Ximmerse Announces New Self-Sufficient Rhino X Augmented Reality Headset
Chinese AR startup Ximmerse is better known for supplying some of tech that was used in the Star Wars Jedi Challenges. However, the company has announced today that it is building its augmented reality glasses which will be known as Rhino X.
Ximmerse recently released a video introducing the new augmented reality glasses in which it teased various experiences on the headset including product design, tactical firearms training as well as multiplayer gaming.
The Star Wars Jedi Challenges came out in late 2017 and featured the Lenovo Mirage augmented reality glasses, a lightsaber controller and a tracking ball.
The Lenovo Mirage AR headset that was used in the Jedi Challenges harnessed a smartphone to deliver the augmented reality content. In that case, a smartphone was used which served as the display and the processing unit. The images were deflected by two mirrors in the room which relayed the feeling of being there in the same space with the Star Wars characters. The Lenovo Mirage glasses had a 33-degree vertical field of view and 60-degree horizontal field of view.
The two cameras that are installed in the AR glasses registered the illuminated ball. The cameras, working in concert with sensors, were able to provide data for position detection and also project the lightsaber blade onto the controller knob. The Lenovo Mirage headset has built-in motion sensors which are connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
The Rhino X AR glasses, in contrast, are self-contained. The headsets run on an Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset (so they don’t have to rely on external smartphone or PC) and have an integrated display panel which reflects content onto a transparent visor. The Rhino X glasses have all the hardware installed and are therefore likely going to be more expensive than the Lenovo Mirage glasses. It also has a vertical field of view of 57 degrees.
Like the Star Wars Jedi Challenges, the Rhino X platform also has an external tracking unit which captures the spatial position. The set also comes with a plastic gun along with a controller that can be detected spatially.
It runs on a modular battery system so users are able to swap the batteries whenever they run low on juice. Also, like the Jedi Challenges set, the headset uses a marker-based system to anchor content into the user’s environment. It uses embedded sensors on the headset to read the markers that have been imprinted on the anchors.
Ximmerse first previewed the device in June during the Mobile World Congress held in Shanghai. The Rhino X system also includes a handgun controller, a tracking pad, a polyhedron beacon along with a handheld 6DoF controller. Ximmerse has also provided an SDK on Github which developers can use to develop augmented reality experiences for the Rhino X headset.
It is not yet clear, though, whether the device is now ready for market launch or whether it is initially being released as a developer kit or a reference design for other manufacturers. Unlike the Lenovo set, Rhino X will be open to new apps and developers.
When the Star Wars Jedi Challenges was first released by Lenovo and Disney at an affordable price tag of just $199, it looked like the perfect hardware for the home-brewed augmented reality apps. However, Lenovo closed it to developers and ever since, the Mirage headset has been limited to the content for the Star Wars game.
Rhino X could be an ideal headset and platform for developers that wish to create mobile augmented reality apps for a cheaper and more accessible augmented reality headset. However, the Rhino X are likely going to be costlier than the Lenovo Mirage due to its hardware configuration so it may not be that accessible after all.