VR Desktop On Your Phone
“The Marvel by Finman”, an Indigogo campaign seems to be the first to make a play at creating a virtual reality (VR) operating system (OS).
There have been several platforms and marketplaces specifically for VR devices released such as Samsung’s marketplace for the Gear VR, SteamVR (from Valve Corporation) and Zeality (Zeality, Inc.) —this would be the first apparent desktop creating app for mobile VR.
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Erik Finman, the inventor, and organizer of the Indigogo campaign, made his first $100, 000 when he was 15 years old by investing in Bitcoin. Then he went ahead to start Botanica which also provides a video tutoring service for student.
Now he has focused his attention on virtual reality and brought together a team of PhD graduates from Stanford to help develop The Marvel.
The Marvel portrays itself as an operating system but it sold with a rig that acts as a virtual reality headset which looks like the GearVR goggles and strap. The software works very well with Android devices running on Lollipop or above. The Marvel’s app have some features which include on-demand resizable interface, elements for easy reading of text, a curved user interface allowing natural movement within the field of vision and it runs windowed Android apps. For the user interface, the software and device works perfectly well with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
The hardware of the headset consists of a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and a near-field communications (NFC) chip. It is suitable to work with phones and mobile devices with 3.5 inch to 6 inch sizes but for best experience, it is ideal to use a device with over 5 inches.
As for optics, a PMMA lens (acrylic glass also known as Plexiglas) provides a 180 degree, stereoscopic view.
The biggest advantage
The device can be set up with wireless mouse/keyboard in an empty space and work can be started. There isn’t any need for a laptop or setting up much desktop space. The advantage of Virtual reality is that the user owns a large view field to work within as monitor space and with no distracting cubicles or café to look at, it makes things even better.
Another advantage of a virtual reality workspace is how a user can visually place themselves anywhere, an iced mountaintop, a tropical beach or just about anywhere they so desire.
There are 21 days left for the campaign which has a goal of $500,000 to be met and only just about 1 percent of the goal met so far. Just in time for the holiday season, by December 2016, the headset rig and the software would be ready to ship. Those who donated $99 USA to the Indigogo campaign will receive The Marvel and the software when it ships. It is, however, worthy of note that this is the same price the Samsung’s Gear VR headset sells. With virtual reality, you can be anywhere and get as many views as you want.
The Marvel claims to be creating the first VR Operating system for mobile and while it is doing that, it is possible that providing a VR desktop environment, which is already being done by a few other apps is something that PC VR-using readers might want to check out.
For example, on PC, check out Virtual Desktop 1.0 and BigScreen (in beta) on SteamVR for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. These two apps create a desktop environment that PC users can use to place windows in a virtual space with 360-degree vision, providing a gigantic amount of screen space to work with.
The biggest difference is that The Marvel is for mobile devices (Android) and works to change a mobile space into a VR workspace in a similar fashion to the apps above. It is also a VR headset that provides everything that’s needed for the experience and the wireless hardware to support a mouse and keyboard.
Consumer-level VR technology is still in its early days and while VR rigs possess a greater graphical power, mobile device virtual reality is way cheaper and a lot of people have virtual reality capable smartphones. As a result of this, The Marvel’s headset and VR desktop software for Android is championing a powerful mobile use case for VR.