The Oculus Rift is taking its time to perfect for the consumer market, but if you're after a virtual-reality or augmented-reality experience, one product will provide a solution that uses your smartphone as the display.
Called vrAse, it's a 3D-printed headset by Edinburgh, Scotland-based Louise Bankhead. Your smartphone slides into the front, providing the display.
Packed inside the headset is a pair of interchangeable lenses, one for each eye. Using an app that splits your display into two separate images -- what's known as side-by-side or SBS format, for which there are many existing apps -- each eye then sees a slightly different version of the same image, creating an effective 3D view.
Using content that has already been converted into SBS or converting it yourself, it can be used on pretty much any existing content, such as films and games -- although for games, you will need a method of controlling it that isn't the phone's touch screen, for obvious reasons.
You can also use it with your phone's camera to record first-person video, as seen in the video below.
vrAse has been built to fit six phones perfectly: the iPhone 5, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It has been optimized for phones with a 5- to 6-inch screen. Anything larger will be too heavy for the headset and wearer, and if you don't have any of the "perfect fit" phones, a universal adapter will be able to accommodate your device.
It's important to note that vrAse will not work with glasses. However, the Kickstarter page notes that you will not need your glasses, except when more severe myopia is involved, in which case you can wear contact lenses.
A Kickstarter pledge of $90, plus $23 international shipping, gets you one vrAse in the color of your choice, white or dark gray, with an estimated delivery date of February 2014.
(Source: CNET Australia)