June 2, 2017

Usually when people think of VR, they imagine the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, both of which are pretty bulky and difficult to wear and store. Sure, there have been quite a few improvements in the compactness and portability of VR, considering things like Google’s Daydream View and Samsung’s Gear VR headset, but a lot of the fundamentals have remained the same. If we’re ever going to push this tech into the consumer’s field of view, we have to make it compact and easy enough to get into consumer hands.

Enter the Kopin VR prototype.

The company just showed off their reference design at Augmented World Expo, and the device is quite a looker. Sean Buckley from Engadget says the headset is almost a third smaller than Google’s cardboard headset, and that is something to get very excited about. The new headset looks like a very squashed down Oculus Rift, making it much easier to take with you that many of the flagship options. If we can get these devices to the point where they can fit easily and securely in our bags without having to leave a huge amount of room, that’s an incredible prospect.

And while the headset is capable of displaying awesome high-resolution visuals, it leaves a lot to be desired. The one-inch screens used in each eye piece limit the field of view to a pretty extreme degree, so you’re not going to feel nearly as immersed as you would through a traditional VR headset like the Rift or Vive. This is still a pretty early prototype however, so it’s entirely possible that Kopin will take feedback and work to make this compact killer just as immersive as today’s industry standards.

What’s your biggest gripe with VR headsets of today? Do they need to be smaller? Lighter? Higher resolution?

Let us know in the comments below.

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