Xiaomi has announced that the Xiaomi VR Headset will be launched in August. The announcement was first made by Xiaomi’s Head of VR, Thomas Tang on the 13th of June 2016 at the Shanghai Film Festival.
Xiaomi’s VR headset will be arriving in a few variants as the company wishes for it to fit all of Xiaomi’s current and upcoming smartphones. Tang mentioned that only Xiaomi smartphones with a Snapdragon 820 (and above) will be supported, shortening the list down to one product – the Mi 5. This is because of how resource-heavy VR is and the company wants to maintain the user experience.
It is also revealed that Xiaomi’s VR headset will take cues from Google Daydream’s reference design, with the possibility of a VR controller similar to the one found with Daydream. With the VR headset coming in August, Xiaomi might also be launching a new smartphone that is optimised and ready for Daydream.
Speaking of optimisation, Google’s requirements for Daydream are a Snapdragon 820 (and above) processor as well as an AMOLED screen. Xiaomi will be working closely with Google to keep Daydream on MIVR as close to stock as possible, which is a plus for developers.
Other than relying on Android N’s VR optimisations, Xiaomi will also be collaborating with Qualcomm to optimise Snapdragon processors for VR. By doing so, the company hopes to achieve a VR response time of less than 20ms.
Not only focusing on hardware, Xiaomi will also be creating MIVR – a virtual reality version of MIUI. MIVR will come in the form of an app, where users will only need to put their phones into the Xiaomi VR headset and it will automatically enter VR mode. In this mode, you will see your phone’s home screen and maybe a VR app marketplace for you to download more VR content.
On top of that, Xiaomi has pledged that it will be investing in VR content creation. In the future, users will not only be able to just watch a movie in VR, but they will also be able to “be in the cinema” with other users in real-time. They can even strike up conversations through chat and more.
No pricing information on Xiaomi’s VR headset has been revealed, but the company did say that it will retain its signature pricing strategy. Come August, are you ready for Xiaomi’s vision of VR?