10 Reasons AuraVisor Fails to Meet Expectations for VR Enthusiasts

After nearly six months of delays, Auravisor finally shipped at the end of September, just barely beating Sony’s PSVR to the market. I met Auravisor’s creator James Talbot at CES 2016 in a small booth in a back corner, far removed from the busy crowds and major brands. After demoing a variety of headsets, lenses, and VR experiences, I decided to back the Auravisor to see if it has utility for Hardcore Droid.

I really wanted Auravisor to be something unique and special in a sea of smartphone-powered Cardboard headsets.  Nobody expects it to meet the processing capabilities of the PC-powered Vive and Rift or the PS4-powered PSVR. However, Android VR does still have utility, especially in 360-degree videos and photos. Unfortunately, after patiently waiting through months of delays, I finally received my Auravisor headset and was appalled at how it managed to fail at nearly every single corner.

Auravisor isn’t worthy of retail shelf space because it’s a poorly made, terribly constructed mess of a product that’s not ready for the consumer market.

I’m sure Talbot knows a lot about consumer electronics. He’s been able to create a few bluetooth headphones and speakers here and there. But the man clearly has no experience with consumer technology, which is what virtual reality truly is. Instead, he’s simply another businessman with a great sales and marketing background trying to jump into the market and rush out a shoddy, generic VR headset that fails to meet expectations.

auravisor-vr

1. Straps/Headset Are Extremely Uncomfortable

Whereas the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift feel relatively comfortable on your face, PSVR definitely wins the design award. The hard plastic design of the PSVR makes it feel like you’re wearing a baseball cap, and the display is only moved toward your face to block out light and focus, not as a method of keeping it on.

Early adopters of the Vive and Rift are fully aware of how tired your face gets from having that headset pressed against your face for a lengthy play session. My roommates and I spent pretty much all day yesterday taking turns on PSVR, and nobody has any face pain.

Auravisor went the other direction, creating a harder plastic design with sharper edges and much cheaper padding. Ergonomics was definitely not a consideration in the design of the headset itself, and the cheap rubber used for the straps only serves to smash your face into a hard piece of plastic.

Instead of the minor discomfort of Rift and Vive or the luxury comfort of PSVR, I was treated to intense pain at the bridge of my nose where a heavy, hard piece of plastic was being forcefully pulled into my face to the point that it was difficult to use.

My roommates both tried the Auravisor on as well, and despite having different shaped/sized heads and faces, we were all equally uncomfortable by the experience.

2. System UI Is Deeply Flawed

Of course, showing off the Auravisor to friends wasn’t possible for the first day because I had to charge everything and work my way through the most poorly designed UI I’ve ever seen on an Android system.

Talbot clearly has absolutely zero experience creating a device that requires a consumer OS. The navigational menu you’re presented with upon turning on any technological device is what makes or breaks it. Literally everyone in the VR industry is discussing the software libraries of Steam, Oculus, and PlayStation, because that’s going to be a deciding factor in who wins.

On the Auravisor, these crucial and essential determining factor was poorly put together and seems like it was almost even an afterthought. There’s absolutely nothing intuitive about navigating through the visual OS, and it’s barely even spherical.

The Auravisor has a terrible UI that feels more like a glitchy, hard-to-control beta test than a consumer-ready product. Auravisor is at least a year of solid development away from being consumer-ready, assuming a solid software dev team, which it clearly lacks.

My first impression of Auravisor was already wavering, and it was only going to get worse as I attempted to navigate basic setup, settings, and the Play Store, only to learn how much deeper the rabbit hole of ineptitude actually goes.

3. Typing Is Next to Impossible

Among the first instructions for setting up Auravisor is to connect to WiFi, which seemed simple enough, except that when I tried typing anything, I found the vast majority of the virtual keyboard to be not only out of my field of view, but also impossible to see without completely removing the headset and looking at it from above.

The problem appears to be that somewhere along the line Talbot changed the size of the screen or lenses. Either way, the lenses and headset are no longer capable of seeing the entirety of the screen, and there’s no setting for you to adjust it.

Having grown up with qwerty typewriters and keyboards always available, I was able to somewhat guesstimate the position of whatever keys I couldn’t see, but the shoddy controls made it take over an hour to perform an initial setup that typically takes me about 10-15 minutes on a well-designed product.

