Facebook’s whopping US$2 billion acquisition of Oculus has reignited the virtual reality headset market. As one of the new entrants to the burgeoning sector, Beijing-based ANTVR recently released three products, including the ANTVR headset, ANTVR camera and Jitao, a VR goggles set which is smartphone compatible.
ANTVR’s headset is equipped with a 6-inch HD display, with 1920×1080/1.03 megapixel per eye. The sharp picture is projected through an aspherical lens, leaving no space for distortion. The device packs two built-in 9-axis IMU sensor for head rotation and movement tracking. Unlike Oculus which only runs games designed specifically for its hardware, ANTVR supports all mainstream platforms including PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Android devices. In addition, it can be worn without the need to take off your glasses.
This product is not in fact the debut of the ANTVR headset, as it is part of the ANTVR All-in-One Kit, a project which raised US$260,000 on a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. The company announced this time that the headset is on the Chinese market at a price tag of RMB1,499 (US$242).
ANTVR Camera has a seven-layer, 169 degree wide angle lens per eye, and features 16 megapixel footage and dual-mic stereo recording. The company did not name the shipping date, but disclosed the product is priced at RMB1,499.
Dubbed ‘Jitao’, the goggles set can hold your smartphone in place on the front of the device. It is foldable and works with smartphones sized 4.5-6 inches. It is priced at RMB149. Two similar attempts to make inexpensive VR headset by using smartphones include Google’s Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR, which just hit the U.S. market priced at around RMB1,200.
The company has developed three games for Jitao, including a voice command game The Legend of Curse (our translation) and a other game compatible with its convertible controller.
To attract more game developers to this new breed of VR headsets, ANTVR is open sourcing part of its headset technology so that their products can work with multiple gaming consoles and even accommodate other kinds of hardware. Company CEO Tan Zheng said they have partnered with multiple game developers, with, for example, The Legend of Curse being jointly developed with Unity.
The company reportedly secured eight-digit dollars of Series A financing from Sequoia Capital.
Originally from: Zhi Xiaofeng
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)