Lenovo Mirage Solo vs Oculus Go
By Russell Holly
Tuesday Jan 9 2018 at 2:30 pm EST
Google and partners on Tuesday announced a new set of VR180cameras that can capture three-dimensional photos and videos in wide angle, ultra HD 4K resolution, to be viewed on VR headsets like Daydream. Though the Solo first showed up in an FCC filing last month, Lenovo had the headset on display at CES this week and offered more information about the upcoming tech.
Design-wise, the Lenovo Mirage Solo looks more like a Windows Mixed Reality headset than any iteration of Google Cardboard or Daydream we've seen.
The device comes with a wireless Daydream controller, "which acts as a unique and intuitive extension of your hand". It will sell for $449, and is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2018, alongside Lenovo's Mirage VR streaming camera. And from there you can view it in the Daydream View, or if you have the Mirage Solo, you can pop out the micro SD card (a good reason to use a micro SD card versus the internal storage) and put it into the Mirage Solo and view your content.
Oh, and there's one more thing Google Assistant-powered smart displays will be able to do: Play YouTube videos with the power of your voice, as Google helpfully pointed out in an introductory video.
To go with the Mirage Solo, Lenovo also announced a new virtual reality camera, the Mirage Camera. For example, Lenovo says that you can use it as a baseball bat or a steering wheel in certain virtual reality scenarios. "We also lined the areas that touch your face and forehead with breathable, insulated contoured padding for maximum comfort". That, combined with inside-out positional tracking, not only makes Daydream apps and games that are available now even better, but it blasts away the gates that have previously kept mobile VR from being more interactive, like PC users currently enjoy with the HTC Vive. Hardware-wise, the Mirage Camera itself is like a screen-less phone, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable eMMC storage, and dual 13 megapixel cameras with 180×180 degrees field of vision. Because it's integrated into the device, pixels are nearly indiscernible to the degree that we didn't find ourselves trying to readjust the headset to get a better look.
The problem with most VR headsets goes beyond just being dependent on a separate device. The standard is created to streamline content acquisition for delivery to VR headsets, using dual-lens 180-degree cameras with 3D support rather than 360-degree models. LG also plans to release a 180-degree camera "later this year". Speaking of launch, it's slated for Q2 2018, and it is going to be available in the same Moonlight White color. The Mirage Solo with Daydream will retail for $400, which is way below the price of a 2017 flagship plus a $99 Google Daydream View headset.
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