By this point, I was deeply upset and beginning to search online forums only to receive a group message from Talbot almost sounding annoyed that too many people are complaining about this very basic of design flaws that never should have reached the consumer market.

Throughout the campaign, I always ignored Talbot’s messages because it sounded as though he was upset about having to deal with the pressure of fulfilling his product launch. However, now that I’m a paying customer who shelled out over $200 for a non-working piece of junk this shyster designed, I’d expect a bit less sarcasm and glib and bit more pep in his step.

Don’t ever release a consumer product the consumer can’t even perform an initial setup on because you don’t know how to design things right, James. And when your loyal backers who are the only reason you’re in business bring up that you sent them something unusable, fix it instead of being a smartass.

auravisor-box

4. It’s Not Upgradeable

Now that the gloves are off and every Auravisor owner is now fully aware they were cheated by someone who has no idea what he’s doing, let’s point out a few more idiotic mistakes in the poor design of this headset.

You can’t ever upgrade your Auravisor, even if you are willing to take the days and weeks of personal time you’ll need to get it to work with literally any basic Android VR app.

Although Android VR may see some great apps and games, you’re eventually going to reach a point where you can’t play it on Auravisor. The specs that are in the visor will forever be those specs, and while your friends upgrade their Gear, ViewMaster, or Cardboard phone, you’ll be left behind.

Of course that won’t be a problem, because in just about every Cardboard app, it lists hundreds to thousands of compatible headsets to optimize your experience, but none of them work with Auravisor.

5. No Cardboard Support

Regardless of how many times you press the VR button or which settings you choose for Cardboard, since Auravisor isn’t listed in these apps, everything basically looks like shit.

Of course app developers are smart. Any cardboard-compatible experience on Android gives you an option to simply scan the QR code of your headset to optimize for it. But you can’t scan a QR code on an Auravisor, because Auravisor doesn’t have a friggin camera.

auravisor-vr-hmd

6. Auravisor Lacks a Camera

Say what you will about Android VR solutions like ViewMaster and Gear VR, at least they allow you to use the camera built in to your smartphone for unique AR and MR experiences. Anyone who knew anything about VR or technology in any way coming into this would have built a camera into the Auravisor.

And it’s not like I didn’t email Talbot to let him know how important a camera is to the Android VR experience. Why have wireless VR without AR? Why not have passthrough capabilities?

What’s the point in untethering when you’ve blinded the user, James? You’ve negated your own purpose.

7. No Software Library

And the lack of basic smartphone features and capabilities along with the lack of support for the most basic apps and games in the Android library of course means that there’s no real software library for Auravisor.

Talbot has no connections with any app or game developers, so while they’re all toiling away on PSVR, Steam, and even OSVR, Auravisor has no support. There’s no exclusives to Auravisor, except maybe that it’s the official jerk-off headset for solo porn fiends in a of Las Vegas’s seedier hotels.

In attempting to play some VR games from the Play Store, I had about a 50/50 chance of it working with the Auravisor. More often than not, I found myself stuck in the main menu with no way of selecting an option or even leaving without resetting.

Even finding games was a chore, because…

8. Play Store Is Impossible to Navigate

One of the very first problems encountered by VR developers is that menus and popups don’t work well in VR. It’s basically like having a piece of paper fly in your face – you can’t see the whole thing, and it’s certainly not an enjoyable reading experience.

That elementary, most-basic-of-VR problems was never considered at all with the Auravisor. And why should it?

Had this product gone through the most basic of market testing, it would have a decent UI at its core. Since that foundation is missing, it only makes sense that the Play Store and navigation of any Android service would be impossible, especially when the scroll bars are located on the part of the screen the lenses can’t even view.

9. No Headphones

Another minor beef is if you’re an audio company, how can you not at least include headphones with the headset? My PSVR came with headphones. My smartphone came with headphones, so Gear VR, VM, and other Cardboard headsets don’t need them.

Auravisor doesn’t use a phone, so Auravisor needs to include the accessories that would normally come with a phone. Headphones would be nice, especially since that’s the only product you actually know how to make.

10. Auravisor Isn’t Even Compatible with Auravisor

Seriously though…Talbot changed the Android version in production without testing how his software works on the new version. He was so focused on filling the device with decent specs that he forgot the most basic of testing within his own headset design.

