0² VR headset sets new paradigm by trimming weight without compromising structural integrity or functionality

With the release of the evolutionary new Vision Pro, Apple has taken a detour from the usual mixed reality headsets we have seen in the past. In that effort, Apple has – amid a host of interesting features – scrapped the idea of handheld controllers, the user generally requires to interact with such devices.

Like Apple, which had been working on its first AR/VR headset for almost half a decade now, there are many companies – including Meta – knocking around the idea of AR/VR headsets, but most of these devices usually end up on the beefier side. Presenting a viable alternative is the conceptual new virtual reality headset: 0², but it arrives with handheld controllers!

Designer: RITE

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Using 3D printed technology to build this virtual reality head-mounted display, the designer visions to enhance user experience and address the challenges associated with the weight of such devices. By employing cutting-edge parametric design techniques and 3D printing, 0² manages partial weight reduction off of the headset without compromising structural integrity or functionality.

By delving into the core issues of weight, on the face and head, 0² focuses on optimizing weight and simultaneously enhancing the device’s value proposition for users with its unified and cohesive aesthetic. The headset is characterized by a sleek and rounded form factor and the designer has paid careful attention to the texture of the device to create a visually and tactilely pleasing device.

For this, the headset is 3D printed from plastic and is provided with a metallic finish. The outer casing, however, is finished in durable fabric. All necessary cameras and modules are installed to allow users to fully immerse themselves in the VR experience with the additional assistance of handheld controllers. For a better experience, 0² has an onboard display panel that shows real-time updates about the headset and controllers’ status.

The flexibility provided by 3D printing allows for the creation of complex geometries while the inspiration from modern architectural parametric permits the designer to address the crucial aspects of ventilation and weight with 0² that many companies have been trying to strike a balance with.

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How a touch controller for Apple Vision Pro will enhance gaming in the Metaverse

Apple has created ripples in the VR market with the Vision Pro headset which has a strongly knitted hardware-software integration. The Cupertino giant graced the tech community with a surprise announcement at the WWDC in the first week of June, and ever since, the VR headset has made all the news.

Such is the magnanimity of the hardware showed off by Apple at the event, that just a couple of weeks into the announcement, third-party accessories makers are jumping on the bandwagon. There’s an opulent headband to embellish Apple’s first-ever wearable and we are bracing more accessories for the VR headset when it is finally up for grabs in early 2024.

Designer: Alex Casabò

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Just like the Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers that bring a new level of realism to VR gaming, the Apple VR headset is also destined for a similar accessory. This concept visualizes exactly how the Apple Vision Pro controllers would look and feel in an open-world Metaverse. Alex calls the accessory “Apple Vision Joystick Pro Max” and a proactive third-party accessory maker or even Apple would already be looking up that name to claim.

Perfectly complementing the headset’s modern appeal, these controllers for the Apple headset will be closely knit for smooth functionality no matter what open-world title you throw at them. The joysticks will maximize the gaming experience for all kinds of modern games keeping in mind the VR environment.

The top surface of the controller is donned with a touch-sensitive surface for smart controls like swaying the sword or reloading a potent sniper rifle. A trigger button on one side can be mapped for firing bullets accelerating forward. The crown on one side can be used to go through menus or toggle the volume. All the controls and buttons can be mapped as per the requirements and ergonomic comfort while playing.

The design is something to talk about as the metal finish in silver goes well with the Apple VR headset, and the ecosystem of Apple products. Do we need these controllers? Most definitely we do if Apple’s hardware has to be tested for peak gaming performance and of course enhance the overall experience of gaming in virtual reality.

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Apple Vision Pro gets accessorised in the form of a premium leather Head Band by BandWerk

Apple has set the tech community on steroids with the announcement of the long-awaited virtual reality headset that’s set to change the way we interact with our world. The mixed reality headset was in development for many years now with countless patents and prototype versions marking its inception journey.

The next-generation headset announced at the annual WWDC 2023 conference is by far the most technically advanced VR accessory that the world has seen. Vision Pro backed by Apple’s software integration makes possible a seamless transition from the real world to the virtual world and then to the mixed reality interface.

Designer: BandWerk

Scan through all the tech news lately and Apple’s surprise announcement is making all the headlines. To that accord, premium iPhone case maker BandWerk is not letting go of the opportunity to grab a share of the pie with an announcement of its own. The German accessory provider for the Apple ecosystem has revealed its plans to make available handcrafted leather headbands for the $3,500 Apple headset slated for launch early next year.

The premium headband destined to arrive in five color options – Grey, Creme, Beige, Orange, and Brown – will adapt to the silhouette of the final commercially available headset. For now, BandWerk has only revealed the concept version of the headbands that’ll fill the void of the only single option that deep-pocketed buyers will get with the Vision Pro. According to them, the commercially available luxury headbands will have a precise fit with maximum comfort for longer stints of VR exploration. Durability is another perk that’ll make the $159 price tag totally justified.

