Occipital is bringing room-scale VR to your phone, and that’s a big deal

This is where mobile VR goes next
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It's inevitable that any high-volume, low-margin market is going to be filled with its fair share of crap. And sure, there's a lot of naff mobile VR out there right now, but there's also a lot of good stuff. Overall mobile is going to be key to propelling VR into the mainstream.

Which is why we're incredibly excited any time a big development happens in this space, such as Occipital's new room-scale motion tracking.

The company has released a development kit that brings room-scale tech to smartphones when paired with the company's Structure Core 3D sensor, reports UploadVR. Like the HTC Vive - undoubtedly the best example of VR room-scale tech right now - Occipital's offering lets users walk around in the virtual world as if it were the real one (albeit limited to a restricted space).

Read next: The essential guide to Oculus Touch

The thing is, the Vive is prohibitively expensive for many people who want a room-scale virtual reality experience, and though we've already started seeing the technology being brought to more affordable standalone headsets, like Intel's Project Alloy, getting it on smartphones would be a big deal.

And don't worry - Occipital's tech also includes the necessary depth sensors to stop you smacking your face into a wall.

It's also significant in that Occipital's tech is bringing more VR to iPhone users, who will be looking on enviously when Google reveals more about its Android-only Daydream platform on 4 October. Yes, there are some VR options out there for iPhones right now, but between Daydream and the Samsung Gear VR, Android users definitely have it better.

The Occipital dev kit is open now for $500, and we hope this is just a glimpse at what's next for mobile VR. Ideally Apple, Samsung and other smartphone makers will start thinking about including these technologies within the handsets themselves before long.

Occipital is bringing room-scale VR to your phone, and that’s a big deal


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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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