Auravisor Is an Android-based Occulus Rift Competitor

I spent this week at CES 2016, attending exclusive private events displaying some of the latest technology in the world. I’m processing video as we speak and killing time while my YouTube upload botttleneck holds up my queue to write a few blog posts.

I have GoPro footage of CES that you won’t find anywhere else, and I’m in the process of getting it all online. Included in the footage and my CES coverage will be CES Unveiled at Mandalay Bay, CES Showstoppers at the Wynn, Pepcom’s Digital Experience at the Mirage, several press conferences, keynotes, C-Space Storytellers at Aria, and more. I even filmed the film crews.

I also attended several private after-hours events, such as Medialink’s kickoff party, VRFest and the VR Lounge, and this exclusive footage of government whistleblower Edward Snowden’s appearance:

While covering everything through the lens of a whistleblower, computer nerd, gonzo journalist, video game critic, and Hardcore Droid contributor, I was floored with seeing so much exclusive tech and having access to so many executives from any company you can think of.

I got hands-on with AR and VR I can’t wait to show you, and the first video I want to post is of the AuraVisor VR headset.

Cardboard and Gear VR Are Android VR 1.0

 

When you think of Android-based virtual reality, you think of either Google Cardboard or Gear VR (and its many…many clones).

Here’s a few of the many Cardboards I picked up throughout CES 2016:

Google Cardboard
Controlling Google Cardboard…

Basically, you put your phone into the slot, and you can control it by touching the metal pad on the outer right which touches your screen at the point in the above picture.

Samsung Gear VR (and every other Cardboard clone) simply replaces the cardboard with plastic, which can house an array of buttons.

Google cardboard is great for promotional purposes. In fact, I saw at least three companies (Unofficial Cardboard being one which was a sponsor of VR Fest, footage of which isbelow:

Branding these goggles is a great way to replace business cards, and at least 90% of the promotion junk I see at major events throughout the U.S.

However, for home use, there are much better virtual reality options. Cardboard is great to pull up a YouTube video on an Android phone to show your friends what virtual reality is like.

HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and AuraVisor allow you to do some serious gaming and experience virtual reality through a whole new lens.

AuraVisor is Android VR 2.0

 

In the above video, James Talbot, the CEO and Founder of AuraVisor was gracious enough to film me demoing the headset on my GoPro as he talks me through some of the features. I also spliced in a quick glance at the headset so you can see the buttons.

Both before and after the video, we continued the conversation. Not only are games going to be cheaper for this headset ($4.99 vs $19.99), the VR experience is as immersive as what you get out of the more expensive headsets.

What makes AuraVisor different than every other Android or iOS headset is you’re not using your phone for the screen.

Instead, AuraVisor is using it’s own built-in Android-based system, with all controls on the outside custom designed to function as controllers. This makes AuraVisor uniquely positioned during the 2016 VR rush.

AuraVisor is also capable of connecting to a PC, so it won’t be long until the homebrew community figures out how to run games like Portal on the Steam-powered HTC Vive (which I demoed at VRfest) and Oculus Rift on the AuraVisor.

It’s also capable of doing some things beyond gaming that will make any red-blooded American male cream himself –

It can run VR apps like YouVisit, which puts you in the middle of a virtual tour of literally anything you can imagine visiting throughout the world, including exclusive concerts, festivals, and other major events.

Also there’s Virtually Live, which will soon allow you to watch any live sporting event in any stadium with less than a 6 second delay in virtual reality. This means you’ll be able to watch the Superbowl kickoff from the line of scrimmage, the VIP booth, or any fan’s lap you desire.

In that world, DVR functions of pausing live TV suddenly become a jaw-dropping experience, but I’ll delve more into the software side as I process the video and pics of my tours of those booths.

For now, understand that through everything I’ve seen at CES, the AuraVisor is the most impressive headset in the most impressive consumer and enterprise category of 2016.

headshotBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Street, Lifehack, and Hardcore Droid.

 

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Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

7 thoughts on “Auravisor Is an Android-based Occulus Rift Competitor

  • January 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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    I keep thinking about this headset…basically the difference between this and Rift/Vive is like the difference between a Dreamcast and Playstation. One has a computer in the controller.

    Reply
    • January 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm
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      I’m one of the earliest Kickstarter backers for this and a couple things made this really stand out against the big boys and the countless spin-offs. First off, the wireless capability. They are working closely with Trinus VR to ensure that wireless PC streaming is ready right out of the box. That makes PC gaming with a VR headset much more natural. On top of that, I’m hoping with the mobile chipset and GPU powering the screen it will take at least a bit of the pressure off the PC, however that remains to be seen.

      I also can’t wait to hook this thing up to my quadcopter’s live feed. I’ve already got a hacked together Arduino-powered direction sensing system and a servo-powered mechanical arm to mount the camera to the drone with; that’s going to make areal exploring so much more rad. I’d love to work out how to use the gyro in the Auravisor to directly control the 3-axis brushless gimbal mounted under the drone, but that’s going to take quite a bit of tinkering and I’m not sure how possible that really is.

      Anyways, I mostly jumped into this campaign because I had backed the creator’s previous project and that item (bone conducting headphones) came out extremely nice. I was also able to jump in as an ultra-early bird and snag the Auravisor at a great price. But as time goes on I’m getting more and more excited to get my hands on this thing. Great write-up, thanks for posting it.

      Reply
      • January 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm
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        I’m still a week away from having the money to preorder the headset, but thank you for backing this headset. I had not heard of it before but my goal at CES was to search out every VR and AR headset I could find and learn the differences. This headset has my heart and I’m as excited as you are to get a hold of one. Thank you for backing this so it could reach this point 🙂

        Reply
    • February 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm
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      This can connect to a pc as well. More versatile to an oculus imo.

      Reply
      • February 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm
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        I absolutely agree. The only thing Rift and Vive have that this doesn’t is the tracking sensors and motion controller, though I’m sure plenty of third party options will exist as soon as everyone gets VR headsets in their homes.

        Reply
    • February 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm
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      Except the suravisor can hook up to a computer as well.

      Reply
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