Phenomec VR Smartview

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  • 2015

  • Product
    Consumer Electronics

Designed By:

  • Infinity Design Pty Ltd

Commissioned By:

Phenomec

Designed In:

Australia

The Flatpack VR Smartview is the only Australian developed virtual reality (VR) headset, providing remarkable immersion and user experience at an affordable price. Current dedicated VR headsets provide users with inbuilt displays and electronics; this comes at a high cost, even though many of us already carry the necessary components in our pockets. Smartphones now come with gyroscopes, accelerometers, multicore processors, wireless communication and outstanding display pixel density. Marrying these features with a robust and ergonomically designed polypropylene body, the VR Smartview challenges dedicated headsets and outperforms its smartphone based headset rivals in comfort, adjustability and user immersion.


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  • Whilst collapsible and smartphone based DIY headsets are accessible and affordable to many users, they lack the ability to conform to each person's optical requirements and subtle ergonomic differences. With the variety of smartphone thicknesses, set distance headsets also deny users the ability to fine focus the image to their own phones. The VR Smartview comfortably provides both phone distance focus and also lateral lens adjustment to optimise the user's viewing experience. Slotted features on the phone cradle provide an appealing visual aesthetic and also invite the user to intuitively hold the cradle, allowing good purchase and distribution of force when adjusting.

  • Accommodating most modern Android and iOS smartphones, the VR Smartview front phone cradle holds the user's phone firmly in place using a polyurethane pad. Users are able to instinctively line up the VR split screen using notched indicators on the cradle. This aligns the phone while still providing camera clearance for augmented reality applications. Side openings also easily allow phones to be connected to corded peripherals, audio devices, and charging cables, thereby improving usability and enhancing the immersive experience.

  • Using polypropylene sheet as its main material of construction, the VR Smartview headset provides a sturdy build quality and superior durability to its cardboard competitors. This construction enables the entire unit to be cleaned and washed, allowing the polyurethane phone holding pad to also be cleaned and maintain its holding strength. If the user desires, and the smartphone is waterproof, the entire unit may be submerged even while in use. Such durability ensures that this DIY headset is not simply used as a novelty item and then discarded. Should it need to be discarded, it can easily be disassembled, flat packed, and recycled.

  • Apart from phone and lens adjustment, optimisation of the user experience also relies on the headset providing a comfortable environment. Even though a smartphone may be lightweight, it is the heaviest part of the entire product assembly. This design ensures that no unnecessary weight strains the user's neck during extended sessions. Reflection and leakage of light within the headset are minimised by a double layered main body and matte black inner components. By contouring the foam lining and using an adjustable strap the headset excludes light leak distractions from behind the user. These features allow for an ergonomic fit without the risks and discomfort caused by the edges of fold up parts in DIY headsets.

    As a product that users have affixed to their face, the visual aesthetic and user acceptance of a VR headset is vital to its success. Being an electronic and technology integrated product, the VR Smartview provides a relatable design aesthetic to a 'first adopters' user market. By limiting the colour scheme to a black and white duotone, the VR Smartview accentuates its gaming inspired design features while refraining from being overly loud and visually overpowering when worn. As an emerging market, users are able to associate its visual appeal to the future of virtual reality.