Figment VR iPhone Case Promises Convenient Virtual Reality Anywhere

Virtual reality is getting more and more accessible. Samsung's GearVR hits stores later this week, Google Cardboard viewers have been handed out for free to consumers by various companies (most recently by the New York Times), and the premium PC-connected headsets are just a few short months away. However, all of these options have one fundamental problem: They aren't very portable. (Yes, even the mobile ones.)

Goggle Tech attempted to tackle this problem with the Go4D C1-Glass that folds up and fits into a compact case, but Figment VR believes it has a better solution and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to try to fund the idea.

Figment VR has developed an iPhone case that features a pair of integrated lenses for use with VR applications. The lenses are housed inside the back of the iPhone case, and they can be flipped around, where they become suspended a short distance in front of the phone's screen. Figment VR said it wants people to be able to share VR with friends and family anywhere they go. The company believes that the best way to spread the word about VR is to show it to others, and Figment VR's iPhone case has been designed to do just that.

Figment VR designed the case to be portable. The company said that when the lenses are folded away, the device is no thicker than a standard iPhone case. The lenses are on a spring-loaded mechanism that flips them into place when two release buttons are pushed at the same time. Figment VR said the foldout lens mechanism can double as a kickstand for the phone.

Figment VR also said it built the case to be durable. The body is made of polycarbonate plastic-reinforced silicone. The mechanism that folds open and suspends the lenses is made of 6000 grade anodized aluminum, and the lenses are created from scratch-resistant acrylic.  

The Figment VR case is designed specifically for iPhones and will support iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus smartphones. It works with any VR content designed for iOS, and the case includes a camera pass-through that will enable AR content with it, as well.

The Figment VR case is available in white or black, and a champagne version is planned as a stretch goal. Figment VR is seeking $75,000 to complete the project. The suggested retail price of the case is $79, but backers can order one early for $49. Figment VR is also offering custom laser etched cases to backers for $89. The Kickstarter campaign ends on January 12, and early backers are expected to receive their cases in March of next year.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.