At IFA in Germany, smartphone maker Alcatel has announced their newest products a VR Headset and not one, but two 360-degree cameras as well as partnerships with 360-degree camera makers.
The Alcatel VISION is an all-in-one device, that they say will enter the market with ‘entry-level’ pricing. It’s a headset that they’ve designed to be worn for prolonged periods of time – up to 2-3 hours – and is also suitable for people who wear glasses. The extended use case is bolstered by partnerships with Jaunt VR, as well as Magic Interactive Entertainment and Fraunhofer who will also provide pre-loaded content for the headset.
Jaunt VR brings cinematic VR that gives users an exclusive, immersive 360° stereo video experience. For those who enjoy VR games, VISION includes Magic Interactive Entertainment’s BattleBlock, a frisbee combat game designed for VR that supports a person-to-person mode. Fraunhofer offers an immersive audio solution to support VR, one that adapts real-time sound to correspondent perfectly with what’s being seen while looking around.
The headset will bring a 120-degree field of vision to users and the dual 3.8″, 1080p AMOLED displays have very low-latency with a 17-millisecond response time. Latency is the key to VR, with low-latency the key to lowering any issues of nausea associated with VR.
The headset is apparently powered by an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM and has a battery life of up to 3 hours.
Also announced is the Alcatel 360 Camera – which comes in two form factors, a round, ball shaped model and a more traditional style rectangular shaped one. Both cameras offer a dual 210° fisheye lens for capturing 360-degree images, the images can then be shared to your smartphone and shared from there to platforms such as YouTube, Google Photos or even Facebook who have previously launched support for both 360-degree video and still shots.
No details on the quality of the shots that the cameras will capture, but we expect more details when Alcatel gets closer to launch.
At the launch Nicolas Zibell, General Manager of International Business and President of TCL Communication said
VR is the next big computing platform and will reshape the way we experience the world. That’s why we’re jumping in feet first. Our new mobile VR device and 360° camera are for those who believe that technology can change the world — and they want to be part of that change.
Alcatel has announced the VISION headset and Alcatel 360 cameras as a move to become the first global smartphone manufacturer to offer an all-in-one virtual reality experience. The move is offset a little by LG’s launch of their friends range which includes a 360-cam and VR headset, but with the all-in-one headset Alcatel is offering what seems to be a better experience.
Alcatel has announced four new partnerships with 360° camera makers 360fly, ALLie Camera, Arashi Vision (Insta 360 4K) and Primesom (Nico360), though they haven’t expanded on what their plans are for these partnerships. The dual 210° fisheye lens setup on their 360-degree cameras is reminiscent of the setup on the 360Fly ball shaped cameras on-sale so it’s possible that they could be providing underlying technology.
Alcatel has advised that the release is a global launch and they intend to launch both devices here in Australia, though dates are not yet set. We’ll be checking back on this as we get closer to launch.