Strapping an iPad to your face could be the (ridiculous and bulky) future of virtual reality

Smartphones can power virtual reality goggles - so why not tablets? Well...

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The Independent Tech

Wearing virtual reality goggles looks pretty stupid. Inside it might be all magical landscapes and fantasty worlds, but to the casual observer you just look like a goofball in a over-engineered sleeping mask.

The question designers are asking is ‘how do we make virtual reality look …. stupider?’ The answer is to use a tablet as a screen.

At least, this is what a Kickstarter project named AirVR is trying to do, funding a plastic headset built to hold the iPad mini (all 7.9 inches of it) just a few centimetres in front of the wearer’s eyes.

Software splits the tablets screen into left and right vision and plastic lenses in the headset fit in front to create that ‘immersive VR experience’.

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How the screen looks when it's not centimetres from your face.

Actually, although it may look a bit ridiculous, this method of virtual-reality-on-the-cheap is becoming increasingly widespread, with both Samsung and Google releasing ‘adapter’ headsets that users can slot their phones into.

AirVR – the product of a Toronto design company Metatecture – even comes with a number of buttons for switching between applications, and if having a tablet glued to your face feels too farcical they’re also planning on making an iPhone 6 model. 

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And when all's said and done, although the AirVR looks a bit unwieldy, when virtual reality turns us all into reclusive shut-ins that never leave the house it’s not like we’ll ever know how silly we all look.

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