The screen is too big for the lenses. It promotes wireless everything, but has an audio jack (and the company’s only other products are BLUETOOTH HEADSETS). Auravisor was piecemealed together so shabbily that it doesn’t even take advantage of its own features, much less support the entry-level VR experiences you can accomplish with a $30 headset and a $100 smartphone.

I’ve played with a lot of Android gear during my tenure with Hardcore Droid, and I’m sometimes disappointed and often impressed. Although Auravisor has promise for hobbyists, its packed with entirely too many fatal flaws to even be considered as a consumer VR headset.

If you already bought an Auravisor, know that you’re completely, 100% on your own in fixing any issues you have with it because you’re dealing with an expert in consumer electronics who doesn’t know the first thing about computer programming and software development.

Auravisor had a lot of promise, and it’s broken every single one of them, making it yet another niche Android product that’ll never reach a mass audience.

R.I.P. Auravisor…

Final Grade: F

Update 10/23/16 – After posting lies below about Auravisor being upgradeable, Talbot went nuts and attempted having this review removed from HuffPost and other syndicated outlets. His request was summarily designed and I made the below video explaining more about how Auravisor fails as an all-in-one device and is easily outperformed by Cardboard, Gear VR, ViewMaster, OSVR, PSVR, and more.

Versability

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

34 thoughts on “10 Reasons AuraVisor Fails to Meet Expectations for VR Enthusiasts

  • October 20 at 5:16 am
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    I find these comments deplorable. One of the features is that it IS upgradeable. Bryan perhaps you should check out the website. Also the system has many satisfied backers.

    We note the issue on the keyboard and this is being worked on. It is ONLY an issue in Google’a apps.

    James Talbot

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    • October 20 at 5:25 am
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      I’m sorry you don’t agree, but it’s an honest assessment comparing the headset I received and the PSVR, ViewMaster and Cardboard with an iPhone 6s, Gear VR with a Galaxy S7, and the Rift and Vive. Also how would I go about upgrading the processor? If it’s upgradeable, two years from now when the latest Pixel and Galaxy beef up their processors, I’ll be able to do so with this?

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    • October 20 at 5:32 am
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      Also the keyboard issue was a problem for the initial setup. That my firsthand experience. It literally took an hour of dealing with the hmd controls and bt controller controls through an invisible keyboard that could only barely be seen by removing the headset and looking down through the lenses that I could make it through the initial setup.

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    • October 20 at 4:08 pm
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      James, your false marketing is causing problems for your audience. Auravisor is NOT upgradeable – it’s updateable. Your lies and misconceptions are confusing people. You see…a Galaxy phone is NOT upgradeble. An iPhone is NOT upgradeable. No smartphone or tablet on the market is upgradeable. If you change out the hardware specs on any of those devices, they’ll cease to work.

      I want to be very clear about what you’re saying. Are you honestly telling me I, as a general consumer, can take apart the AV headset, remove the screen, take out the processor, and upgrade it? Because on my desktop PC, that’s made obvious, but it’s not at all obvious on an Auravisor.

      Please confirm that AV is truly upgradeable by removing and replacing the processor. Otherwise, please stop insisting this outdated piece of junk is updgradeable. I believe it’s updatable in that it can accept a newer update of Android OS when it comes out (up until the point that Android OS requires a faster processor than AV has), but updating software and upgrading hardware are two entirely different things.

      So, for the record, are you telling me you can upgrade the hardware on the AV or just the software and you’re so obsessed with your creation that you’re unwilling to accept the criticism of a paying customer just because I’m not sucking your dick and fanboying?

      Because one answer makes you a smart man, and the other makes you an ignorant asshole unfit for business who needs to quit yesterday.

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  • October 20 at 12:22 pm
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    I am a proud AV owner, and all of these comments are completely false. You really should do your research. First of all, the AV is upgradable. Second of all, Google Cardboard apps are incredibly easy to use as you simply switch into VR mode and then use the head mouse to simulate a click. The straps are not incredibly comfortable, but they get a passing grade and are not uncomfortable on my head. You also are saying that the AV lacks a camera, but the Oculus, Vive, and PSVR don’t have a camera either. Also, all you need to do to get Rift and Vive games on the AV is download the RidgeCat app. Also, the software is not perfect, everybody knows that. But this was just released, it obviously is not going to be perfect. Just like your exploding Samsung phone, it has flaws. I find this article to be completely false and (like James stated) deplorable. If anybody who is considering buying an AV is reading this, just know that this article is completely false, and the AV is quite amazing, and it will still be improving the the AV2 and AV3, as well as new software updates.

