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:
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.
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.
Brian 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.