A Montreal startup has started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in order to bring its virtual reality headset to the next level and eventually even ready for mass production.
Vrvana hopes to raise $350,000 CAD (£195,300). Funds will go toward manufacturing the first 1,000 units of the startup's virtual reality headset, called Totem. The headset looks a lot like traditional virtual reality headsets, including Facebook's Oculus Rift, but it has a 7-person team behind it rather than a wealthy public company that also operates one of the most visited websites on the internet.
The Kickstarter campaign for Totem still has 28 days to go but already netted more than $47,000 CAD from roughly 130 backers. It offered early backers in North America and Europe a developer version of Totem for $440 CAD, and the limited-supply quick ran out. You'd now have to pledge $468 CAD to get a developer headset, though it isn't clear what the differences are between this pricier model and the $440 CAD model.
Apart from gaming, Vrvana expects Totem to be useful in medical or aviation simulations as well as educational and virtual tourism situations. It just needs to beat Oculus VR and other rival virtual reality headsets to the punch. But that's where you come in. Oculus Rift, the startup that developed Oculus VR, also used Kickstarter to raise early funds, before selling its technology, brains, and company to Facebook.
Unlike the Oculus Rift however, the Totem offers front-facing video cameras. These cameras allow you to switch your view from reality to a mixture of real and virtual worlds. It also has lenses for various sight strength. Vrvana said Totem should ship to backers by April 2015.
Watch the video above for more information.