About this project
Opto is a new kind of Virtual Reality Headset that lets you experience movies, videos, games and other content wherever you are.
We are making high-quality VR accessible for anyone who owns a smartphone. With Opto, VR is finally moving from the gaming den to the living room.
VR content is growing and expanding beyond just games, with documentaries, music videos, Netflix, movies and more now available for VR.
Current VR headsets are not designed with this in mind, they are bulky, heavy, have lots of wires and require you to plug in additional headphones.
This is where Opto comes in, its lightweight all-in-one design lets you jump in and out of VR when you want - so sitting on the sofa to watch a movie feels natural.
Simply remove the front cover, drop in your smartphone, connect the audio and snap the front cover back on. It’s as easy to use as putting on a pair of headphones.
Opto has been designed to make it very easy to add and remove your phone from the enclosure. You can even use the phone when it is in the the front cover and then snap it back on to continue your VR experience.
Opto works with most smartphone brands with a screen size between 4 and 5.5 inches (e.g. iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, Samsung S6, LG G3/G4, iPhone 6 Plus).
You can also wear your glasses while using Opto.
Opto has 5 main advantages over other headsets:
1. SOUND! - Opto has built-in audio so there is no fiddling with wires and no need to carry headphones with you. The on-ear headphones have 40mm 32ohm speakers that provide great sound.
2. Portable, ultra light and very strong - The headset body is manufactured from lightweight foam, giving you hours of comfortable viewing and can easily withstand knocks and bumps. Take Opto with you wherever you go.
3. Extra large lenses - Opto's optics give you greater clarity, a wider field of view and make you feel more immersed. Our extra large lenses are 25% bigger than other major VR headsets.
4. Magnetic cover - The front cover allows you to quickly remove and re-attach your phone letting you use your phone and then return to your VR experience.
5. Use any smart phone - Compatible with any smartphone brand with a screen size between 4 to 5.5 inches.
Opto is aimed at anyone with a smartphone who is interested in Virtual Reality or would just like to get in on the action and see what VR has to offer.
If you like watching movies, playing games or learning new things then VR has a lot to offer and brings a new medium and way to enjoy these.
Do you like taking photos? As well as consuming content you can also create it, there are lots of 360 photo apps and even low-cost 360 cameras (e.g http://kodakcamera.pixpro-sp360.com/) that allow you to capture your own content and then view it on Opto.
If you are already using VR then Opto is a natural upgrade; run your existing apps from Google Cardboard or the AppStore and enjoy Opto's integrated sound and quality optics on the go.
Movies, Videos and TV streaming - Opto is great for movies and videos, there are loads available to download to your phone via Android and iOS AppStores. You can also access content online such as YouTube 360 or stream content from your PC with TRINUS.
Apps, experiences and the web - Try scuba diving, mountain climbing or learn about dinosaurs with David Attenborough - VR experiences are short 360-degree moments of fun. There is also a growing number of web-based VR apps - pretty soon you will be doing most of what you do on your computer screen inside your Opto.
Partnership with WEARVR for Games, apps and more!
We have formed with WEARVR - The Virtual Reality App Store, who curate and host over 1,000 VR games and experiences, across a wide range of genres.
The Opto VR Starter pack with access to the app, content and games will be bundled with Opto when we ship to backers.
Check out WEARVR.com for more information.
We will produce Opto in three different colours and backers will get to decide which three we go with.
By supporting us on Kickstarter you can pre-order your own Opto and get other great rewards. See the list below!
*Prices in USD are approximate
The inspiration for Opto originally came from the idea of creating a lightweight VR headset for public use. We needed a headset that was light, strong, low-cost and didn't require external headphones. After many months of prototyping and testing in public spaces we had successfully developed a working prototype that met our requirements.
Then suddenly we realised we had created the worlds first portable VR headset with integrated sound and that anyone who was getting into VR would want one!
So over the last 5 months we have been working on updating and testing our design and now we need your help to get it into production!
Opto’s body is made from lightweight, closed cell, injection moulded cross linked foam, derived from one of the most technologically advanced polyolefin resins on the market. Its key feature is that it combines low density and excellent physical and mechanical properties with a distinctive “soft touch” tactility.
We are working with the factory in Italy that makes Crocs shoes and will be using the same XL EXTRALIGHT® foam technology.
The front cover and other plastic parts are made from injection moulded Copolymer Polypropylene, which is one of the toughest plastics available whilst also being widely recyclable. The lenses are made from PMMA which is lightweight, shatterproof and has excellent light conducting properties.
We have everything in place to produce Opto. Below are the key milestones from now until we ship the product:
January - User testing and further prototyping
February - Design ready
March - Working prototypes ready with silicon mould
April - Kickstarter running
May - Incorporate feedback from Kickstarter campaign
June - Final design to factory / Production prototypes ready
July - Stress testing/ QA / finalise colours / start production run
Sept - First production run complete / packaging complete
Oct - Kickstarter units start shipping
Tom and I have been designing products together for years. Most of the work we do is designing things for other people as an agency, but now we want to get our own ideas into the market.
We have been following Kickstarter for a while and have supported some projects in the past and have seen how powerful crowdfunding can be.
Producing our first batch of headsets is expensive. Kickstarter is a great way for us to cover our tooling costs and produce our first batch of units before we move into larger production. It is also a great opportunity for us to get you all on board and hear any of your suggestions.
Opto was designed by Tom and Richard in their studio in London, which is part of Makerversity; a co-working space for start-ups.
We are working with Finproject in Italy to manufacture the product. They are the same factory that make Croc shoes.
US and Canada: £12 (approx $17 USD / $21 CAD )
EU* (excl. UK): £15 (approx €19)
All other countries: £25
Risks and challenges
One of the key features of the product is the material we are using and the manufacturing process used to create it. We have spent time working with the factory to be sure that we can deliver the product within a certain time frame but there is always the risk that this might take longer and potentially delay the shipping of the final product.
To reduce the risk of this once funded we plan to spend time in Italy working closely with the factory engineers and testing the manufacturing process for our product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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