Virtual reality headsets are multiplying like crazy. Some are high-end devices, like Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and others, such as Google Cardboard, are dirt cheap.
The latest — something in-between — comes from Paralo, which is launching a Kickstarter campaign today to raise money for its project. The New York-based startup has created a low-cost virtual reality headset that emphasizes comfort and affordability. It is a unibody device made out of silicone rubber. You can slide a VR-enabled smartphone such as a Samsung Galaxy Gear into the visor slot. You can then use the Play headset to view virtual reality experiences that have been created to run on the smartphone.
Virtual reality is expected to become a $30 billion business by 2020, according to market researcher Digi-Capital. But bigger rivals such as Oculus VR and Sony’s Project Morpheus are expected to launch as early as 2016. Valve is also expecting its partner HTC to launch a Valve-based Steam VR headset this fall. Paralo’s Play is more like a competitor to Merge VR, a comfortable, foam-based headset.
Tony Yi, founder of Paralo, said in a video that the goal is to make virtual reality accessible to everyone.
Paralo is seeking to raise $38,000 for its device, which will work with iOS and Android and will come in multiple colors.
Paralo is banking that users will like Play’s “minimal and elegant shape,” which is durable and rests comfortably on your skin.