The inability to see what is going on in the real world is one of VR's biggest drawbacks and a flip-up mount might be the answer.
Revolve, a third-party head mount for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, surpassed its Kickstarter goal by almost six times, with nearly $30,000 earned. The Vive mount’s main draw is that it lets you easily flip the VR headset up away from your face so you can quickly switch between virtual reality and actual reality without needing to take the whole thing off.
Made by SynergyWiz, the Revolve also promises improved comfort while wearing the Vive, easier donning with a single-strap system and customizable padding, and “easy access headphones” that hang next to your ears. It also boasts increased field of view while in VR thanks to thinner padding on the front (putting your eyes closer to the lenses) and support for various third-party wireless VR solutions.
There is still a week remaining in the Kickstarter campaign, which launched with the original goal of just $5,000. A pledge of $85 gets you a single Revolve, while “business class” bundles that go up to $1,500 offer bundles of five to 20 mounts.
SynergyWiz is a tech company whose website says it specializes in “creating value through innovative design” and “product development […] delivering paradigm shifting technologies.” If the paradigm, in this case, is the annoyance of fiddling with the Vive headset’s straps every time you want to check your phone while using virtual reality, then they’re welcome to shift it all they want.
In fact, that is one of the central drawbacks of using VR — the fact that your view of the real world is obscured. A headset that uses a phone as a display, like Samsung’s Gear VR, can bypass that issue by having camera passthrough that lets you see through the phone’s camera, but for higher-end headsets like the Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR, it remains a problem.
The company expects to finalize the Revolve mount’s design “in the coming weeks” and begin production “shortly afterwards,” according to the Kickstarter page.