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Totem: the premium, full-featured Virtual Reality headset project video thumbnail
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CA$ 181,643 pledged of CA$ 350,000 goal
backers
By Vrvana Inc.
CA$ 181,643 pledged of CA$ 350,000 goal
backers

About this project

Game Informer"The clarity was impressive, rivalling some of the best experiences I’ve had with a Rift or Morpheus."

The Totem is a premium Virtual Reality (VR) headset with features that have never been seen before. It connects to any HDMI source (computer, console, Blu-ray, tablet, etc.) that plays Side-by-Side (SbS) 3D video or games, making it an investment compatible with more than one single platform. What makes the Totem so exciting, aside from its no compromise full HD resolution OLED display and wide field-of-view, is its outstanding user experience, onboard cameras and built-in acceleration. We believe the Totem is the key to opening the door to the metaverse, where the only limit is your imagination.

Full freedom and positional tracking with integrated on-board cameras

Current VR headset models restrict you to moving within their external tracking camera’s field of view (FOV). When moving too far left or right of the camera placed in front of you or looking behind you, there is no way for these cameras to keep tracking your movements. Our Totem’s internal on-board cameras take care of this and give you full freedom to move about in base world so you can do your thing in virtual world.

Say goodbye to keyboard fumbles with easy passthrough to switch from gameplay to real world

No need to remove the headset every time you need to be in the real world. The Totem’s integrated on-board cameras allow the user to switch seamlessly without having to take off the headset at the touch of a button.

Totem headset
Totem headset

VR enthusiasts: enjoy your favorite VR games & content with Totem

You don’t need to be a programmer to enjoy Totem. Not only is Totem backwards compatible with your favorite DK1 Rift-enabled games (and soon DK2 Rift) but also with some great virtual reality gear: PrioVR, the Virtualizer from Cyberith, Control VR, Perception Neuron, as well as Omni by Virtuix. Using the headset for navigation and control, these devices allow you to experience all VR gaming has to offer.

Video processing with lots of horsepower

Totem features low latency with built-in processing & acceleration

In VR, performance is important so every millisecond counts. Totem’s low latency means no lag between movements and the display. With our real-time secret sauce hardware acceleration, we compensate distortion, right inside the head-mounted display, to give you a faster, more natural virtual reality experience. 

Wider selection of compatible devices

Having onboard distortion correction and emulating controls makes it easy to connect any device, such as tablets, laptops, mobile phones and game consoles.

Let the Totem do the work, not your computer

Console compatibility with emulated controls reduces your reliance on accessories. Totem’s built-in sensors automatically translate movements you would traditionally make with hand-held controls such as USB mouse, PlayStation or Xbox controller.

Realistic audio with binaural surround sound

Audio contributes to the feeling immersion in a phenomenal way and we’ve paid special attention to it. Distinguish where sounds are coming from with surround sound in stereo. We convert surround sound to stereo while keeping spatial awareness ("binaural HRTF", for you sound geeks) and output it to 3.5 mm jacks for use with your own headphones. While you explore VR with Totem, you can also distinguish where the sounds are coming from.

We believe total audio immersion is an integral part of a great VR experience so we’ve partnered with Sonomax to offer a pledge that includes specially designed eers custom fit stereo lightweight earbuds. eers are one of the top performing professional quality earbuds on the market and are of great value. They offer excellent frequency response and no distortion on deep bass sounds. The “do-it-yourself” eersTM will fit in each ear canal securely because after a short, safe process, they’re molded to fit you. The custom fitted shape creates an acoustic seal for better sound performance.

eers product review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407094,00.asp

Specially designed lenses

We built the Totem with your comfort in mind: specially designed lenses with individual lens focusing

We designed our own optics. The Totem has individual focus per eye for long and short-sided vision so you don’t need to worry about your glasses squashed against your face and the VR headset. Nevertheless, we’ve designed the foam in such a way that most people can wear their glasses comfortably inside the headset if they wish to do so.

Our oversized lenses make for clear bright legible text

Our lenses are oversized for clearer, crisp beautiful 1080p everywhere. This is especially important for heads-up displays (HUD) in games. Furthermore, because we’re using an RGB stripe panel instead of a pentile panel, users see less screen door effect.

