Xcope: Virtual & Augmented Reality Headset for Smartphones
Xcope: Virtual & Augmented Reality Headset for Smartphones
Xcope is immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, movies, games and more. If it's on your smartphone, it's on Xcope.
Xcope is immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, movies, games and more. If it's on your smartphone, it's on Xcope. Read more
About this project
Welcome to Xcope
Xcope is Virtual Reality for the masses, and so much more! Xcope is a headset that leverages the power of your smartphone to bring you the most amazing experience possible. With stereoscopic lenses, any VR or other content in side-by-side (SBS) format is ready to deliver an astonishing immerse 3D experience. What about most content that is not SBS formatted? The Xcope's stereoscopic fitting can easily be swapped out for a mono fitting that will make ANY content larger-than-life. Watch any show or movie as if you are sitting in a cinema, no special software or settings necessary. Play your favorite game like it's on the big screen. It fits nearly all smartphones, and works with many apps that are currently available. When paired with a Bluetooth game controller, developers can utilize gyroscopic head tracking and motion sensors to craft games that rival their PC counterparts. But that's just the beginning...
Xcope was designed to be a gaming device. VR gaming on the PC has really taken off lately, with the advent of the Oculus Rift. With the help of developers, that same level of immersive gameplay can come to the world of mobile. With the option of creating true stereoscopic VR games, or traditional monoscopic games that utilize the phone's sensors for motion, head-tracking, and location, developers are wide open to explore endless possibilities.
Xcope is the perfect device for consuming content. Whether movies, TV shows, Youtube, or Netflix, Xcope creates the perfect environment for viewing in private. No more gawkers watching your movie over your shoulder, or keeping roommates or spouses awake with the glare of your laptop. Xcope offers a self-contained cinema experience wherever you happen to be. Have a 3D movie in SBS format? Simply insert the stereoscopic fitting, and watch in stunning 3D.
One of the most surprisingly fun uses for Xcope is in the area of AR or augmented reality. Like Google Glass, your smartphone has the ability to add layers of content on top of real-life. Play AR games in your living room, have a virtual paintball fight in your back yard, or simply use camera filters to experience life in new ways (this one has actually proven to be the most fun in beta testing!). AR offers the experience of blending your own life with a game.
Devs, Devs, Devs!!!
Developers, we are actively seeking you out to build amazing stereoscopic virtual reality games, as well as imaginative augmented reality software to further the range of compatible apps. Exclusive deals, high publicity releases, and strategic partnerships are all great ways for indie developers to make big splash in this new and exciting field. Don't hesitate to contact us and join our soon to be unveiled developer community. Best of all, because Xcope supports both 2D and 3D gaming, you can keep using the development environment of your choice.
Let's Get Technical
Field of View
While the field of view will vary, depending on the size of the device you are using, our goal is to make the experience as immersive as possible. Currently, we are testing with phones ranging from 4" up to 5". Larger phones will give you a larger field of view. We are working on a true FOV chart to give you an idea of what to expect from the final product.
The mono fitting uses a single Fresnel lens that magnifies the screen and reduces the focal length. This allows you to view whatever is on the screen of your phone in stunning size and quality. With both eyes viewing the image though a "lens window", the FOV is around 100 degrees, using a 4.7" phone.
The stereoscopic fitting uses two adjustable plano-convex spherical lenses to view two separate images, each from a slightly different perspective. Just like normal human vision, the brain combines these images to make one image, with the added benefit of depth-perception. This is how 3D works.
Each fitting has it's benefits and drawbacks.
The mono fitting is great because it works with any app in landscape mode, movies, TV, or camera apps, without the need to rewrite any software. Just load the content and your ready to roll. The trade-off is that you do not get the depth perception as you would with traditional VR. It will appear as though you are in front of a giant movie screen, but not a 3D movie.
The stereoscopic fitting is great for immersive 3D gaming, watching 3D movies in SBS format, or for use with Xyson Labs next project (see our website). Unfortunately, there are few games for mobile that currently work in this format. We are currently working with developers to bring new and exciting games to the market.
Fit and Compatibility
Xcope has been designed and tested to work with the following models:
- HTC One
- Galaxy Note 2/3
- Galaxy S4
- Galaxy SIII
- iPhone 4/4S
- iPhone 5/5C/5S
- iPod Touch Gen 4 & 5
- Any phone with a screen between 3.5" and 5.5" and without a slide-out keyboard should fit. Please ask about any other models, and we can check for fit.
Touch Access Ports
As you know, smartphones rely heavily on touchscreen input. So how does that work when your phone is inside of Xcope? Xcope is designed to work with apps that do not need constant touch input. So playing a game that uses touchscreen controls to maneuver through the game is not recommended. However, there are times when you will need to touch your device for input reasons, such as restarting a level, dismissing a notification, or selecting on-screen options. For this purpose, we have included access ports. Access ports allow touch input directly onto your device without requiring you to remove it from the headset. They are discreetly placed on the bottom of the headset, and completely close as not to allow light penetration.
Xcope works great for people with 20/20 vision. In fact, it works great for most people with vision problems as well. If you are nearsighted, meaning you need glasses or contacts to see objects further away from you, then Xcope should work perfectly for you, without glasses. If you are farsighted, meaning you can't focus on objects close to you, or you need reading glasses, you may need to wear contact lenses to use Xcope.
History and Timeline
Stereoscopy is nearly as old as photography itself. Stereoscopes were first introduced and became popular in the 1850-60's. This is exactly the same principle that Xcope is based on.
We began work on Xcope in May, and have gone from our first cardboard prototype, through several revisions, and to our current prototype. It is still evolving. We focused heavily on the optics at first, now we are perfecting aspects such as the comfort, ventilation, and elimination of outside light.
Our timeline looks like this:
- Optics finalized and sourced by the end of November.
- Complete two additional prototypes, focusing on comfort and ventilation, by the end of December.
- Design of every component finalized by February 1st.
- Final design in the hands of our manufacturer by February 15th.
- Ship developer units as soon as they come off the assembly line.
- Package and ship retail units by March 30th
All current prototypes are being 3D printed by our team. We are in contact with a US (NJ) plastics manufacturer, and the final product housing will be injection molded, and assembled right here in the great state of NJ. Currently, the lenses are imported from a leading lens manufacturer overseas.
Who are we?
Xyson Labs is a division of EIEIO Software that focuses on innovative hardware, as well as physics-based mobile gaming. Much of our software releases are educationally focused and are aligned to the US Department of Education's Common Core Standards. The first Xyson Labs apps became available in 2012, with our first hardware available early 2014.
Jeff Hyson, Project Lead
Jeff is leading the project, with years of software and hardware development. He has developed many apps that can be found on the iOS app store. He is currently working on another hardware project as well, that will work seamlessly with Xcope. Stay tuned for details.
Tommy Barbour, Senior Advisor
Tommy has spent the past 7 years working as a database engineer for Bill Me Later, which was acquired by eBay in 2008. He's an automation junkie and a coffee snob, who's passionate about new ways technology can improve our lives.
Matt Miller, Head of Fabrication
Matt is an experienced designer and 3D printing aficionado. He has built and maintains several 3D printers, and is always up for a good printing challenge. He brings his expertise and experience in fabrication to a mostly software oriented team.
Risks and challenges
The prototype in hand is nearly production ready. With a few more tweaks for comfort and ventilation, we will have our production-ready prototype. The only possible challenge will be working out the details of manufacturing. While we anticipate that this will go smoothly, we have left time in out timeline for any unforeseen setbacks.
As always, we will keep all of our backers in the loop as things progress, and hopefully we will be able to ship Xcope ahead of schedule.
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