About this project
Altergaze is a new virtual reality interface that uses your smartphone power to deliver a high quality mobile VR experience. Apart from the lenses and screw, it is completely 3D printed, made to fit any smartphone, and very customisable. It can be used either as a handheld or headset device.
Altergaze aims to aid virtual reality into becoming mainstream by using 3D printing for crowd-manufacturing (more information in Update 8). If you are a 3D printer owner, be sure to check out Update 8 and and take the survey regarding the process of becoming an Altergaze manufacturer.
Update #15: Over 100 3D printer owners and facilities completed in the Altergaze Partnership form! This is how the Altergaze Crowd Manufacturing Map might look like in a few months time (click on the image to access the Google Maps version).
Described in a very basic manner, the Altergaze is a simple and compact mobile phone accessory. You just slide your smartphone inside, and you're good to go. The Altergaze design provides easy access to your smartphone in case you receive a phone call while using it.
Altergaze has been designed to offer an immersive 110°FOV experience even with small screen displays such as those of the iPhone 5 and Samsung S4 Mini
(The following specs are provided for comparison with other VR products and are based on the use of Altergaze together with the iPhone 5 / Samsung S4 mini. The specs might be different or higher depending on your device)
- Field of view: 110 degrees (with the handheld rubber eyepiece) / 90 degrees (with the headgear rubber eyepiece)
- Head tracking: 6 DoF / 9 DoF IMU
- Display: resolution 1136 x 640 (1920 x 1080 on Samsung S4), contrast 800:1, brightness: 500 cd /m2
- Weight: ~0.22 kilograms (without the phone)
- Dimensions: 15.8cm x 8.2cm x 7.2cm (without the rubber eyepiece)
Changing the way we look at product design, the Altergaze is one of the first products commercialised for 3D printing and crowd manufacturing.
Designed for a future that promotes 3D printing, the entire body of the Altergaze is 3D printed.
- Very affordable price;
- A hand-made and tailor made gadget for your smartphone;
- Customisable over 3 milion combinations.
- Truly unlimited level of customisation by adding your logo or name - a bespoke product for users, a marketing tool for companies;
- Open-source design - encourages designers and 3D printing enthusiasts to experiment with the Altergaze and improve on its design or to attach accessories like a 2nd camera or positional tracking solutions;
- Easy to setup a world-wide distribution and manufacture by using 3D printing facilities around the globe (anyone owning a 3D printer can become an official distributor / Altergaze Partner);
- Facilitate the use of VR for public events such as concerts, museums, theatres, historical sites, travel tours - event organizers would hand them at the entrance, the audience would download the appropriate app, then they would enjoy the show and return them at the end;
If our campaign is successful, we will develop an interactive website where you will be able to access a visual interface that will allow you to preview and customise your Altergaze.
You will be able to choose from a wide variety of different designs, different smartphone bracket sizes, 30 different colours (including glow-in-the-dark or translucent), different materials and even 3D printing techniques. We will also give you the option to use different colours for different parts of the Altergaze and even personalize the front plate with your logo or name.
Anyone who owns a 3D printer can become an Altergaze manufacturer / distributor
If you own a 3D printer you can benefit from the success of this campaign. We will supply the optical elements together with the rubber eyepieces to all collaborators / Altergaze Partners.
As a collaborator you will be given an Admin account in order to embed the Altergaze Online Tools on your website. The Admin interface will allow you to choose what models you want to offer your clients, what colours and the maximum smartphone you are able to print it for. The price for selling the Altergaze will be up to you.
Because everything runs on iOS and Android, the Altergaze greatly benefits indie developers.
All the SDK, camera scripts and other scripts developed for Altergaze will be completely free to download and use.
Making an existing game or app compatible and ready to use with the Altergaze couldn't be easier. All you have to do is replace your existing in game camera with the Altergaze Camera Script, and set all your input commands to be triggered from the Altergaze Controller App as opposed to your own GUI buttons.
You can either re-release the game as a stand alone Altergaze VR version, or simply add a button ‘use with the Altergaze - on / off’.
Connect and use a 2nd device as a universal controller with the Altergaze Controller App
Developed as part of the Altergaze Project, the Altergaze Controller App, is a simple application that facilitates the use of a 2nd device as an input controller. It can be an iOS or Android tablet, a Macbook or any other laptop, and potentially even your XBox or Playstation.
The connection between the two devices is done via WiFi. Once successfully connected, the 2nd device becomes a universal controller with two touch sensitive joysticks and 4 action buttons.
Furthermore, the Altergaze Controller App can also be used as a gyroscope controller, promoting the development of unique and innovative double-gyroscope games and applications.