Totem adapts to the future of VR

When we designed the Totem, we wanted to create a headset that would be able to evolve with the current fast changing VR space. Our two main processing components, the USB microcontroller and the Audio/Video processor (FPGA), are both field-upgradable with firmware updates. So as we develop new features or improve old ones, you will have access to them right away. We believe in future-proofing our products and we hate obsolescence. This is why we also added an expansion port so that third parties can create new features with accessories.

Augmented reality potential

With Totem’s passthrough capabilities, positional tracking and surround sound, we are now at a point where Augmented Reality is possible. Blending base and virtual worlds opens the door to endless possibilities.

We profoundly believe VR isn’t just about games

VR has a myriad of uses over and above amazing video game experiences. Here are just a few examples:

  • Educational purposes such as 3 dimensional problem solving or using educational-based gaming
  • Training such as practicing surgical techniques, or aviation navigational landings
  • Simulations for tactical manoeuvres for military, police, firefighters or other critical response teams
  • Managing post traumatic stress or other psychological disorders by recreating and repeating situations in a controlled way
  • Improving patient recovery time or lower stress by using calming VR environments and sounds.
  • Creating virtual tours for travel destinations
  • Visiting architectural spaces or development sites not yet built in fully immersive walkthroughs
  • Experiencing television entertainment in first person POV with 3D content such as sporting events and concerts
  • Virtually attending conferences, boardroom meetings or social gathering events with friends and family in your favorite space.

Stretch Goals

 What does the developer kit include?

The developer kit includes: the Totem head mounted display unit, a connection box, cabling, a soft cleaning cloth and a carrying case. Our software developer kit online support will include documentation, code, engine plug-ins, demos & tutorials.

Low coding requirements for developers

Many developers are now adding HMD support but one of the problems in the industry is the lack of a universal standard. Until this becomes available, we will be including plug-ins for all the major engines that will be simple and quick to use. These game engines are the same ones used to create any other virtual world you can dream of.

Together let’s make it happen

Totem’s early release to developers means user feedback at the right time to make our consumer version with the best possible features and specifications.

We’ve come quite far but we still need your help to make it to the finish line. We’ve completed most of our product development but with your support on Kickstarter, we can complete our R&D on the positional tracking and pay for materials and tooling needed for manufacturing.

Technical specifications

Screen - 1080p low persistence RGB stripe OLED, up to 75 Hz
Field of View (FOV) - 90 degrees
Cameras - Onboard cameras for positional tracking. M12 camera lenses with 130 degrees horizontal FOV.
Connectivity: HDMI input, USB output (tracker)
Sensors: 2x cameras 120hz 1080p, 3 axis 1kHz gyroscope, 3 axis 4kHz accelerometer, 3 axis magnetometer
Audio: 2x 3.5 mm jacks, Binaural Surround sound
Emulated controls: USB mouse, PlayStation controller, Xbox controller
Non-game controls: Up, Down, Select/Base World View
Supported engines: Unreal, Unity, Havok Vision, CryEngine
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), Playstation 3 & 4, Xbox One & 360
Supported media: All 3D formats, SBS preferred
Size: 6.6" x 4.4" x 5.4"
Weight: 400 g (estimated)
Hardware acceleration: hardware accelerated motion tracking, hardware accelerated pre-lens distortion

About the team and a bit of history

Back in 2005, Bertrand Nepveu launched the company True Player Gear and started on a personal quest to improve his video gaming experience with his very own specially designed virtual reality headset. Jean-François Sicard, Yan Côté, and Marc-Olivier joined a few years later. Together, they developed four iterations of prototypes. All engineers, they possess a combined 60 years of experience in hardware design and development, firmware, manufacturing, software development and project management. In 2014, the company was renamed Vrvana to better reflect our long-term vision for VR in gaming but also in other fields such as simulations, continuing education, medicine, engineering, architecture, etc.

Throughout the years, we have developed relationships with outstanding suppliers for optics design, industrial design, R&D, manufacturing, etc.

We are lucky to have Rahul Sood, founder and CEO of VodooPC, along with our experienced advisory board, who bring tremendous business acumen in making a premium product a reality.

Our growing team.
Our growing team.

We could not have accomplished everything up till now and needed to deliver without the help of our outstanding team!

