VicoVR combines standard VR googles with a Kinect-like interface for wireless body tracking of 19 body joints. This allows the one or two players to step right into a game rather than go through a more disconnected experience with a remote control.

Virtual Reality

Goblin VR headset exposes new worlds, lives in your pocket

Virtual reality’s promise of immersive experiences continues to be realized, with 2016 shaping up to be a big year for the technology. Until now Google Cardboard, along with a slew of other low-cost options, have all whetted the appetite for VR but weren’t exactly what someone would use for a more involved experience.

The Goblin VR not only facilitates current virtual reality experiences but does so in a sleek, foldable package that can fit 4″ to 6″ smartphones. Its innards are outfitted with two large 35mm lenses and neoprene to ensure a comfortable fit, because no one like cardboard cuts on their face. In addition, an optional head strap lets users Netflix it up while kicking back for the ultimate media consumption experience.


360Mini projector shows your vistas wherever you look

An increasing number of cameras, including PanoCam3D, enable 360-degree shooting. But there are only a limited number of display devices that allow such still photos and videos to be seen the way they were shot.

360Mini is a media projector that can display 360-degree images and videos the same way they were shot: as a seamless 360-degree panorama. The three-foot-tall projector can be accessed via Wi-Fi to edit and upload data, and mobile devices can be used to navigate through the uploaded content or to control the projector, according to its Kickstarter campaign.

The projector ships in July. Future pricing isn’t provided by the campaign, but early bird backers can get one at pricing that starts at about $978. Its makers are hoping to raise $92,356 by Jan. 24.

360Mini is a clever concept and it’s likely going to be appealing to many people who have shot 360-degree photos or video. But it remains to be seen how popular 360-degree imaging is going to be and how often even fans of the technology are going to want to view such images.

Kids/Babies Virtual Reality

With NEODiVRjr, little ones can experience VR without the bulky gear

In the consumer segment, virtual reality is all the rage. As such, it’s easy to forget its applications elsewhere, such as therapy. Inspired by his trips to children’s hospitals and the benefits staff there reported when using VR experiences with sick and hard to work with children, inventor Mike Blazer thought it was important to try and help in his own way. The NEODiVRjr was born as a result.

The lightweight virtual reality is specifically designed for kids, featuring a kid-friendly bridge space between the lens, a compact frame, and a detachable handle for casual use. The Extreme version supports head mounted use, flip open lens, Bluetooth game buttons, and the use of eAVR which translates real-world movement to the virtual experience. Both versions utilize the 6th generation of the iPod Touch, a device the creator feels is kid-friendly yet powerful enough to run the types of apps necessary.

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.

Input Virtual Reality

The Gloveone virtual reality controller deserves a hand

Recent hardware announcements from companies like Oculus and HTC have promised new controller mechanisms to interact with the virtual worlds they’re building, proving how important the tactile aspect of virtual reality will be. However novel these controllers are, though, they’re just stopgaps to the eventual solution: a way to completely feel all sorts of feedback from weight to texture to temperature.

Realistically, it’s a long way off, but NeuroDigital is making an effort to get there faster with their Gloveone gloves. The gloves equipped with ten haptic actuators on each, capable of independently vibrating at different frequencies to replicate the sensations of feeling. With these actuators, the product can reproduce the sensations that go along with situations like rain, or the handling of a small apple, all to more fully immerse the participant.

Input Video Games Virtual Reality

Get a jump on your virtual foes with the PAO omni-directional treadmill

At the moment, virtual reality is in a weird place. As refined as the technology currently is, virtual reality goers are still likely to experience motion sickness. Additionally, the illusion of virtual reality quick dissipates when users are forced to stay still and use some sort of controller to facilitate the experience.

Like many others before it, PAO aims to solve this immersion problem with a multi-directional treadmill. Not only is it designed to translate a person’s movement in any direction, it can also translate squats and jumps. What’s more, the product can be used with virtual reality headsets, traditional gaming consoles, and even Android devices. A PAO can be purchased for $300, with an expected ship date of December 2015. The Kickstarter campaign is looking to secure $10,000 in funding by May 20.

PAO is extremely similar to its predecessor, the Virtuix Omni, save for its current pre-production status. As a result, the Omni is a much more refined product, something reflected in its $699 price tag, not to mention its 160lb product weight and the large list of accessories it can be used with.  In comparison, the PAO is more than half of the Virtuix Omni’s size and costs less than half. Notably, the PAO doesn’t require users to wear specialized shoes like the Omni does. If PAO can ensure that these benefits remain in place when the final production unit ships, it will prove a worthy and compelling purchase for gamers looking for a full and immersive virtual reality experience.

Input Virtual Reality

Ground Control VR feet controllers keep you grounded while you flail your arms

Although virtual reality is poised to take the world by the storm at some point, that point is still a long way off. One of the biggest reasons why the promise of a fully immersive virtual reality hasn’t yet been fulfilled is because it’s challenging to create a world that users can effectively move around within.

patent-claimedReality Abstraction Industries is entering an already crowded arena with a new entrant, the Ground Control four axis joystick. Now, this isn’t a joystick for the hands, but rather for the feet, topped with a foot panel users can slide, rotate, or tilt in the real world to walk, run, jump, or turn in the virtual one. The product comes pre-configured, but each axis is customizable so that users can tailor them to their exact preferences. The Ground Control foot controllers cost $250 and are expected to ship in January 2016. Reality Abstraction Industries is looking for about $200,000 for molds and production by April 24.

While the product isn’t completely finished just yet, it does try to tackle the locomotion problem which has long been a hindrance on advancing the state of VR. Unfortunately, there are already a number of other extremely similar products on the market, like the 3DRudder, that do pretty much the same thing. Their downsides include a limited demographic appeal along with Windows-only support, to factors which clearly demonstrate the need for new concepts instead of rehashing older ones.

Input Virtual Reality

Impression Pi virtual reality headset tries to make an impression, gets a meh instead

Everyone is searching for the holy grail of virtual reality. In the meantime, companies from all over the world are busy throwing everything at the wall in an effort to see what sticks. Currently, Oculus Rift is the obvious leader, but with upstarts from companies like HTC and Valve,  SamsungMicrosoft, and all the other little guys vying for attention through crowdfunding platforms, the landscape is bursting at the seams.

Impression Pi is another combination virtual reality, augmented reality mobile headset that works with iOS and Android smartphones, provided they have 5 inch displays or larger. By combining accurate head tracking capabilities, gesture control, and both VR and AR environmental overlays, users can transform their real world surroundings into virtual environments capable of being traversed with the Impression Pi’s ability to track positioning. The Impression Pi’s interface also allows for social media engagement, not to mention movie viewing and gaming as well. Even better, all of this is possible with just a flick of the finger and the wave of a hand. $279 gets backers the smartphone version while $359 will get backers the Master edition which can be used sans smartphone. If the $78,000 goal sees success by May 5, 2015, backers can expect their own Impression Pi in December 2015.

Impression Pi treads on familiar ground. The ShareVR is another mobile VR solution, although it has to be tethered to a PC — ultimately limiting the “mobile” aspect of the design. Another gesture-enabled VR product is the Pinć VR, a headset which can be folded into a smartphone case. The Impression Pi may be powerful enough to create environments, but it isn’t as portable as the Pinć VR. The latter proves its usefulness in more real-world situations, while the Impression Pi is stuck at home. With no compelling use cases in the pipeline, the Impression Pi will likely have a tough time garnering support.