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    • October 20 at 4:02 pm
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      Next time think before spreading lies on my page. It makes you look like a complete asshole fanboy who doesn’t know the first thing about anything.

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      • October 20 at 6:13 pm
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        I am not spreading lies. I am simply pointing out the inconsistencies and false “facts” stated. First of all, you have absolutely no right to judge me just because we have colliding views. For you information, I know a lot about technology, probably more than you and am not afraid to get into an online fight over completely false information.

        You stated that the Vive, PSVR (etc.) uses cameras, but they are not provided with the headset. Yes, I understand what upgradable means. I am not an complete idiot. But NO VR HEADSET is upgradable, not even the Oculus, or Vive. The AV is not supposed to be a smartphone. It is an affordable solution to wireless VR for those who do not have the money for a Vive/Oculus capable computer and the actual headset. And FYI I have the Vive, Oculus and PSVR. I find that all are superiors to the AV, but those are multibillion dollar companies who have much more resources. I find that the AV is better for on the go stuff, light gaming, and watching videos. Just because we cannot use a very old an obsolete technology does not mean that the AV is behind every single VR headset/smartphone etc. Personally, I will probably strip down my AV and then attempt to upgrade it and study the internals, but lets be honest here: You describe the AV as if it is a complete piece of shit that cannot even turn on. In reality the AV is not perfect, but what you are describing is completely false. Yes it has it flaws, but not even the PSVR is perfect. I do not appreciate you taking a personal attack on me just because I pointed out that many things in your article are false. I do know what I am talking about, and have a lot of experience with technology. You may do your research, but a lot of it is either false, or you have been misinformed.

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        • October 20 at 6:36 pm
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          No VR headset is upgradeable…except every single Android VR headset outside of Auravisor. That’s the point. I’m not spreading false facts. You’re just not understanding, and I can’t get in a circular argument, so here’s the basics for that, and after that, I’m just ignoring you because you’re insane.

          Every Android VR solution on the planet allows you to use your smartphone for the monitor. That makes every Android headset upgradeable as far mobile phone technology goes. Auravisor is limited and will be made obsolete one day like a gaming console. If you understand tech, then there’s no argument – AURAVISOR IS NOT UPGRADEABLE…Rift, Vive, PSVR…these legitimate businesses do NOT advertise themselves as upgradeable because it would be false advertising. Auravisor is advertising itself as upgradeable, but it’s not. It’s not upgradeable at all, and this is a false statement. Nothing else needs to be said except my research is hands-on experience with over a dozen headsets while learning directly from the manufacturers through direct attendance and demoes at CES, E3, and CTIA Super Mobility Week for years. My experience is with VR developers I know. I’ve not posted any misinformation, and you’re spreading false information stating otherwise and attempting to debate stupid semantics when even you disagree with yourself. You’re a hypocrite, and I will no longer be approving nor reading your comments because it’s a waste of time. Fuck off, Auravisor fanboy. Go suck Talbot’s dick on his forums with the rest of the losers. I have way better things to do with my time now that I’ve indisputably proved you 100% factually inaccurate and incapable of understanding reality.

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          • October 20 at 6:49 pm
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            Please show us the evidence where the AV shows that it is “upgradable”. Please stop launching completely unsubstantiated personal attacks on me.

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            • October 20 at 6:50 pm
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              And the entire point of the AV is that it doesnt require a smartphone or computer. So yes, every SMARTPHONE based VR headset is upgradable. But that doesnt even apply in this situation, because the AV doesn’t run on a smartphone display

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              • October 20 at 7:08 pm
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                It’s competing with that market. It plays the same games and apps except it doesn’t because it doesn’t work and the play store and keyboard are impossible to navigate. It’s a public beta not fit for retail shelves. If it was marketed like OSVR for Android, great, but more solid vr is available from Sony, Google, Samsung, HTC, Apple, etc that only requires a free app and $30- $100 headset. I don’t have to manually configure anything or navigate a clumsy ui or remove the headset to see the screen edges or have a hard, sharp piece of heavy plastic destroying the ridge of my nose. I’ve tried a lot of VR, and this is the worst.

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            • October 20 at 7:10 pm
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              Please see creator James talbot stating above in comments that it is upgradeable. Now try to understand he’s contradicting you, but you’re both calling me the liar. That is why I dismiss you both as complete idiots.

