VR goggles are all the rage these days. From the surprise dark horse, the Oculus Rift, to Sony’s HMD series, the idea of strapping a screen to your face — which was so silly 20 years ago when the tech originally reared its head — is starting to look more appealing by the day. Combine that with our raging smartphone fetish and, well, a product like vrAse is so obvious that one wonders why no one else thought of it first.
vrAse turns your smart phone — virtually any smartphone — into VR goggles using the same same sort side-by-side 3D lens technology as the Oculus Rift. The screen is split in half, and lenses isolate each half of the screen and expand them to fill your entire field of view. Once your movie is loaded into the vrAse app, you slot your phone into the visor, and watch your movie. Way up close. Of course, if you want to control your phone, you’d better hope that Siri is on the job, because otherwise you need to take the whole thing apart again.
Of course, the one advantage this solution has over other head mounted displays is that most smartphones have a rear camera, which can then be used as an augmented reality display, giving you your own personal Google Glass at a fraction of the price. The big question that remains is whether even a Retina display has sufficient resolution to stand up to this sort of scrutiny. As the Oculus Rift folks found out, when the pixels are two inches from your eyeball, unless you have a high resolution screen, it’s completely unforgiving. So while your mileage greatly varies depending on what you put into it, at the very least vrAse should be an interesting experiment in affordable VR/augmented reality solutions.
With 39 days left to go in the Kickstarter campaign, vrAse is getting pretty close to half-funded. All of the Early Bird units are gone, though, so if you want to turn your own phone into a VR headset, it’ll set you back at least $91.