Early Prototypes and demos

We've included some of the video footage of head-tracking as well as an "inside look" at our Totem prototype.

 Totem head tracking demo of Bert playing Technolust

Demo from a MTLVR meet up showing video quality of Totem while playing Wingsuitflyer.

Here are some of the prototypes and motherboards of our early attempts in VR.

After using LCOS technology in our first two prototypes here's a photo of us on our first pass at using LCD screen with 3rd prototype. To keep costs low we used a home made adaptor. We moved on to our 3rd generation after this successful test.
After using LCOS technology in our first two prototypes here's a photo of us on our first pass at using LCD screen with 3rd prototype. To keep costs low we used a home made adaptor. We moved on to our 3rd generation after this successful test.
Some of our early prototype circuit boards.
Some of our early prototype circuit boards.
Our 3rd generation prototype
Our 3rd generation prototype
Early testing of the Totem and carry case
Early testing of the Totem and carry case

Special thanks and shout outs to:

Production highlights

  • Finalize hardware mechanical design including CE/FCC certification
  • Design production tooling, hardware testing for mass production 
  • Design SDK Alpha Design for developers 
  • Product packaging design and sourcing 
  • Assembling of 1st batch – testing, troubleshooting & optimization 
  • Mass Production 
  • Shipping first units, SDK Release 1.0

Risks and challenges

We’ve been working on our prototyping and patented technology for the last 9 years. We have a great team and high level of experience but many things can potentially impact the success of the launch of the Totem headset.

PRODUCT ADJUSTMENTS
The headset is an innovative and complex product and as such, there are a number of aspects that must work perfectly in tandem: ergonomics, software, hardware, sensors, as well as electrical design. Before coming to Kickstarter, we completed a significant amount of the research, development and performance testing but there is still a portion to complete. We may discover that there are some minor adjustments to make to Totem, which could cause delays.

MANUFACTURING
Delivery dates may vary due to unforeseen manufacturing issues. One of the biggest challenges in the initial stages is that production is also a “work in progress”. We’ll be working with a tried and tested manufacturer that will ensure we have all the needed expertise in one location. Our engineering team will iron out all the production details and plan for full scale manufacturing when we finish our golden sample.

Other delays might occur due to the varying lead times for all of our components. To avoid the possibility of delays or production setbacks, whenever possible, we’ve lined up at least one back up supplier for most components.

We are super excited to get the Totem in your hands and help build a bright new virtual world. There will always be risks involved with creating new and innovative products, but by implementing processes in place, testing multiple prototypes and good quality control, we dramatically reduced this risk. Thank you for your support.

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    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $5

    SPECIAL THANKS: Every little bit helps. Support our project so one day you can tell your grandkids you were there at the beginning. You’ll receive campaign updates and invitations to our upcoming events.

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    YOU'RE AMAZING: Every single dollar brings us closer to our goal. For helping us you’ll get your very own @metavr.se user ID to the Vrvana opensource metaverse. You’ll receive campaign updates, invitations to our upcoming events, and we’ll include your name on our VR Pioneer Page on our website as a thank you for believing in us.

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    ~$125 USD - EARBUDS - Get a pair of Vrvana specially designed custom fit eers™ earbuds. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    Pledge CA$ 440 or more About $397

    ~$400 USD - SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get a Totem developer headset. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    ~$425 USD - EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get a Totem developer headset. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    Pledge CA$ 495 or more About $446

    ~$450 USD - GET A TOTEM developer headset. Be the first: you will be part of the first production run. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    ~$495 USD - GET A TOTEM developer headset. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    Pledge CA$ 550 or more About $496

    ~$500 USD - LIMITED OFFER SPECIAL DEAL: Get a Totem Developer Headset and a pair of custom fit eers™ stereo ear buds. Shipping to North America, and EU. Shipping and handling not included.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $901

    SUPER BIG FAT THANK YOU IN VR - As a special thank you for your support we will send you a personalized SbS video to view on your very own Totem headset.

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    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About $7,211

    YOUR SPECIAL DAY WITH VRVANA: Tour our offices and lab, one Totem HMD, a pair of custom fit eers™ stereo ear buds and private dinner with the team. (Travel expenses not included.)

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Funding period

- (29 days)