The headband will come with a color-matching fabric Light Seal and crafted out of premium Italian leather. This accessory will be made in Germany and then eventually shipped to America and the United Kingdom initially. We can expect more accessories unearthing for the Vision Pro headset as it nears public launch. For now, though, the Apple headset and the third-party headband accessory are only going to be the privilege of the filthy rich or die-hard Apple fans who can afford to buy this exorbitantly priced gadget.

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This mixed reality headset gamifies your fitness regime, trigers healthy habits in a fun way

Mixed reality is transforming the way we perceive and experience the world around us. We can virtually step into an immersive environment that feels almost like the real thing. One useful application of this technology is health gamification. For those who are unaware, gamification is the process of incorporating game elements such as points, rewards, and achievements, into non-game contexts.

The Portalverse VR headset concept is a thoughtful iteration of how virtual reality can be used to promote health and wellness. It’s a sleek and lightweight VR headset designed for comfort and equipped with advanced sensors to track head and eye movements – interacting with the virtual environment naturally.

Designer: Marko Filipic and Mati Papalini

One key feature of Portalverse VR is its ability to gamify health and wellness in one’s daily routine with an avatar that behaves as a real person would. By gamifying these activities, the headset and its accompanying interface (smart mirror) make for an engaging and motivating regime for health-conscious people. The designers envision this headset to be used at home with the Portal smart mirror or outdoors using a smartwatch.

You can use the mixed reality wearable to participate in a virtual exercise class, wherein, real-time will be used to provide feedback on the form and technique. As the user (via the avatar) progresses through the exercise routine, they would earn points and unlock achievements for reaching certain milestones, such as completing a set number of repetitions. The accompanying app customizes the coaching levels and gives important feedback based on the user’s performance.

Another example of how Portalverse VR can be used for health gamification is through meditation. The headset transports the user to a peaceful, virtual environment, for instance, a beach or forest. The app guides the user through a meditation routine, for proper breathing and relaxation techniques. As the user progresses through the routine, they could earn points and rewards for achieving deeper levels of relaxation and mindfulness.

By using advanced VR technology to gamify health and wellness activities, headsets like the Portalverse VR could make it more engaging and motivating for users to adopt healthy lifestyles. VR startups better get some inspiration from this concept mixed reality headset!

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This ground-breaking VR headset incorporates olfactory module to enhance immersion and realism

With advancements in technology, VR experience is becoming more and more realistic. It engages multiple senses to create a truly unforgettable experience. However, one sense that remains untapped in VR is the sense of smell, which plays a significant role in how we identify things and remember them. Introducing ORDOVIC – a VR headset with an olfactory module, designed to elevate the VR experiences with the introduction of smell as a sensory feature.

Ordovic is a cutting-edge VR headset that incorporates an olfactory module, to allow gamers to experience scents of gunpowder in the virtual world. Inspired by the way we use smell to identify things and strengthen memories, the VR headset, with accompanying controllers and earbuds, aims to provide a truly immersive and multisensory experience like never before in VR.

Designer: John Han Lee

By adding the sense of smell to virtual reality, this headset creates a very realistic and memorable experience that engages multiple senses simultaneously. The olfactory module of Ordovic is designed to simulate a wide range of scents, from the smell of salt water when you’re water surfing, or aroma of food when you’re cooking in VR. While gaming in virtual reality, the sense of smell can make the virtual world feel more real and engaging with the addition of this new layer of immersion.

The round plasticky Ordovic is designed to fit comfortably in front of the eyes and fasten around the head. As I can make out, the olfactory module is integrated into the VR headset, providing a synchronized sensory experience that transports the wearer to a whole new level of realism. This creates an unforgettable experience that engages your sense of smell along with your sight and hearing.

This all-new experience can open up a range of applications from gaming to education, and from therapy to training. It’s worth understanding that the availability and variety of scents may depend on the accessibility of olfactory modules and the sensory variation of each individual. Yet, I believe, Ordovic has the potential to provide a truly personalized and unforgettable VR experience.

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ZTE nubia NeoVision Glass AR eyewear hides in plain sight as oversized sunglasses

Although it does have the word “mobile” in it, MWC has long ceased to just be about smartphones and tablets. These days, anything you can pick up and use on the go is labeled as mobile, sometimes including laptops. When it comes to portability, however, wearables have become quite the fad, and this category isn’t just limited to smartwatches or “hearables” like earbuds and hearing aids. One strong presence at MWC 2023 this year seems to be headsets and eyewear, particularly those designed for augmented and virtual reality applications. Not to be left behind, ZTE’s nubia is showcasing its first-ever AR eyewear, and it seems to be trying to be a bit more fashionable at the expense of a bit of freedom of movement.

