Soon after the launch of the Mi Notebook Air, Chinese internet firm Xiaomi has marched on to enter a new product category of VR Headsets. The company’s first headset dubbed the Mi VR Play costs just 49 Yuan and looks like an improved version of the Google Cardboard.
Xiaomi’s plans to enter the VR industry isn’t quite a surprise, though, considering the fact that Sundar Pichai led Google announced the Chinese firm as one of their hardware partners for their ambitious Daydream project. Ever since the announcement the market was abuzz with various leaks and rumours regarding the impending VR device.
Very recently a Xiaomi official broke the news of an upcoming Virtual Reality Headset built in-house by the Chinese firm. Now, it seems that the VR headset which he was apparently referring to was the Mi VR Play. From the outside, the Mi VR Play appears to be a cardboard box with a Virtual Reality setup consisting of anti-glare aspherical glass lenses with a tolerance of 0.1mm. Just like any other cheap VR headset available in the market, this one too relies on your smartphone’s display for creating a virtual experience. In order to attach a smartphone with a display ranging from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches, you need to open the zipper up front and slide-in the device.
The cardboard made Mi VR Play comes covered with a Lycra fabric and EVA, thereby making it suitable for longer periods of use. In a clever piece of engineering, Xiaomi has made two holes on the front of the Mi VR Play which not only helps in air circulation by also helps users to easily adjust the docked in the smartphone from the outside. Up top, the Mi VR Play sports a metal button that is used for interacting with the smartphone. That aside, Xiaomi has provided two non-slip pads on the inside of their VR headset to prevent accidental button presses.
Xiaomi has also launched a separate Mi VR app that offers content like Panoramic video, VR games, and movies. It’s, however, worth noting that the content available on the Mi VR platform as of now is all in Chinese. Lei Jun led company is also allowing users to customize their Mi VR Play as per their choice by making use of six pre-designed suits.
The Mi VR Play headset is now up for pre-orders at $29.99 (Rs 1,995 approx.) via third party resellers in China. Xiaomi has also announced a beta testing programme for the headset, wherein the selected testers will get the Mi VR Play for a price of just 1 Yuan!