AirVR is a virtual reality headset for iOS devices
Whilst Oculus is busy working on the Rift, other like-minded developers are also creating their own versions of virtual reality headsets to compete in this market. Metatecture, a Toronto-based design studio has developed a headset named AirVR, offering an affordable way to engage in VR experiences for iOS users.
With an idea not too dissimilar to Google’s Cardboard, the $25 DIY VR headset which works with almost any Android phone, and Samsung’s Gear VR, AirVR aims specifically at iOS devices, namely the iPad mini, iPad Mini Retina and the iPhone 6 Plus.
The headset will hold your device in place with its nylon strap and ergonomic foam pads. Its two aspheric lenses then helps users focus on the screen at close range. Besides the hardware, other features will come from the iOS device. The headset can access the GPS digital compass, wireless network, microphone, speakers, cameras and all the sensors included on the iOS handset, and will allow any accessory such as headphones or gamepads to be plugged in.
This means that users can plug in motion accessories and even use their smaller iPhone or Android smartphone as a virtual game controller and sync it with the AirVR headset. Metatecture has also developed some basic apps along with AirVR, which include PhotoVR and PanoramaVR photography apps, and MovieVR which will let users watch 3D video, HD movies and other media contents.
Of course, the company is pushing hard on its open source software kit to get devs involved with maximising the headset’s potential with a wide range of apps. Its developer program will be run through the Apple App Store, and the SDK is implemented in Unity3D.
The device is currently funding on Kickstarter, and you can grab yourself one for just $49 today. The device is set to ship in December and will start selling online early next year. Metatecture is also not ruling out creating a device for Android and Windows powered tablets in the future – it promises more news next year.