Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus might be the biggest names in virtual reality right now, but that doesn't mean competitors aren't creating alternatives. A new Chinese startup called ANTVR is building a universal wireless virtual reality gaming headset, one that stands out from the pack by including a controller that can be customized to the player's preferences. The headset is being crowdfunded through Kickstarter, where a beta version of the ANTVR kit has a starting pre-order price of $270.
The ANTVR sports a full HD 1920 x 1080 display, which is on par with Morpheus and the Development Kit 2 version of the Oculus Rift. The headset provides a 100-degree field of view like the latest Oculus, while Morpheus has a shorter range of 90 degrees.
ANTVR's specs may be similar to other devices within the VR space, but the transformable controller that comes bundled with the headset makes it a standout. The gamepad can morph into a gun or sword, and can also be used as a more traditional two-handed controller.
Another interesting component of ANTVR is its built-in positional tracking feature. With this technology, your game character will start moving whenever you take a single step in any direction. It can also tell when you're ducking or jumping.
ANTVR is designed to work on top of a pair of prescription glasses, so bespectacled gamers shouldn't have to worry about eye strain. If you've spent a bit too much time immersed in your favorite game, the headset features a window on the front that allows you to see the real world.
You'll be able to connect ANTVR to a wide variety of devices, thanks to the headset's U2B module that combines a 2.4-GHz USB connection with a wireless Bluetooth connection. The USB portion is designed to work with PC, Xbox and Playstation (ANTVR hasn't specified console generations), while the Bluetooth option will connect to Android devices.
ANTVR's Kickstarter campaign ends Jun. 23, and the startup has already collected over $100,000 of its $200,000 goal. With a wide compatibility range and an eye-catching controller, the headset certainly has the potential to shake things up in the still-growing VR market.