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            • October 20 at 7:11 pm
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              You are literally failing at reading, and it’s disrespectful to waste my time like that.

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              • October 20 at 7:15 pm
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                It is disrespectful to launch personal attacks on me, with absolutely no basis to do so. You call me a dick, asshole, idiot, insane, and that is not disrespectful?

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                • October 20 at 7:23 pm
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                  I’m disrespectful to people who are disrespectful to me. Don’t come to my page to call me a liar about facts you didn’t even bother reading within this page itself. I’m not a liar. You’re a disrespectful little shit who can’t read Talbot himself saying Auravisor is upgradeable, and that wastes my time. Now you expect me to feel bad for you that I responded to your disrespect with disrespect? Fuck off, troll…

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                • October 20 at 7:26 pm
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                  Since you weren’t raised right, I’ll teach you, son. When you come to my house saying stupid shit to me, I’m not your mama, and I’m not going to take your disrespectful shit. I’m going to shut your disrespectful ass down. You call me a liar, I call you a disrespectful little shit who’s in my house. I’m not on your Facebook page, child. You’re in my place of business running your mouth, and I’m going to respond. Get it, kid? Don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit…that simple. Don’t pull a tiger’s tail then cry when it bites you. Act respectful and I’ll respond respectfully. Come at me like an asshole, and you’re going to be called out on being an asshole. If you don’t like it, fucking leave.

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                • October 20 at 7:33 pm
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                  And for the record, I was patient for months of delays and excuses…I was patient as the man who took everyone’s money complained about us being upset about him not fulfilling his promise. I was patient as I struggled through literally the worst UI I have ever used in any technology product in over 30 years, and I was patient up until the point where the CEO of the product tried mansplaining to me with a bunch of lies. I stopped being patient when I, as a paying customer, was treated poorly by the owner of the business who can’t take criticism and has proven that every time any backer had an issue. I don’t have to be patient anymore. I bought a product, and I can say whatever I want about the products I own. I own a PSVR everyone loves. I own several Cardboard and ViewMaster options everyone loves. I was embarrassed when I tried showing AV to friends and it failed to work on every single corner. Nobody thought it was comfortable. It’s the only one nobody could wear with glasses on. It’s the only one that wasn’t easy to focus. It’s the only one that didn’t work on nearly every spherical video, VR game, or app I tried. It’s the only one that was impossible to type or navigate the play store to perform the most basic of functions. I’ve reviewed Android products from around the world and nothing in this review is factually incorrect. I stand by every statement.

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                • October 20 at 8:04 pm
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                  Also, Talbot’s defense so far is the keyboard issue only affects Google apps. Unfortunately Google apps include wifi set up and every administrative tool because it’s a Google os. If I released software for Windows that doesn’t work on Windows, I’d be a liar committing fraud in business. The SEC is pretty clear on rules of functionality. If you sell me a brand new car that only drives after you replace the transmission, you’ve deceived me. This isn’t rocket science, it’s common decency.

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  • October 20 at 4:01 pm
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    I’m glad you enjoy your AV, but nothing I’ve said is false whatsoever. You appear to be too stupid to understand, so I’ll slow down.

    1) Auravisor is NOT upgradeable. When Qualcomm releases a new processor and the new Pixel and Galaxy and iPhone come out with enhanced specs, you’ll still have an old, outdated VR headset. You can update the Android version (software) of the AV, but it is 100% not upgradeable. In fact no mobile phone or tablet is upgradeable, and a Mac laptop is not upgradeable. I don’t think you understand what the word “upgradeable” means, but Auravisor is absolutely NOT upgradeable because you can’t change the processor or any other hardware components. It is NOT upgradeable – that is either you misunderstanding the term or flat out lying. Either way, it is absolutely NOT upgradeable whatsoever and you are factually incorrect.

    2) PSVR uses the PlayStation Eye Camera, and both Rift and Vive use external cameras, but that’s not the point. The point is Auravisor is lacking the basic features of any smartphone made in the past 2 decades.It’s not up to par with other Android VR options. For example, pick up a ViewMaster reel. Mattel’s $20 plastic toy let’s you use AR and VR, but Auravisor will never ever be compatible with any of the Viewmaster reels. This puts AV behind every single Android VR solution on the planet. You can compare it to Rift, Vive, and PSVR’s cameras if you have no idea what you’re talking about, but I’ve used them all and have hands-on experience from three years of E3 and CES attendance. You clearly have no clue what you’re talking about and that comment will be dismissed as again you’re 100% factually incorrect.

