Samsung's Gear VR isn't the only device looking to bring mobile virtual reality to the masses. Toronto-based agency Cordon Media is building Pin? (pronounced Pinch), an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus case that turns Apple's smartphone into an immersive VR headset for shopping and surfing the web. Cordon has launched on crowd-funding site Indiegogo for the accessory, and it's expected to ship June 2015 for $100.
While it looks like little more than a thick iPhone 6 shell at first glance, Pin? unfolds into a slick pair of virtual reality goggles that uses your iPhone as its display. The headset includes two motion-sensing rings, which, when used with the free Pin? app, allow you to interact with virtual objects using hand gestures.
In the device's Indiegogo video, Pin? founder Milan Baic explains that the headset is designed less for gamers and more for a mainstream audience that wants new ways to shop and use apps. Concept videos of the Pin? software include footage of a virtual mall, where shoppers can "pick up" a digital shirt or pair of shoes and move them around with their hands. The videos also provide a look at apps like YouTube and Google Maps, which have immersive, VR-friendly interfaces.
Indiegogo packages for Pin? start at $100, which gets you a Metallic Black version of the case, the motion-tracking "inchers" and the Pin? SDK. The limited edition Metallic Red variation costs $150, while a set of three will run you $250.
Pin? has the potential to rival Samsung's $200 Gear VR, an Oculus-developed headset that syncs with the Galaxy Note 4 to provide virtual reality content from partners like Marvel, Cirque du Soleil and Temple Run.
We'll have to try Pin? ourselves to see how it stacks up with the Gear VR, but Cordon's iPhone alternative has the advantage of being able to fold into your pocket and costing half the price. Unfortunately, both headsets are tied to specific smartphones, so your choice might simply be based on the handset you're already using.
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