It seems as though it’s not just virtual reality (VR) that is getting a new head-mounted display (HMD). While Oculus Connect 5 revealed to us the Oculus Quest – what was formerly known as the Santa Cruz prototype – from the makers of the Rift, we have news today of another new release coming your way. This one however is based in augmented reality (AR) but is, by their own admission, targeting the likes of Magic Leap and Microsoft’s mixed reality (MR) headsets.
Called MagiMask, the smartphone-powered HMD was developed Norwegian tech start-up Ludenso who you might know by their former name of MovieMask. The title is heading to Kickstarter with a $99 (USD) price tag and a goal to ship by Q1 2019.
In development for two years, MagiMask features a soft fabric design similar to that of the Google Daydream View and like the original MovieMask headset (which actually got a design award alongside the Daydream). It uses a single lens viewpoint for greater resolution, the team says, which has also implimented a tracking system made up of three parts: MagiTile, MagiKard, and MagiDice (which looks smiliar to Merge VR’s Merge Cube). Ludenso say this system allows for optimised surface tracking for AR. The MagiMask can also accomodate larger-sized smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Apple iPhone Xs Max.
CEO and Co-Founder of Ludenso, Eirik Wahlstrøm, does not mince his words when it comes to the company’s thoughts on the market.
“We believe people have been led into the AR market with false hopes and outrageously expensive hardware. We have created a hardware platform for mobile AR using our unique head-mounted display and tracker kit. Our HMD works with 99% of the existing apps without customizations, and gives 100% augmented FOV and improved resolution. Our low cost and innovative technology will enable developers around the world to have the hardware tools they need to reach millions of customers and give tech enthusiasts the opportunity to own an AR headset without having to spend thousands of dollars.”
“We have successfully launched three predecessors to MagiMask, and can’t wait to get this new headset out to tech enthusiasts, developers, and anyone else who loves AR as much as we do.” Wahlstrøm adds. “Having spent almost two years developing MagiMask and its tracking system, we are now at the manufacturing stage and to ensure an on-time delivery we using our previous manufacturing partners. The money you put into the campaign goes directly toward creating the MagiMask you ordered. We have done all the developmental and technological hard work and are now just getting ready to manufacture.”
You can check out a trailer and images for the headset below, MagiMask hits Kickstarter later today.