Apple is now officially joining the VR revolution. Well, sort of.
In our current world of HD, VR is now all the hype and it’s clear that the tech market is headed that way. However, access to this wonderful technology is still awfully limited, but thankfully this Kickstarter project will make VR a lot closer to us.
AirVR is the name of the new project by the Canadian company Metatecture, and it is as you can see in the feature image, a VR headset that uses your iPad to give you that immersive VR experience. To be specific, it actually uses an iPad mini, in a function that is very similar to Google Cardboard (without the DIY hassle) and Samsung Gear VR (without the hardware limitation). So, to use the device, simply slide over the iPad mini into the headseat, and you’re pretty much ready to go.
To give your iPad mini that quality VR experience, AirVR also uses much of the sensors typically used for tracking movement and location. You have a gyro, an accelerometer, a digital compass, GPS, and its dual cameras. The immersion gets even better with its use of the iPad mini’s 7.3-inch 2048×1200 Retina display, though there might be a little pixel distortion due its use of an LCD screen. If you need to get a view of your real surroundings, you simply have to turn on the camera feed for you to briefly take a step back into reality.
There is a bunch of special apps that its developers have made to improve user experience for the AirVR. The PhotoVR lets you organize images in your private personal ‘dimension’. The MovieVR app let’s you watch a movie inside your own virtual theater. The PanoVR app even makes use of the iPad mini’s panoramic capture functions to let you relive and visit places you’re already gone to before.
Aside from the iPad mini, AirVR will also be supporting the upcoming iPhone 6 Plus, using its 5.5-inch 1920×1080 screen to deliver the same virtual reality immersion. The AirVR+ of the iPhone 6 Plus will be using the exact same hardware, albeit with a few sensor additions and of course a smaller slide frame.
AirVR promises affordability for those who are interested in supporting the project. Just how affordable? Well, for starters, you can already get the complete set for as low as $50 (CAD). Pledgers can get two devices for $90, five devices and its iOS VR development package for $200, and an additional access to AirVR’s SDK for $400 and $900.
The project currently has a goal of $20,000 (CAD), with the pledged amount so far at $3,000.