    3) Even implying that it’s a simple fix to play Vive and Rift quality on your AV is the dumbest thing I ever heard. It’s simply not capable. Every other headset is using a desktop to push graphics through two HDMI cables, and this one is running on a soon-to-be-laughably-obsolete mobile processor. Once again (I’m sensing a pattern), you are either flat-out lying or too simple to understand how stupid you sound parroting marketing talk that means literally nothing.

    4) The straps may be comfortable for you, but they were uncomfortable for 3 out of 3 people who tried mine. Once again, I’m glad your anecdotal experience is different, but don’t you dare call me out for false statements just because you don’t agree with the comfort. I’ll assume you can’t afford a Vive, Rift, or PSVR, because if you could, you’d see that you’re defending a Gremlin when Porches and Lambos are on the market.

    5) I’m done clearing up your lies, but don’t think for one minute I’ll ever allow you to spread misinformation on one of my articles. I do my research, son, and I’m an experienced Android reveiwer with access to hardware and software before it hits the consumer market. I’m not a noob and I’ve personally had hands-on experience with over a dozen VR headsets and Auravisor is the absolute bottom of the barrel and you know it.

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  • October 20 at 4:12 pm
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    Man, such misinformation from idiots who don’t know tech. Ok, so for the next AV fanboy coming to this article with misinformation, please be sure to understand the difference between updateable software, expandable memory, and an upgradeable device. Auravisor is not upgradeable. You can expand the memory and update the software, but you CAN NOT UPGRADE THE HARDWARE!!!

    Please do not waste my time with any further retarded comments like AV founder James Talbot and his fanboy above. You look like a lying idiot asshole when you say stupid things like insisting this overpriced piece of garbage headset is something it’s not. That’s why only 200 of these stupid things sold and nobody’s ever heard of it. You can lie all you want, but people know quality, and this junker is not it.

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  • October 20 at 6:59 pm
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    I am surprised that you hate this headset so much. How about you stop stating false facts, admit you are wrong (due to almost everybody liking the AuraVisor and waiting for future updates to come out instead of complaining like a child), and stop being a dick and launching personal attacks on people you disagree with. I bought the AuraVisor and am very happy with everything. You also are comparing it to the Oculus Rift, and smartphones, and then contradicting yourself with facts about both and applying those the AuraVisor.

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    • October 20 at 7:03 pm
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      Show an example that proves your assessment. I’m happy to debate point by point. What have I confused about the headsets an what nonfact?

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      • October 20 at 7:07 pm
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        You state that the AuraVisor doesnt come with camera capability, as smartphone headsets do. But then you state that the Oculus and Vive, and PSVR all use external cameras, and compare that to the AuraVisor. So why is it SOO bad to use an external camera with the AruaVisor (an actual VR headset, not a product similar to Google Cardboard) when you do the same thing with the more mainstream headsets?

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        • October 20 at 7:19 pm
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          Those external cameras are part of the Vive, PSVR, and Rift package. When you buy the HMD, it includes the camera. Auravisor didn’t. Auravisor then markets itself as being untethered, and the obvious question is stated in the article. Why untether when you’re blinding people? With every other Android VR solution, I can use a passthrough for AR and MR like the ViewMaster. Go to Walmart, which has sold Mattel’s ViewMaster for months and pick one up. You get cool AR functionality on the reels of this toy with EVERY ANDROID VR HEADSET EXCEPT AURAVISOR. I compare it to both sides to show that it has no place competing against either, yet it tries to market itself as competing with both. He quotes Palmer Luckey at the start of it. He’s clearly alluding to capabilities he couldn’t provide, and as a paying backer and customer, I’m insulted, but as a journalist and experienced Android reviewer, I gave an honest assessment, and it’s not worthy for Android gaming. It’s not capable of playing games I can play on my Galaxy S7. It’s not capable of accessing the features available on a ViewMaster. It’s junk.

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          • October 20 at 8:36 pm
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            The AuraVisor is VR headset, not an AR headset. If you had gone on the Kickstarter page, you would have seen that James considered adding a camera, but was not able to reach the funding available. This is just one of the reasons why the AuraVisor does not have a camera.

