The cheapest Virtual Reality headsets out there tend to be quite basic and awful. Google cardboard is fun, but at the end of the day, it’s a piece of cardboard. Stimuli VR, a virtual reality startup based in Manhattan, has designed an affordable headset with an emphasis on portability. It’s called the 2VR, and while it looks bizarre, it works just like every other mobile VR headset. The difference here, however, is that it can fold up into your pocket.
2VR and returning to portability
VR headsets powered by cell phones work perfectly well and can be lots of fun. However, although it doesn’t have the same limited mobility as the PC headsets, they are not exactly easy to carry around. Most are very large affairs, which you end up leaving at home when you’re out. Not the case with the 2VR, which is designed to be fully collapsible. Just like an ordinary pair of glasses, you can fold it up and stick it in your pocket while travelling. Handy for when you want to use VR on your daily commute without having to carry a large headset.
Roy Peer, the founder of Stimuli VR, says that unlike many other VR headset manufacturers, there has been an emphasis on aesthetics over pure function. Peer says that the headset has received praise for “its chic, fashionable look that deviates from the bulky headsets available today that focus solely on male-dominated gamer markets.” Peer has formerly worked for Architectural firm Diller, Scofidio and Renfo, which includes projects like MoMA and with VR presentation at the Pierre Chareau Exhibit.
Although the gaming market is far more egalitarian now than ever before, it is true that most headsets are not much to look at. Indeed, a lot of gamers have worried about looking ridiculous while wearing the headset. Although it still looks a bit strange, it is a much more attractive design. If you want to have more privacy, however, a fabric sleeve is included to block out peripheral distractions.
The one issue that might come up is there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to wear this and glasses. The headset is fully adjustable, but wearing two ear grips would be difficult. Another solution would be to get prescription lenses, but that would require some discussion with the manufacturer.
Key Features and Availability
2VR was an IndieGoGo project that completed its funding less than a month ago. As such, it is still in the prototype stage and will be commercially available next year. However, you can still purchase the headset through IndieGoGo. It comes with a full sleeve, and is compatible with just about every iOS and Android phone on the market and can fit every screen size between 4.7 and 6 inches.
The 2VR is only available online but supports worldwide shipping, so Singaporeans will not have to miss out. So if you want to get your hands on a VR headset that looks appealing, this might be the one for you. The headset costs S$40 before shipping.