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Occipital Bridge - An iPhone VR / AR headset with position tracking


Summary

  • A mobile VR / AR headset with Room Scale system
  • Bridge Engine, real-time scanning technology
  • Occipital Bridge: price and availability

Le mobile virtual reality market is booming. Cardboard-type devices are no longer counted, allowing the use of a smartphone as a screen for VR. Korean phone industry leader Samsung did not hesitate to jump headlong into the market by partnering with Oculus to create the Gear VR, an advanced mobile VR headset compatible only with high-end smartphones. of the brand. Google has also just marketed its Daydream View headset.



On the other hand, Until now, iPhone users had no quality VR headsets available, and had to settle for low-end devices that offered only a shallow experience.. A shame for the best-selling smartphone in the world! For good reason, Apple CEO Tim Cook is not really enthusiastic about this new technology and does not really plan to offer an Apple VR headset.

A mobile VR / AR headset with Room Scale system

Fortunately, Occipital has decided to fill this void with the Bridge, a high-end VR / AR mobile headset intended exclusively for the iPhone. Far from being satisfied with the strict minimum, this device offers Room Scale type position tracking, similar to that of the HTC Vive PC VR headset. As a reminder, the Room Scale allows you to move around your living room and in virtual reality simultaneously.

Bridge Engine, real-time scanning technology

At first glance, this headset is similar to the many Chinese devices offered on Amazon. This is a white device with black straps, with a compartment for inserting an iPhone. However, we quickly notice the protruding sensor located at the front.



In order to present his system, Occipital has created an augmented reality application installed natively on the device. Using Bridge Engine software technology, the Bridge scans the room the user is in and then displays it on the screen. Subsequently, a small robot character, named Bridget, appears to interact with the user and his environment. For example, Bridget can pick up a virtual ball thrown by the user, avoiding real obstacles in her path.

To control this virtual character, the user has a wireless controller supplied with the headset. This accessory is similar to a small Wiimote and allows you to orient a small green cursor and trigger actions using a button.

In addition to this augmented reality experience, the application offers a rather impressive virtual reality mode. By borrowing a dimensional door opened by Bridget, the user finds himself propelled into a futuristic virtual environment. He is then free to explore this imaginary place superimposed on his gaze by moving around his living room. To avoid any collision, physical obstacles in the room are indicated on the screen by red silhouettes.

Occipital Bridge: price and availability

Le Bridge Explorer Edition, intended for developers, will be available from December 2017 for 499 dollars. Interested parties will thus be able to give free rein to their imagination to create applications that take advantage of the device's Room Scale system. The commercial version will be available from March 2017 for $ 399. At the moment, the headset is only compatible with iPhone 6 and 6s, but iPhone 7 will be supported soon.





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