Several times over the past year, there have been hints that Apple was working on something for VR with a heavy intention towards AR due to the vision of the CEO. The CEO of Apple believes that the true power of a reality that you can alter comes from AR rather than the current hype of VR. Likewise, Apple has been slowly acquiring patents that severely hinted towards a headset device. This is a separate company and it comes out of nowhere. The company is called Occipital. But even though it isn’t coming out of Apple, it will forever change the way you use your phone because iPhone VR has arrived!
True To Apple
As if the embodiment of the CEO’s words, the Bridge is a device that supports VR and MR, allowing the user to either enjoy a full VR experience or allow them to interact between the two realities. This makes it the first true VR mobile system to incorporate both. Not only does it provide positional tracking, but it includes obstacle avoidance like no other device currently provides.
A Developer’s Excited Moment
It’s a Unity Plugin. That’s all it takes to add iPhone’s VR to a VR game, a plugin. Normally, companies come out with a long list of syntax that you have to use in specific ways to achieve this. This makes it difficult and time consuming as developers have to continuously test that they not only implemented it correctly, but also account for most of the cases that could be preventable. The fact that it is just a plugin cuts the amount of work that developers have to do in order to take a VR game and push it out into the platform.
Is The Bridge Any Good? Oh yes..yes..yes
This has to be the most impressive technology that I’ve seen on a phone since the ability to detect thermal radiation (which is still pretty cool). The developers recreated a complete game engine around it so that it would be fully optimized for the mobile platform. That is no small task, but even more impressive is the fact that the obstacle recognition is like no other technology. As of right now, most VR headsets that have this technology only use the obstacles as walls or additional items in the game. With this type, the obstacle shows up in the game if you get to close to it. Likewise, you can use the environment and interact with it as you would with some other technologies. It is a full VR experience, similar to what you would find on a computer, but it is mobile and doesn’t kill the processor (or the battery).
This is an impressive little device and I can see it being able to take the mobile world very far. I also hope to see this device come out for the Android as developers tend to have more freedom in terms of development, which means more can be provided to the user.