Xiaomi is broadening its already expansive range of products by venturing into virtual reality for the first time.
The company today announced the ‘Mi VR Play’, an “entry-level” virtual reality headset that the company hopes can open this new exciting medium up to new audiences. That’s the same thesis behind most of its competitively-priced products, including the $550/750 notebook announced last week that will rival Apple’s Macbook in China.
This new device recalls Google’s super cheap and super simple Cardboard VR headset. It is fairly basic in nature, you pop a smartphone into the lycra-built body and then open Xiaomi’s Mi VR app, which contains VR content from selected partners that include Conde Nast Traveler and YouKu, ‘China’s YouTube’. Xiaomi pledged to invest $1 billion in video content, including VR, last year so that library is sure to get bigger over time.
Here’s how Xiaomi describers the headset:
Mi VR Play has significantly improved upon the design typically used in similar VR products — it is wrapped in lightweight, durable Lycra for long-lasting comfort. In the future, Mi VR Play will also be available in a selection of bold prints and colours for even more stylish options. The unique two-way zipper helps to ensure compatibility, providing a secure grip on a wide range of 4.7- to 5.7-inch smartphones. At the same time, the dual openings on the front allow for slight positioning adjustments and ventilation.