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            • October 20 at 8:46 pm
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              All of Cardboard is VR, not AR…not a lot of Cardboard apps require you to scan a QR code in order to optimize the experience. Can’t scan a QR code on Auravisor. It’s the only Android VR solution incapable of handling the most basic of Cardboard QR standards…and Damson neglected to even have Auravisor listed in any apps that allow you to select a headset type. As a consumer, I expect my Android VR headset to at least be able to handle to most basic of Cardboard apps, but AuraVisor can not. That is a fact.

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            • October 20 at 9:01 pm
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              How many of the manufacturer’s problems do I need to become responsible for as a consumer? Sony’s PSVR works as promised. OSVR works as promised. Gear VR works as promised. Cardboard works as promised. Auravisor does not work as promised on any level. It’s fatally flawed and requires a steep curve for the setup that the average consumer will never surpass. In addition, Mattel designed ViewMaster for kids 7 & up. Sony says 12 and up, and Oculus (and Gear) VR says 13+. Think of the children, because Damson certainly didn’t.

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            • October 20 at 9:16 pm
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              And for the record, sourcing the man’s inability to run a campaign to defend his inability to design a product is circular logic.

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    • October 20 at 7:22 pm
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      It’s poor design, and I brought it up to him several times. It shows laziness. PSVR works out the box because it’s self-contained to the PlayStation infrastructure and platform. The only reason to have an all-in-one Android solution is to avoid the personalization needed in smartphone solutions. This doesn’t deliver that nor even come close. You can’t even use the keyboard when you turn it on. A nonworking product was released and there are literally dozens of better products on the market. The sales speak for themselves. The reason there are only maybe 500 Auravisors in existence isn’t because of a tinfoil conspiracy about big corporations. It’s because there’s no market for it and no need and it’s worhtless, generic junk.

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  • December 9 at 12:39 am
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    Brian thanks for putting this out there. Unfortunately I agree with every single one of your points, and I can’t believe this isn’t being talked about more. I’m sad to have wasted my money on this device, and can only take solace with the fact that I was an early backer and only spent less than $200 on it, instead of the full retail price ($450??). Such a disappointment. It *looked* like such a promising VR headset, too. I mean, I set my expectations low, knowing that it was going to be a “budget” device comparable to Cardboard, etc. But this is atrocious. There was absolutely no thought put into the USABILITY of this device: the interface, app store, VR content, etc. It honestly feels like a tinkerer’s hobby VR project, not a *consumer* device. Can we talk about the support website. Some half-assed, disorganized forum on a retail store page, with a random list of topics. Did no one think about how all these things flow together, from a consumer perspective? My whole experience with this product has been so disjointed, and sorely disappointing. Anyone out there reading this… please don’t buy this device. There are MUCH better and nicer alternatives. A literal piece of cardboard offers a better VR experience than Auravisor.

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    • December 9 at 12:49 am
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      One reason it’s probably not talked about (other than the fact everyone in the media just blows James Talbot off as the idiot he is) is that Damson threatens to sue any and all critics. When a company silences critics, you know they’re shady fraudsters. I’m glad to never have to deal with this garbage VR headset ever again.

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  • February 15 at 9:43 pm
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    I completely agree with the review of the AuraVisor. As a backer who desperately wants their headset to be a positive experience it just isn’t. I am left feeling ripped off. Despite this I still think a non-phone headset is possible but then we were promised a VR revolution 30yrs ago and still there is no real progress. Control systems just get complex and non-intuitive, so far no-one has hit on a perfect mechanism like the mouse did for the computer. Some games have got good handless intuitive control systems though. What the auravisor offers is differeing and contradictory control methods depending what you are doing 🙁 The poor support and communications just reinforces how ripped off we are. They don’t even provide a list of apps that work with it upon installation without tons of grief (so far I found ONE roller coaster demo that actually just works out of the box, one of the hundreds I’ve tried (basically anything vr related on the store I have tried) which explains the lack of communication: they themselves can’t prove their claims about their own product.

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  • November 2 at 7:03 am
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    I was similarly impressed with the AV’s original pitch. Cable-free VR? Yes please. But I have to agree with your review. The keyboard is impossible to use, the controller is barely manageable. I spent eight hours trying to install the first software update, and it refused to install properly. I’m still stuck on the original software. I would add more, but I’ve already junked it. The risks of wanting to be a first-mover.

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