Designer: ZTE

As far as mixed reality headgear and eyewear are concerned, the trend seems to be going in the direction of cramming all the necessary hardware inside the device, unlike the first-gen Oculus Quest and HTC Vive headsets that needed to be connected to a powerful PC with a cable. A standalone headset does have tradeoffs, though, especially when you consider the weight of the hardware and the built-in battery. That’s why some devices still try to aim for a completely lightweight and comfortable design, even if it means offloading the brunt of the work to external devices.

The new ZTE nubia NeoVision Glass is one such type of device. It’s incredibly lightweight at 79g, but it’s not lacking when it comes to display quality. It boasts Micro-OLED screens with 3500 PPI and a binocular resolution of 1080p, giving the wearer the equivalent of a 120-inch screen floating before their eyes. It doesn’t skimp on the audio either, with two omnidirectional speakers and a cyclonic sound tank. All in all, it promises a full range of multimedia experiences for both your ears and your eyes.

The nubia NeoVision Glass also advertises high compatibility with a wide range of devices, including phones, computers, and consoles. It’s “plug and play,” which suggests that it doesn’t come with its own computer inside, though ZTE wasn’t exactly clear on that part. It does mean that you can use any device or platform you want, though it also means you’ll be rooted on the spot near that device unless it’s something you can carry around.

ZTE does, however, pay special attention to both the looks of the eyewear as well as its accessibility. Magnetic lenses make it trivial to swap out different sunglasses designs, and it supports zero to 500-degree myopic adjustment for those that need to wear prescription glasses. It’s still relatively bulky compared to typical sunglasses, but few will realize that you’re viewing the world through a different set of lenses, figuratively and literally.

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Lightweight and compact, Beyond VR headset makes metaverse exploration ultra-comfortable

Let’s be honest, VR headsets are exciting tools for immersive experiences in virtual or augmented reality applications, but damn they are too bulky to account for any practical usage for an extended period of time.

Be it the Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive Pro 2, or Meta Quest 2; each one of them is still not compact for the masses to garner major attention. That could change with the Beyond VR headset, one of the lightest and most compact VR headsets for a comfortable Metaverse exploration.

Designer: Bigscreen

For someone like me who’s always eager about new technologies infusion into the gaming and entertainment world, the Bigscreen Beyond VR headset is as exciting as it could be. All the powerful VR headsets currently on the market are bulky and heavy – not igniting my interest beyond just a few minutes of curiosity. This PC-only headset is different though, weighing just 127 grams, it is six times lighter than any other headset currently up for grabs. At its thinnest point, the VR headset measures less than an inch and has a very low profile (something akin to the DJI FPV goggles), which is a major design advantage.

If you are thinking, this compact form factor would have some hardware compromises, then that’s not true. The VR headset comes with two 1-inch OLED microdisplays, each at a resolution of 5120×2560, and support for 75Hz and 90 Hz refresh rates. The headset has a 90 to 93-degree horizontal field of view, along with the six-degrees of freedom tracking (requires SteamVR Base Stations) and three-element pancake optics to eliminate the screen door effect which used to hamper the overall viewing experience in other VR headsets. Bigscreen also includes stereo microphones, and a proximity sensor to detect the distance between the face and the headset for an immersive experience.

The significant reduction in size of the Beyond headset is achieved by making some strategic sacrifices like adjusting knobs or other controls that are not vital. Those face cushions on the headset can be customized using the accompanying app to fit your face snugly. There’s a catch though, for now, only the iPhone XR or newer Apple phones can use the TrueDepth sensor to create a “ millimeter precision 3D mesh of your face.” Device sharing is also possible since the face cushions can be swapped with another one.

Beyond VR headset is available for pre-order in the US for $999, with shipping promised in Q3 this year, and the amount is fully refundable. You’ll have to buy the compatible SteamVR base station, and the Valve Index controllers to get going right away with the VR exploration. Also, the built-in headphones only come with the optional Audio Strap, and the video feed can only be tethered via a PC.

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Immersive, hooded monitor can give you googles-less VR experience

Virtual reality doesn’t belong in sci-fi movies or TV shows anymore as we’re seeing a lot of AR and VR products in the market, to varying degrees of success. It’s still not something as ubiquitous as smartphones or tablets but when we finally get a product that everyone can afford and is pretty easy to use, we might see a breakthrough. For now though, we’re still seeing various experimental products like VR goggles, consoles, games, and now, even desktop monitors.

Designer: Brelyon

If you wanted to have a virtual reality experience but without VR goggles, this new immersive monitor might eventually become an option. The Ultra Reality Display is a 30″ monitor that will make you feel like you’re looking into a 110-degree or 155-degree screen so you don’t need to have multiple screens when you’re trying to edit a video or looking at several excel sheets or when you’re playing a game that needs a more immersive environment.

