MERGE has already made a name for itself with the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) industry having launched the MERGE smartphone headset and the MERGE Cube AR device. Today, for CES 2018 MERGE has announced a couple of new products, the MERGE 6DoF Blaster and MERGE Mini.
The MERGE 6DoF Blaster removes the need for a VR headset by allowing users to dock their smartphone in the device itself. Using 6 degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) positional tracking users will be able seemlessly move, duck and jump around virtual worlds.
“What we’ve created is an intuitive and accessible virtual reality product and platform for the mass market. We can deliver a high-end, positionally tracked VR experience and put it in a form factor that’s easy to use,” says MERGE Founder Franklin Lyons in a statement. “MERGE 6DoF Blaster is a breakthrough product that will make virtual reality more practical for users and great for developers to build innovative gaming experiences.”
To begin with MERGE will make the new blaster SDK available to developers so they can build immersive experiences for it, with dev kits being rolled out during the first half of 2018
“Our blaster uses technology that makes all previous VR/AR blasters obsolete, so companies interested in creating their own will want to make them MERGE-compatible,” said MERGE VP of Creative Jeremy Kenisky. “This is a great opportunity for manufacturers, because their customers will have access to a wide range of content, and it’s great for developers because their software will reach a larger audience.” Kenisky continued, “This arrangement works well for consumers, too, because it solves all compatibility issues. Any MERGE-compatible blaster they buy will work with all the content available.
Additionally, MERGE will also be releasing the MERGE 6DoF Blaster manufacturing specs so manufacturers can create their own Blaster-compatible products. Products that meet the criteria will work with the MERGE ecosystem and be supported by content from developers and videogame studios around the world.
The MERGE 6DoF Blaster is expected to hit retail shelves this summer.
Also at the show is the MERGE Mini – a small, lightweight, marshmallow-soft VR/AR headset designed for kids ages 10 and up. MERGE has taken all of the best features of its original award-winning headset to create Mini, which is designed to fit smaller hands and faces while still being comfortable for everyone. Compatible with most recent iOS and Android smartphones, MERGE Mini will retail for less than $30 USD when it arrives this summer 2018. For any further MERGE updates keep reading VRFocus.