AntVR, the Beijing-based headset company, has something worth celebrating within only a few hours of launching their AR headset MIX Kickstarter yesterday. After only eight hours on the crowdfunding site, the company has already reached their goal of $50,000, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping.
Mix isn’t typically what we think of when we imagine the next generation of AR devices; it’s a ‘tethered’ AR headset that requires a VR-ready gaming PC to run it, and primarily draws its content from Steam in a bid to repurpose VR games and apps with black or dark backgrounds, and display them in AR. While it isn’t your typical hardware pitch, it appears AntVR’s Mix has resonated with Kickstarter backers to substantial effect; at the time of this writing, the campaign already has around $75,000 with 29 days left to go.
AntVR today released the following update to campaign backers:
For our first update we just wanted to say we’re thrilled to see that after nearly 8 hours, we’ve already reached our goal with 75 backers! Thank you so much to all those who have jumped on board this early. We’re so happy to see such initial enthusiasm for the project—it makes us very excited about the state of the AR market.
We’ve already received a lot of great feedback and we’ll continue to update our FAQ and address the questions you’re sending. Please continue to spread the word about MIX and keep sending us more questions and suggestions. We have a long way to go still and are very much looking forward to engaging more with all of you and your ideas throughout the duration of the campaign. This is why we’re back on Kickstarter—to make this a collaborative process from start-to-finish with all of you die-hard AR enthusiasts, and we’re off to a fantastic start.
Thanks again, and stay tuned
The company hasn’t released word on stretch goals yet, although we’d expect to see some of the optional modules come to lower funding tiers.
The headset, which requires either the optional inside-out tracking module, or outside-in module, to give it 6DOF positional tracking, is said to feature two 1,200 × 1,200 displays with a 90Hz refresh rate, boasting a 96-degree FOV. Additional accessories include things such optional eye-tracking insert, hand-tracking module, and 6DOF controllers. At its lowest funding tier ($500), the headset ships with a single 3DOF controller (rotation only) and no 6DOF headset tracking.
Mix boasts “dual-channel mixed optics,” which the company claims is a multiple layered optic with two different optical channels for enlarging the display’s light while allowing ambient light to travel to the user’s eye. AntVR claims Mix has a field of view that’s “much broader than many other devices.”
Despite the usual bluster common to hardware Kickstarter campaigns, AntVR appears to be pretty forthcoming in a recent video, which shows a view through Mix’s optics using an iPhone X to record, revealing what a user should expect in terms of imagery (linked below).
We haven’t gone hands-on with Mix yet, so we can’t speak to the quality or utility of the experience presented here. Backers are however slated to find out by December 2018 when the headset is estimated to ship.
In the meantime, you can follow along with the Mix AR Kickstarter here.