The monitor is able to do this, or at least trick your eyes, through its hooded shape and a “wraparound vision”. They claim that it is able to give you a “depth profile that emulates the curvature of the human eye”. So instead of the “flat” view that regular monitors give you an immersive screen ideal for things like gaming, training simulators, and the early days of the metaverse. The video gives some of the technical details like it has an 8K pOLED engine, a 110″ virtual screen, a 155 degree field of view, synthetic aperture, spatial acoustic field, and fusion lightfield expansion architecture.

On paper, there are a lot of things a monitor like this could be used for like simulation training, teleconferencing, gaming, and if you want to watch movies like you’re in your own personal theater. The design looks like you would fit right in with Black Mirror (hopefully with better endings) or near-future sci-fi videos. I don’t know if the experience would be comfortable or if it might bring sensory overload because of its shape and immersive feel.

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This AR helmet for kids hones creativity by scribbling and drawing in 3D space without any limitations

Honing the creative bend of kids in their early life is important, and their best tool is drawing. That, however, comes with a menacing aftermath for the parents who have to ensure the kids don’t etch the walls of the living room or bedroom with a permanent marker or a hard-to-wipe-off crayon.

To create a good balance between the incremental increase in kids’ creative levels over time without having a messy home, virtual and augmented reality are the best solution. That’s what this AR Helmet concept is all about.

Designer: Designer Dot

With Metaverse applications gaining traction all this while, a product like this one is imminent. It lets children go wild with their scribbling skills without parents having to worry about messed-up walls, tables, or anything else the little ones perceive as the perfect canvas. The combination of the AR helmet having a smart wiser screen to display the augmented interface and the pen controller to let the imagination loose makes this concept highly feasible. Moreover, the unique element of the gadget will appeal to children as well who are becoming tech-savvy by the day.

Both the helmet and the pen controller are lightweight for obvious reasons. The AR elements on the helmet wiser screen guide the kids to draw meaningful shapes by inducing learning. The easy-to-use UI comes with interesting tools to increase productive engagement. Things such as in-built example drawings and the ability to sketch with friends or play educational AR games. The pen controller with one button control is equally easy to use.

The ergonomic comfort of the helmet is paramount so it comes with vents on the front and back to keep active airflow while used for long hours. The chin strap is magnetic for easy clasp action and easily adjustable depending on the head size. AR helmet is charged via a USB cable, and the pen controller attaches to the right side of the helmet for recharging.

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Logitech Chorus headset for Meta Quest 2 brings richer audio to the Metaverse experience

The Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset has quite a few undeniable merits – it’s lightweight, comfortable and can run graphics-intensive games without twitching. The self-contained VR headset could be the best out there depending on the user’s requirements – be it raw power or the ease of use for long hours of roaming in the Metaverse.

Built-in speakers on the VR headset deliver stereo sound, but if you are looking for a more immersive listening experience to match the visuals in virtual reality, Logitech has just got the right accessory.

Designer: Logitech

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The off-ear headphones (they don’t sit over the ears like regular ones) christened “Chorus” bring ultra-realistic audio to the listener’s VR experience. The fact that they don’t encapsulate ears means you’ll still be listening to outside ambient sound, something similar to the open ring design of the niche Sony LinkBuds. While personally, I like a secure seal to get fully engulfed in the music, games or movies I watch while being plugged in, there’s still a huge market for such audio listening accessories.

Specifically designed for the Meta Quest 2 headset, these headphones strap onto the VR headset on each side. Mind you, they are compatible with Meta’s Elite straps. The speakers on either side can swivel to adjust the preferred position for listening which is great for customizing the audio being delivered. The thing is powered by the VR headset’s USB-C port and the volume is controlled by the Quest 2 volume rocker button itself.

According to Logitech the speakers weighing 182 grams in total come with custom-tuned drivers capable of delivering the “biggest moments and the tiniest details in the Metaverse.” The open-back design means the sound signature is going to be on the warmer side. Looking around in the playing field, the first similar competition that comes to mind is the HTC Deluxe Audio strap which has a pair of decent-sounding headphones and a set of straps for a similar effect as that of the Chorus.

Matt Green, senior manager, acoustics engineering at Logitech summed up the existence of the headphones by saying that Chorus is more than the next step in audio for VR, it represents years of feedback from developers, gamers, and the VR community, and we couldn’t be more excited for this addition to the immersive VR experience.

Logitech Chorus is soon going to be available from the official Logitech portal and so on Amazon for a price tag of $99. For someone who doesn’t mind shelling out $399 on a VR headset, adding this pair of accessories won’t shake things up that much.

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