AntVR Launches ‘Mix’ AR Headset Kickstarter, Promising a 96-degree FOV Starting at $500

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AntVR, the Beijing-based company known for their 2014 VR headset Kickstarter, launched a new crowdfunding campaign today for an augmented reality headset dubbed ‘Mix’. AntVR says the PC-tethered AR headset, which starts at $500 without positional tracking, will have a 96-degree field of view (FOV), and the ability to use the SteamVR platform so users can play games originally intended for VR headsets—provided the game has a dark, or entirely black background.

As for the headset itself, the company says Mix features two 1,200 × 1,200 displays with a 90Hz refresh rate, boasting a 96-degree FOV. Optional accessories, which connect via the headset’s two USB ports, include things such as inside-out tracking modules, hand-tracking modules, and even optional eye tracking.

Provided they hit their $50,000 funding goal, AntVR is promising to ship to backers by December 2018. At the time of this writing, the Mix AR headset Kickstarter is already over a fifth of the way there.

Here’s a look at the different price tiers and accessories AntVR is offering:

Image courtesy AntVR

AntVR claims the headset achieves its 96-degree FOV by way of its self-developed “dual-channel mixed optics,” a multiple layered optic that has two different optical channels for enlarging the display’s light while allowing ambient light to bypass the lens.

The company recently published a video showing the headset ‘in action’ as it was filmed through its lenses with an iPhone X, showing a bit of what a VR game looks like when played using Mix. We haven’t had a chance to go hands-on with Mix, but if the video is any indication of the final product, than users should expect some refractive artifacts that could muddy the clarity of the VR imagery to noticeable effect.

AntVR has come a long way since it launched their first Kickstarter back in May 2014, which garnered over $260,000 to realize what at the time was positioned as a competitor to the Oculus Rift DK2. While the headset did eventually ship to backers, AntVR made the critical mistake of over-promising and under delivering, which ultimately rendered the launch of AntVR’s first headset pretty tumultuous.

The company went on to produce a number of VR devices including a room-scale VR headset called AntVR Cyclops, and a few portable Cardboard viewers, with one such viewer made in collaboration with Lenovo. Not many of these headsets have hit Western shores however, making Mix the company’s second big push into the Western market.

AntVR Mix, Image courtesy AntVR

Mix draws strength from its ability to play SteamVR games, boasting +130 games already supported, although it’s unclear what good that will do at the lowest funding tier, which comes with a single 3DOF controller and no positional tracking module that would otherwise give the headset 6DOF movement.

SEE ALSO
AntVR Announces First Stretch Goal For MIX AR Headset, a VR Visor Add-on

Without any prior VR equipment at your disposal such as an entire SteamVR tracking setup with Vive controllers, you’d need to buy at very least the $630 ($850 MSRP) outside-in tracking kit, which provides two 6DOF controllers, a 6DOF headset module and an external sensor in order to get the same basic functionality as promised in the launch video (linked above and below). All of this rests on the caveat that you already have a VR-ready PC.

Whatever the cost, a lower profile headset with a relatively high FOV is certainly tantalizing on paper, and we can’t wait to see if the headset lives up to its ambition.

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  • Johan Pruijs

    Nice!! keep um comming!!

    • JJ

      read the other comments

  • NooYawker

    I looked up AntVR’s first kickstarter campaign and, who is going to be stupid enough to fund their shit a second time. Overpromising and underdelivering seems to be a fact of life with high tech kickstarter campaigns.

    • jj

      thank you these guys are a joke and just like lots of emerging tech in an emerging field, lots of false promises are made. Take the ZED Mini for example, lied about the FOV right on their website, got called out, took it down and nobody cares about the ZED because its just a crappy ar experience. Just all smoke and mirrors

  • Nate Vander Plas

    2:00 “We’ve been demoting MIX around the world…” LOL!

    • JJ

      RIGHT!? lol

  • Patrick Bradley

    Why the hell would you buy this even if it was real? It’s close the price of a rift/vive :/

    • JJ

      If it were real the ar aspect is cool, but this isn’t real, these guys have failed multiple kickstarte campaigns for this in the past. at this point I think theyre a scam company tbh.

  • MarquisDeSang

    Everything that is connected to a PC or Gaming Console is doomed to fail. The PC is the problem and it is not moving VR or AR in any positive direction.

    • Pasi Ripari

      What the hell are you even talking about…

      • He’s drunk and stupid :)

      • brandon9271

        He’s saying that mobile VR is great when you’re tripping on acid!

    • Smoking some good stuff there eh? :D

    • JJ

      Its jean Sebastian the troll, when his mouth opens shit just falls out

    • brandon9271

      Yeah, because mobile is SO MUCH more compelling!! lol, GTFO.

      • MarquisDeSang

        Insalting people is not an argument. Yes, Oculus Go is better than PSVR and better than PC because PC is only for very technical people and it cost 2 000$.

        • JJ

          lol oh really Sean> insulting people is not an argument? because looking at ur previous posts suggests you think otherwise. You can’t play both sides when your post history is out in the open. you’re the only dumbass on here that really deserves insults because you spend all your time polluting these forums with trolly shit.

          because of that, nobody is ever going to support or back anything you say, youve ruined that for yourself on rtvr.

        • JJ

          plus you ignore the real comments that call you out for your shit and then you pick someones simple statement that makes more sense than any of yours and call it insulting…?

          I’m all over rtvr and every shit post you make I will personally oppose so that nobody takes you seriously, because i have nothing better to do.

    • JJ

      Holy shit, read some of Marquise(Jean sabastions) comments on his disqus.

      He is clearly a racist peace of shit and more.

      MarquisDeSang
      MarquisDeSang Meow Smith 10 days ago
      I am not a racist, I like Kanye West.

      MarquisDeSang 11 days ago
      MLK = Marching Looting Killing
      90% of violent crimes in usa are commited blacks (there are 12% of blacks in america), and 80% of those crimes are black on white. Learn the facts and know your history, not some Spielberg fiction movies.

      MarquisDeSang 11 days ago
      Schools are communist indoctrination centers.

      MarquisDeSang 19 days ago
      DIEversity imported by (((Them))) again? Maybe they really want the holocaust to happen (for real) this time.

      What a scum of the earth.
      go die

    • Kenji Fujimori

      Agreed, remember this is Chinese crap, zero innovation, reverse engineering US and Japanese engineering.

  • brandon9271

    ANTVR Kickstarter: Featuring Nintendo, Marvel and Star Wars characters because, fuck your copyright laws, America!!

    • Kenji Fujimori

      Trust the Chinese to damage IP laws

  • Lucidfeuer

    This is actually very interesting, and also a real product I believe. But the base idea of layering VR-specific apps onto the real-world as AR is dumb, which could be mitigated by having AR-specific applications working which I’m not even sure they have…

    But then the ultimate question would be how good the environment tracking is, is it close to HoloLens/Meta (which is good) or ARCore/Kit which is okay, or just some basic stereoSlam which is clearly not enough today.

    All in all, selling a 96F° AR headglasses at Rift price is an interesting approach, just not sure where exactly they think they’re going.

  • A great initiative because the price is low… but for the low price you get a really poor AR headset.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Funny, having seen their propaganda on CrapStarter, they are mocking Magic Leap, seriously?