This is what your money will help achieve:
- Start the manufacturing of the Altergaze by building a small production line / 3D printing facility;
- Partner up with 3D printing facilities and owners in order to make the Altergaze available all around the world.;
- Setup the Altergaze online store;
- Finish the development of the SDK and other free to use Scripts to facilitate the development of apps and games for Altergaze.
- Bulk order the lenses in order to manufacture the first 1000 Altergaze units / boxes for the best value possible;
- Finish the development of a few free to download apps and games;
- Get in contact with developers and offer support for new games and apps developed for Altergaze or to adapt their existing projects to work with Altergaze;
- All the funds past £25 000 will be used to develop more VR applications for you to enjoy for free and to further develop the Altergaze brand;
Pledges and rewards:
PLEASE NOTE: for Kickstarter backers, the full mask rubber eyepiece for headset use (included in the pledges above £100) might not be 3D printed. Instead, if we are unable to find a suitable and comfortable 3D printed rubber like material, we will look into injection molding - high quality soft rubber.
Risks and challenges
Crowd-manufacturing is definitely something new not only for us, but for the entire world. No one has ever tried manufacturing and distributing a product using this method before. But we are confident that if we associate with passionate people around the world we will be able to start a new movement towards this concept of small facilities making locally based gadgets.
It is also important to note that this is a hand-made product. A product made with great care and love that is individually tested by someone as opposed to just ordering thousands of units from a single corner of the world.
The beauty of having a completely 3D printed product relays in the possibility of easily addressing any small issues that might have been overlooked both at our end or your end (the 3D printer owner). If there is a problem, or just something that could be improved, let us know. We will address and update the issue on our website for everyone to have access to the new file the next day. The same goes for accessories and other devices that might benefit the use of your smartphone for Virtual Reality.
Content is king, fortunately, due to our deep connection with the design, architecture, games and entertainment industries, we managed to get the Altergaze prototype heavily tested and get quite a few developers interested in our VR Goggles.
We also addressed all the manufacturing challenges for Altergaze and went through the preliminary process of manufacturing and getting the right lenses for the best price possible.
We want to make this process perfect and we want everyone to get involved! So feel free to get in contact with us and tell us your ideas.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Because the entire body is 3D printed, the Altergaze can be customised to be a perfect fit for any smartphone with a display size. The only limitation is the processing power of the smartphone. This obviously depends on what type of games and applications you want to run on it too. If it's just stereo movie watching / 360 degrees film watching, then it pretty much works with any smartphone model on the market.
It will also work great with an iPod Touch 5.
We consider that for a truly immersive experience, you should not see the edges of your smartphone’s display. With smartphones smaller than 4" you can see the edges of your display. With an iPhone 4 however (and other Androids with high pixel density), that image still looks as good as with the iPhone 5, just a bit smaller horizontally.
We believe that the latency with a powerful smartphone is negligible. Especially with the iPhone 5S that features the new Apple M7 motion co-processor.
A possible scenario would follow the following steps:
1. we will sign a contract (we are still deciding on the royalty fees, we are planning on keeping the numbers in the affordable range, something that even a single person with a 3D printer or two can support if they consider making a living out of this).
2. we will supply you with the Altergaze Pandora (so you can offer your clients the possibility to purchase a fully working Altergaze, pre-assembled or not, according to your business plan
3. you will be able to embed the Altergaze Online Customisation Tool on your website and add an 'official Altergaze partner' logo on the main page
4. you will get direct access to the 3D files so you can optimise the 3D printers for the Altergaze
5. the price that you will sell the Altergaze will be decided by you (we will let you know what is the recommended price per unit)
No. The Altergaze is in no way an alternative to Oculus and that is not our goal. Even though the optics and image quality on the Altergaze are impressive compared to the Oculus DK1, a mobile device can’t match the processing power of a PC. But for what we lack in power we make up in mobility!
1. Even though we cannot give a fair comparison between our product and other mobile devices on the market, we believe that the key difference for the Altergaze is optics: specifically designed to offer a very wide field of view for a small screen display (110 degrees based on our calculations for a 4” display).
2. Our business model / crowd manufacturing. We feature a completely 3D printed product (apart from the lenses and some screws), looking to partner up with 3D printing facilities around the globe to deliver a high quality fast turnaround and very competitively priced product.
3. Customisable design. For this Kickstarter campaign we offer 5 different models in 20 different colours, 2 eyepiece designs and even a completely personalised design. When launched, all of these will increase. It is also why we chose to name our product using ‘Greek Mythology’ terminology (there are over 1000 different names).
4. A handmade product, carefully crafted by one of our partners, and individually tested.
The pledges on Kickstarter do not represent the actual market selling price for the Altergaze.
All the money raised from this campaign will help us setup the Altergaze concept as a business, finish the SDK, develop the Online Customization Tools, develop a few free to download games and applications, make more Altergaze models for you to choose from, contact game developers and 3D printing facilities etc.
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