Is 2015 the breakthrough year for consumer virtual reality? A startup in Texas makes VR headsets very affordable.
MergeVR develops VR Goggles and proprietary VR Motion Controller that works with Android and iOS smartphones. The MergeVR virtual reality system coming with a low MSRP of $129.
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The MergeVR Goggles are compatible with millions of Android and iOS smartphones, including larger sizes like the iPhone 6 Plus.
The MergeVR Goggles are designed from a high-end, durable, soft, and flexible foam, the Merge Goggles have a friendly feel and fit comfortably on anyone’s face. The proprietary foam formulation is hygienic and has a smooth surface that can be easily cleaned. Designed with everyday use in mind, Merge Goggles are meant to be stuffed into a backpack, tossed on the sofa, and taken on the go.
“We want to give people the opportunity to experience things they never thought possible, whether it’s flying through space, exploring a fantasy world, watching favorite musicians perform live in their own living room, or connecting with a loved one in a new way,” says Franklin Lyons, Founder and CEO of MergeVR. “All of this is possible with virtual reality. The technology is here. We’ve put the pieces together so it’s easy for everyone to use.”
In addition to MergeVR’s own exclusive experiences, the MergeVR Goggles are compatible with VR apps and 360-degree video already in the Google Play and Apple App Store, making them the most comfortable option for enjoying the rapidly expanding amount of content already available.
The MergeVR Controller, a wireless handheld motion controller specifically designed for mobile virtual reality, lets users navigate virtual worlds as well as enable new gameplay and controls never possible before in mobile VR. The wireless 9 input (8 buttons plus a thumbstick), 9-axis motion controller is supposed to make navigating virtual worlds easy.
MergeVR is partnering with game and app developers to build virtual reality experiences, the vast majority of which are being developed with leading game engine Unity 3D.
“Merge has been very savvy in leveraging the power of Unity, making it easy for the community of Unity developers to create and port VR apps for its platform,” says Pete Moss, Software Engineer and VR Ambassador at Unity Technologies. “Merge is creating a very attractive entry point for consumers to experience VR and AR, using smartphone hardware they may already own today.”
There are many VR headsets now that use smartphones as display including solutions from Samsung. If Merge can compete this Fall with Samsung and other remains to be seen. We just hope they are not going with the purple color of the goggles to market.
According to Fortune, analyst Digi-Capital that Virtual Reality consumer products will be a $30 billion market by 2020.
Founded at the end of 2013, Merge Labs, Inc. is a San Antonio, TX based startup focused on mobile virtual reality and immersive entertainment. Compatible with iOS and Android devices, the MergeVR Goggles, wireless handheld VR Controller, and MergeStart app are built to be accessible, affordable, portable, durable and easy to use. The privately funded company and it’s team is led by Founder Franklin Lyons and Co- founder Andrew Trickett, with backgrounds in gaming, technology, design, content development and hardware creation.