Lenovo makes it easier to capture and consume VR content with a standalone Daydream headset and VR180 camera
Lenovo has been doubling down on virtual and augmented reality in recent months, so it’s not surprising that the company is back again with a new VR headset and camera.
However, unlike the Lenovo Mirage headset, which uses a phone for its display and lets in bits of the outside world, today’s Mirage Solo VR headset is a standalone unit that doesn’t require a smartphone or any connection to a PC.
It is the first to incorporate Google’s WorldSense body tracking, which relies on a bunch of sensors built into the headset itself to track the world around you and your position relative to it. It also supports 6 degrees-of-freedom thanks to dual onboard cameras, so you’ll be able to move around more naturally and freely.
Google and Lenovo first announced that they were making a standalone headset together last May, and the Mirage Solo is the first of a new breed of untethered Daydream headsets. It’s similar to the HTC Vive Focus, but that is so far a China-only release built for the Vive Wave VR open platform, which is sort of like Daydream for China.
It features a 5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440-pixel LCD display with a 75Hz refresh rate, and uses two Fresnel aspheric lenses.
A Snapdragon 835 processor does all the heavy lifting, and you’ll find a further 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS storage. There’s also a microSD card slot (up to 256GB) if you need more storage.
It runs off a 4,000mAh battery that charges over a USB-C connection. But as to how long it’ll last, Lenovo isn’t providing these numbers yet.
To start using it, you just need to log in with your Google account, and the headset will let you watch movies in a virtual theater, explore new places, and play immersive VR games. It’s meant to be paired with the Daydream Motion Controller (3DoF), which is your way of navigating the interface and sometimes exploring virtual worlds of your choosing.
On the other end of the equation is the Mirage Camera, a VR180 point-and-shoot camera that captures stereoscopic VR footage. The pocket-sized device is super small and compact, so it’s great for spur-of-the-moment captures.
The dual 13-megapixel fisheye cameras have f/2.1 lenses, and the device is capable of shooting in 4K.
VR180 is a new file format from YouTube, and it’s meant to appeal to content creators who find full 360-degree video a little intimidating. Furthermore, because it only displays half of the sphere in a traditional 360-degree video, but at the same 4K resolution, everything looks a lot sharper.
Any content can then be uploaded to Google Photos or YouTube, so you can relive the scenes later. Alternatively, you can opt to live stream the moment to viewers. The Mirage Camera supports Wi-Fi connectivity, and there’s an optional LTE version as well.
It’s powered by a Snapdragon 626 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of eMMC storage. It also comes with a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 128GB.
The 2,200mAh battery is removable, and Lenovo is throwing in a spare battery as well so you can swap it out on the go.
Both the Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera will be available in the second quarter of this year.