Billed as the world's first wearable VR headset to feature a real glass design, the Dlodlo V1 is certainly easy on the eyes of those looking at the wearer. But is the headset all about style or will it have some VR substance too?
Built from carbon fiber rather than the usual plastics and with real sunglasses-like lenses Dlodlo's V1 looks more like a pair of wraparound shades than an ice cream tub with a head-strap on the rear.
The Chinese company, founded in 2013 specifically with the goal of breaking into the emerging VR market, highlights that its first attempt at a VR headset should feel as comfortable to wear as a pair of glasses when they start shipping internationally in October.
This is due to the prodigious use of silicon materials on the inside. This is meant to stop the headset irritating the face even when worn to watch a 3D feature film.
In terms of specifications, the V1 delivers a 2400x1200 resolution and a 105° field of view, while an in-house-developed algorithm works in the background to counteract latency and image distortion.
"Dlodlo has been committed to getting more people to enjoy the ultimate virtual reality experience any time at anywhere. By integrating the platforms and resources in hardware, software, application, platform and community and through the VR glasses, we aim to create a complete VR ecosystem, Dlodlo World," said Li Gang, CEO of Dlodlo.
However, the new glasses also raise several questions. They're not bulky because they don't house a smartphone or phablet. Instead the V1 needs to be plugged into a PC or to a dedicated controller module. So they're not as "any time at anywhere" as the company claims.
Also, they're meant to be on par with offerings from HTC and Oculus, rather than with entry-level headsets like Samsung's Gear VR. Yet there is currenlty no clear word on accessories such as gloves or control pads that will be a necessity for doing anything other than watching immersive videos.
The final potential sticking point is that Dlodlo, despite being staffed with industry experts, has only been up and running since 2013.
Sony Interactive Entertainment senior research engineer Richard Marks has been leading the team that's builidng the PlayStation VR headset since 2010 in order to launch it this October, when Dlodlo claims its headset will be available in the US for $600.