Xiaomi, the Chinese company known for introducing innovative products with a budget-friendly price tag has decided to expand its horizon by leaping in the niche of Virtual Reality. Xiaomi is introducing its first VR headset.
The announcement for the company’s new VR product was made today and the device would be titled as ‘Mi VR Play’. The device is basically an entry-level headset that aims to cater to consumers who do not have thousands of dollars to set up an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift. The philosophy of Xiaomi is democratizing technology and that is definitely evident in this headset. The news is the second direct competition of Xiaomi against tech giants. Last week, the company announced its own breed of competitively priced notebooks which would be rivaling Apple’s MacBook in the Chinese market. The notebook was priced decently ($550 and $750) considering the sleek and sassy looks of it.
The new device is fairly simple and reminds one of Google’s super cheap and basic Cardboard VR headsets. The headset looks fairly simple in nature, allowing you to easily pop your smartphone in a lycra-built body and the accessing content available on Xiaomi’s Mi VR app. The application contains content from various partners including Conde Nast Traveler and YouKu. Further, Xiaomi has pledged the investment of $1 billion to formulate video content that includes VR so the library is bound to get bigger, with time.
Xiaomi described the headset as a step forward from the current products in the market, both in terms of ease of connectivity and comfortability. The headset is wrapped in lightweight Lycra material. Further the company stated the Mi VR Play headsets would include more color options and designs. The headset is compatible with a wide range of phones that lie between 4.7 to 5.7 inches. The grip for the phone is provided with the aid of a two-way zipper. Also, the device has two openings to provide ventilation to the handset.
The device sounds promising, however, there is one catch. The device hasn’t been put up on sale, not even in China. The company announced a volunteer program for the device back on August 1, 2016, and received plenty of applications. The company has shortlisted tens of thousands out of those 1 million applicants and they will be getting the device RMB 1 ($0.15). The device will be available in the near future; however, no schedule or pricing has been released till yet.