MagiMask turns your smartphone into an immersive AR headset

Who needs a high-end AR headset?

Augmented reality on smartphones has grown more impressive in the past two years thanks to ARKit and ARCore, yet there hasn't really been a stand out AR mobile headset yet.

Enter MagiMask, a $99 AR headset for smartphones. You slot your smartphone, which can be as big as a Galaxy S9+ or iPhone XS Max, into the headset and go off into your AR world. There's a window on the exterior of the MagiMask that lets the cameras peek out into the world.

Read this: The best VR headsets

The MagiMask may look like a lot of mobile VR headsets, especially the Merge, but the main difference comes in its lens system. Rather than use dual lenses the MagiMask uses a single lens that Ludenso, the company behind the MagiMask, says retains all the pixels from your phone's display while also being immersive.

The headset works with 99% of existing AR apps on smartphones, and it uses a soft fabric design that was inspired by Ludenso's previous headset, the MovieMask, which won a Red Dot Design award.

The other part of the MagiMask system is tracking. There are three accessories: MagiTile, MagiDice and MagiKard. Each one can be used in conjunction with AR apps. MagiTile is for locking placement of objects on tables or floors. MagiDice can act as a controller of sorts and MagiKard is, well, AR cards.

The MagiMask seems to have similar ideas about AR as we've seen from some mobile VR headsets, and its tracking system is reminiscent of Merge's AR Cube. The big selling point - and question - is whether that single lens system really is more immersive.

The MagiMask is available to pre-order on Kickstarter for $99. It's estimated to start shipping out in the first quarter of 2019.

MagiMask turns your smartphone into an AR headset


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