Virtual reality as we know it today didn’t exist in the 19th century, but what if it did? What if, alongside the monocles, pocket watches, and snuffboxes of proper gentlemen of the time, there existed, somehow, a fancy pants VR headset.
You may officially turn your imagination off, because we found those VR goggles, and they are gloriously impractical yet compelling in their own hipster-using-a-vacuum-tube-phonograph way.
The 2VR Virtual Reality Headset is a foldable pair of spectacles designed to work with most 4- to 6-inch smartphones to allow you to view VR content on the go.
Dubbed “a window to the world in your pocket,” the device, as wonky as it looks, is actually designed quite well. The smartphone cradle is padded with rubber grips to hold the smartphone firm, the arms of the glasses are adjustable and the construction of the entire device feels sturdy. And most surprising of all, when I actually used them to view a bit of VR content — shock — they worked about as well, if not better than a Google Cardboard device.
However, unlike Cardboard, which merely hides your mug behind a bulky box, when you see someone wearing the 2VR it’s hard not to wonder if it’s a gag. It’s pretty much exactly what a late night comedy show would come up with if it were trying to make fun of VR headsets.
But there’s one last thing that takes the 2VR into truly odd territory: the hood. That’s right, I said “hood.” The cherry on top of the 2VR is the included rectangular hood with elastic strap meant to be pulled over the device once it’s on your face in order to block outside light and enhance the overall experience. Like the rest of the 2VR, the added feature is actually quite clever, but unless you like looking like a hooded falcon awaiting orders from your hunting master, it’s just not a good look.
Flamboyant folderol aside (#wheresmygoddamnedsnuffbox), the $29.99 device is at best a guaranteed conversation starter. At worst, this is really just a solution for those who despise the clunky utility of Google Cardboard and don’t have the extra cash to level up to a Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View. Either way, this product is a reach too far.
A bespoke VR hood with your fermented pu-erh tea, Lord Puffington?