It was only three days ago that VRFocus reported on Weasel Labs launching its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for its fan system for virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs). Today, VRFocus can report that the funding goal of $30,000 USD has already been passed with 28 days still to go.
Weasel Labs has so far managed to secure $38,766 from 364 backers and by the looks of the campaign’s popularity that amount is going to sizeably increase over the next month. Currently there are no stretch goals listed – a popular way to gain more funding – although its difficult to see what else the company could offer.
Have you ever felt that VR isn’t immersive enough when flying through the skies, racing in an open topped car or holding onto dear life as you whizz round on a rollercoaster, then that’s the reason for ZephVR, to add a bit of wind to proceedings. Weasel Labs isn’t just blowing air into your face at high speed, like you’re inside a wind tunnel, no it is more subtle than that.
ZephVR uses machine learning to add a breeze to any VR experience. “We designed the ZephVR to recognize the sound of wind in any audio track, so the ZephVR will work pretty well with any game out of the box!,” states the team. “We did this by labeling hours of gameplay audio and using machine learning to find patterns in the sound of wind.”
The system has two modes depending on user preference, an ‘autonomous mode’ where the software will automatically activate the ZephVR’s fans to coincide with events in whatever videogame is being played. Or ‘always-on mode’ which just adds a steady breeze to keep players cool and comfortable – great for those intense workout experiences.
The device is compatible with Oculus RIft, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, with the backing tier for Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) headset slightly more. The $49 super early bird offer for Oculus Rift and Vive is no longer available, so you’ll have to go for the $75 tier next (which also has limited availability). After that the standard price is $89.
For PlayStation VR on the other hand, the $79 super early bird offer is still available (at time of writing). Then it goes up to $99 for the early bird and then $119 for the standard price.
As the campaign continues, VRFocus will keep you informed on the latest updates.