iPhone getting a “virtual reality headmount” – take THAT RIM! - Macenstein

iPhone getting a “virtual reality headmount” – take THAT RIM!


Above: Box Fab may have finally found a way to make the iPhone not cool.

Well, out of all the “guess what we’re gonna do” press releases to come from 3rd party developers following the iPhone SDK announcements, this one is certainly one of the most ambitious. BOX FAB has announced 3 crazy ideas it claims to have secured an “exclusive licensing award” for, the most controversial of which is: “a virtual reality head-mount which the iPhone clips into instantly become a networked, head-tracked, virtual worlds viewer”. Let’s see RIM do that!

Box Fab describes the Virtual reality display as:

“A Virtual Reality display device which uses the iPhone as the viewing plate so that it becomes a wearable virtual headset simply by clipping on a special attachment. The device can network with other uses for shared virtual experiences and uses the tilt sensor of the iPhone plus a proprietary left-right tracker to provide a truly immersive experience. Special close-view depixelization flat optics turn the iPhone screen into a 3 dimensional window into another world. The under $200.00 design provides the functionality of devices costing thousands of dollars more.”

Even discounting the “beautiful” 3D rendering above, this is one of those ideas that doesn’t seem entirely thought out, as the iPhone’s touch screen will be pretty hard to use when stuck to your face, and there is only so much “virtual world navigating” you can do by just nodding your head about. Also, the $200 price tag seems a little optimistic given how much other development would need to go on on the software side of the device for it to actually be desirable. Still, we’re anxious to see this thing when/if it ever sees the light of day.

Perhaps sensing the “virtual world” market isn’t taking off the way we all thought it would back when Lawnmower Man was released, Box Fab also came up with two less nerdy-looking iPhone accessory ideas as well; one for a video conferencing camera, and the other a less useful but potentially fun-at-parties LED light.

Box Fab describes the video conferencing adapter as:

A clip on camera lens which lets you point the internal camera back
at yourself for live internet video conference calls.

and the LED light is described as:

A plug on adapter that lets the device project laser or LED light
patterns on the walls or ceilings in time to the sound output without the
need for an electronic connection.

Of course, the biggest catch here is that Apple has said 3rd party apps can’t interface with hardware-based peripherals. However, by special request there are ways to gain “woks with iPhone” certification, so that may not be the biggest hurdle the company faces. Odds are convincing people to strap an iPhone to their face may prove the tougher challenge.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; “Where do I send my money?!

Well, slow down there cowboy, there’s a catch. None of these patent-pending ideas actually exists. Box Fab’s more of the “idea man” here, and is looking for manufacturers and distributors to make these products a (virtual) reality.

But not to worry. It’s only a matter of time before these “must have” iPhone accessories hit store shelves near you. After all, this is what that iFund was designed for, right? (Oh those poor fund managers…)


6 Responses to “iPhone getting a “virtual reality headmount” – take THAT RIM!”
  1. Roger says:

    Wow, nothing says “3D virtual world” like a sphere and cloud background.

  2. Kelly says:

    Seeing that headset makes me want to break into song:

    now whip it.
    into shape.
    shape it up.
    get straight.
    go forward.
    move ahead.

    I do like the idea for the look-back-at-you camera clip. That could be handy now for just the current camera. Does anyone know if there is such a camera currently being sold for the iPhone so you can take pictures of yourself?

  3. Oh my poor eyeballs….

    About interfacing with external peripherals, the limitation should affect only affect the last concept, thetwo other “ideas” looks quite optical and mechanical solutions.

    I’d like to quote steve about deign on this, just as a reminder for those “idea men”:

    “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

  4. Jonro says:

    What’s more comfortable than a pair of glasses that weighs half a pound? Taping bricks to your shoes? There’s a big difference between an idea and a design.

  5. Gregory Ng says:

    I know it may have been a typo but I got a kick out of the “Woks with iPhone” certification!

    So I got inspired.

  6. haha, nice one Gregory!
    -The Doc

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