I was crestfallen that I was unable to attend CES this year but one of the benefits of working with Lenovo is that they still gave me the lowdown on some of the products they are coming out with this year. Nothing quite stands out to me like the Lenovo Mirage Solo and the Lenovo Mirage Camera. I, like most geeks, have longed to VR but being a cheap geek every system I have seen hasn’t been quite as adaptable as I want, user-friendly as I want, or has enough to actually do to justify its price tag. I think I may have finally found a VR system that will be worth investing in.
Let’s start with the Lenovo Mirage Solo. It is solo because it is all in one! No tethering a cord to the computer, no popping your phone into the system. I know, many people don’t consider it a big deal, but I do! I can just see putting a headset on
a kid me and I trip, therefore pulling the computer down, falling and breaking me, and the headset falling to the ground. So no cords make me happy. No phone? That makes this more immersive. I already have the whole “hold your phone” viewer and it is fine but not all I hope for. So all that is huge.
The headset itself is supposed to be very wearable. This is a downside to not going to CES, I don’t know that this is true firsthand but I have heard about it from some reliable sources. The weight is distributed around the head and not just in the front so that makes it more comfortable and your experience less stilted. There is also breathable padding anywhere that it sits on your face.
It sounds great but really? What all is there to do and you really part of it? That is what really gets me! This project is a partnership with Google’s Daydream and that is a huge value add. First, they are using WorldSense which is Google’s Daydream VR platform. That allows you to actually walk around and be responsive to your environment. Which will be so cool in their new Blade Runner game because the player with be on the streets! It is also cool because there are already over 250 apps and games for Daydream. As a homeschooler, this will allow me to take my kids to the Acropolis or even into some the educational shows that we watch. This takes the virtual field trip to a whole new level. That adds a huge incentive for me because then you are no longer just buying a toy but a tool.
With the Mirage Camera, you are taking the Mirage solo from tool to connection. The camera, that is going to be less than $200, has 2 sets of lenses that have a 180 field of view. You can shoot family events and then people who weren’t able to attend can view your footage and immerse themselves in the experience. It isn’t the same as being there but the closest way I have ever seen.
This camera isn’t just for sharing your family events. It really does so much that I, especially as a blogger and vlogger, really love. It shoots in 4k in 2D and supports Youtube’s VR180 video format for its 3D. It can take still pictures and live stream. It even has wifi so you don’t have to tether it to your phone to stream. You can use a microSD card to hold 128GB of storage but it also has 16GB onboard. It is even small like a phone and can fit in your pocket.
I am so excited to get my eyes on this physical product that should be coming out sometime this spring/early summer. I may have finally found a VR experience that I am willing to splash out for! What do you think? Do you see the VR applications in your day today? I am curious to hear what you all think!
(Disclosure: I work with Lenovo as a Lenovo Insider but I am not paid. All words and opinions are mine and mine alone.)