The company that supplied some of the technology behind the Star Wars Jedi Challenges AR playset now has its own headset to offer.
Augmented reality hardware maker Ximmerse recently published a video introducing its Rhino X headset, teasing a variety of experiences ranging from tactical firearms training to product design to multiplayer gaming.
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In contrast to the Lenovo Mirage AR headset in the Jedi Challenges set, which relied on a harnessed smartphone to deliver AR content, the Rhino X runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with an integrated display panel to reflect content onto the transparent visor.
Previewed at Mobile World Congress Shanghai in June, the headset is capable of a vertical field of view of 57 degrees. The headset also runs on a modular battery system, enabling users to swap out batteries when they run low on juice.
On the other hand, like the Jedi Challenges set, the Rhino X headset utilizes a marker-based system for anchoring content into the user's environment, with embedded sensors on the headset reading markers imprinted on the anchors.
The system includes a tracking pad, a polyhedron beacon, a handgun controller, and a handheld 6DoF controller. Ximmerse also offers an SDK on Github for developers looking to build experiences for Rhino X.
No details are available on whether the headset will be available as a retail unit, so this could be more of a reference design for other manufacturers and developers. An email requesting more details from Ximmerse was not returned at the time of publication, but we'll update this post if we learn more.
When Lenovo and Disney released Star Wars Jedi Challenges, the included Mirage AR headset -- particularly at its relatively inexpensive price tag of $199 (and now in the realm of an impulse buy with a price under $70) -- seemed like the ideal hardware for home-brewed AR apps. Alas, Lenovo never opened the device up to developers, and the headset has been limited to the content provided for the Star Wars game.
Rhino X could fulfill those dreams that some developers have had of creating mobile AR apps for a cheap, more widely accessible AR headset. However, with its hardware configuration, it is unlikely that the Rhino X will be available for the same low price as the Mirage. Nonetheless, anyone who had similar visions of Mirage's possibilities as I did has to be intrigued by this offering.
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