Merge VR announced at CES 2017 the HOLO CUBE, an augmented reality toy that enhances AR experiences by letting you hold and interact with animated objects. Merge VR makes child-friendly smartphone-powered AR/VR HMD. The Merge VR HOLO CUBE is the first product in a line of upcoming “HOLO” products that work hand in hand with the Merge VR headset’s AR capabilities.
“We want to unlock an entirely new digital world for children that’s always safe, exciting, positive, and playful,” said Merge VR co-founder Andrew Trickett. “HOLO CUBE continues what we started with our revolutionary soft goggles, and it’s just the beginning. We are developing an entire line of products that will create more magical experiences for kids everywhere.”
The HOLO CUBE is a physical object that enables interaction with holographic AR experiences. Merge VR leverages your smartphone’s camera and the company's computer vision algorithms to track the HOLO CUBE and project 3D animations over the object in real time. Merge VR believes that the HOLO CUBE “represents the future of play.”
“Toys are the tools we use for growing up, and our HOLO CUBE offers brand new ways to learn, play, and connect with others,” said Merge VR Founder Franklin Lyons. “Rather than using the typical interfaces of 2D screens, we’re developing physical products that merge the real world with the digital, and creating new ways for imagination and creativity to flourish.”
Merge VR’s mobile VR/AR HMD is made of “marshmallow-soft” foam rubber material. Since its release, the Merge VR HMD has always been easily identified by its distinctive purple color, though that’s about to change. Merge VR rolled out a selection of new colors during CES.
Merge VR is on-site at the Las Vegas Convention Center in South Hall 2, at Booth 26220 for those in town and interested in seeing it. The company has the Merge VR HDM in the new colors on display, and it is showcasing the functionality of the HOLO CUBE.
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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.
Should be called a VR Companion Cube. Disappointed.Reply
Wow, that child is just so interested in reading about the left ventricle...?Reply
Actually, most children are quite interested in learning that kind of stuff (if presented the right way).Reply
I like this idea, because it seems that we are a lot closer to the digital/real VR world we see so much in sci-fi, and it all started about 3 years ago only, with a big boom this year.