Last month saw the reveal of a large number of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD) that use smartphones as screens. This include the likes of Merge VR, Jobe VR and the Archos VR Glasses, all of which are hoping to become the definitive low-cost VR HMD. This month sees another contender make its debut in the VRSmartView Developer Kit from Australian-based company Phenomec. The device was launched at the recent PAX Australia event over the past weekend.
VRSmartView again employs the user’s smartphone as both a screen and a head-tracking solution. Users simply slot their handset in front of a pair of lenses and view side-by-side 3D content in VR. The company claims to support a wide variety of smartphones with the device, with recommended sizes between 4.7 and 5.7 inches. The company is relying on third-party apps for content, though is developing its own streaming service too allow videogames to be played in VR on a smartphone. The kit can be ordered from Phenomec’s official website and retails for $49.95 AUD, with first deliveries expected on 12th December 2014.
But this isn’t the only HMD that the company is planning to release. Phenomec is also planning to launch a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for a VRSmartView Alpha, a premium device that company is yet to reveal. Look for the campaign to launch in the near future, though details on a specific date or target goal are yet to be revealed. VRFocus will continue to follow each and every VR HMD, reporting back with all of the latest updates on them.
UPDATE: Phenomec has been in touch with VRFocus to explain that the VRSmartView Alpha that this article initially focused on is not its smartphone-based HMD. Instead, this device is a premium HMD, while the smartphone kit is labelled as the VRSmartView Developer Kit. The article has been changed to reflect the correct information. VRFocus apologies for the confusion.