AirVR turns iOS devices into virtual reality headsets
The team behind the Oculus Rift may be in no rush to unleash its set of futuristic goggles, but that hasn't stopped a flurry of like-minded parties tossing their virtual reality headsets into the ring. The Toronto-based design studio Metatecture is the latest to get on board, developing a headset called AirVR that is designed to work with the latest iOS devices and offer a low-cost virtual reality experience.
In a similar vein to Samsung's GearVR, which we demoed earlier this month, the AirVR headset houses your mobile device inside, with two aspheric lenses to enable focus on the screen at close proximity. The device is compatible with the iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina and iPhone 6+, but the developers say the performance and display quality of the iPad Mini Retina was what inspired them to bring their vision for mobile virtual reality to life.
In terms of content, the company has developed some basic apps, such as PhotoVR, which uses the onboard camera to take snaps within a virtual reality, and PanoramaVR, which enables the user to explore panoramic photographs.
It is also pushing its open source software kit to get developers involved and help fulfill AirVR's potential, with the device designed in such a way that the iPad's ports can still be accessed, allowing for use with peripherals like game controllers and headphones.
Metatecture is adding the finishing touches to its virtual reality headset, with the team still to settle on the final lens type, even considering shipping the device with multiple lenses. It has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for production, where pledges of CAD$49 (US$45) will have one sent your way in December if everything goes to plan.