Virtual reality headsets were once the epitome of technological growth in most people’s mind. Everywhere you looked something was advertising virtual reality headsets. Since then many drawbacks have been found in this new technology. Headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are still too pricey for most people, even at their lowered prices. Virtual Reality headsets are also time-consuming to set up and often have to be connected to a powerful and often expensive computer to work correctly. Lenovo, a computer manufacturing company, thinks it just might have the solution to these problems, but is it enough to persuade people to buy this product?
The Lenovo Mirage Solo Virtual Reality Headset is unlike any before. As the name solo implies, this virtual reality headset works without a computer or smartphone. All of the necessary technology is built into the headset, so there’s no need to connect it to drain your smartphone battery or connect it to anything else. The battery of this headset is expected to last seven hours after full charge, and the headset is comfortable and easy to adjust. While Lenovo hasn’t settled on a price point yet, the cost is supposed to be around or under $400, which is roughly around the same prices as the Oculus Rift.
The Lenovo Mirage Solo runs on Google Daydream Software, which means it will have access to the same virtual reality apps and games as daydream compatible Android phones. The headset also includes Google’s WorldSense technology, which tracks movement without the need of external sensors.
What sets the Lenovo apart from its competitors, such as Facebook’s Oculus Go which also doesn’t require a computer or smartphone and is expected to launch this year, is the sense of freedom the wearer has while using it. The Lenovo uses inside-out tracking giving the user 6 degrees of freedom. This means the user can move around somewhat freely and can interact with digital elements in the virtual environment. Th Oculus Go is not capable of such freedom.
The Lenovo does have a few drawbacks it isn’t able to create a room-scale virtual reality experience like Rift or Vive, but wearers can still duck and dodge when playing games and can walk around more. The Lenovo also doesn’t scan the room you are playing in so it won’t be able to warn you if you’re about to walk into a piece of furniture; however, it does blur the virtual world when you get too far out of the area you were playing in. Finally, the Lenovo will still cost more than the Oculus go ($200) or smartphone virtual reality headsets (anywhere from $99 to $130). With these drawbacks, the question becomes whether it will interest buyers who aren’t already interested in virtual reality. Perhaps, it can with the use of digital marketing and social media marketing, but with a cost of around 400 dollars, it may be a hard sell.