Now you’ll never leave home without it.
Sometimes lugging around your Google Cardboard VR viewer isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s usually too big to fit any sort of pocket and when you stow it away into a bag or purse, more often than not the cardboard viewer ends up getting crushed.
One San Francisco startup is hoping to solve that problem and make virtual reality more accessible than ever by building the VR viewer into the design of the phone case.
Launched today on Kickstarter, Figment VR is promising a “slim” and portable VR viewer phone case that comes in two different colors (black and white) and is compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
The phone case itself not only protects your phone but also has a slide trigger for unlocking a VR viewer attachment.
The Kickstarter campaign page makes it look so easy. The user unlocks the viewer which rests on the back of the phone case, swings the attachment to the screen side of their phone, loads up their favorite virtual reality app or experience, places phone to face, and voilà — virtual reality magic.
From the images shared by Figment VR, two buttons on the back of the phone case appear to be used as the latches for unlocking the lens attachment. It is not apparent though how effective these spherical magnifying lenses are or how the lenses are calibrated to view stereoscopic images through each eye simultaneously.
We were one of the first to scout out the Wearality Sky foldable 3D glasses, and their unique use of double Fresnel lenses allowed the user to only see half of the screen through each eye, removing the need for an outer housing except for preventing light bleed. Where Wearality had an option for two side blinders and used the bill of a hat to block light from the top and the sides, Figment VR is an open housing that would appear to affect screen viewability.
Either way, the idea of a more portable and convenient virtual reality viewer comes at a time when VR content is making its way to consumer smartphones at a rapid rate. With YouTube and Facebook now allowing users to view mobile videos on VR viewers like Google Cardboard with the click of a button, not having to whip out a separate assembly seems like a no-brainer. But at what cost to the experience is a different question; a question we will just have to answer for ourselves if we ever get our hands on a Figment VR phone case.
The Kickstarter campaign runs from November 17 until January 12, 2015. Rewards include the Figment VR case with early bird pricing coming in at $49. The suggested retail price will be $79 for non Kickstarter backers when it finally ships.
For more information about Figment VR, you can also check out their site at FigmentVR.com