Virtual reality is the latest fad; the Oculus Rift is taking off and just had a major improvement with the Crystal Cove prototype. But that’s for the hardcore PC gamer; what about the Android fan? Meet the Gameface.
The Gameface is essentially a stand-alone Android device that lets you play games and watch movies with, well, a headset strapped to your face. It’s a surprisingly complete unit, too, with a Cortex CPU and Tegra GPU, Bluetooth, GPS, and all the usual phone goodies. It also makes some rather grandiose claims about being able to convert 2D movies to 3D on the fly, but we’ll have to see how effective that part is, and whether it works with online services or just on-board movies. Oh, and it runs Jelly Bean, so gamepad support is native.
It’s also got plenty of sensors; there are six low-latency depth-of-field sensors, as well as the usual gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. They’ve got plenty on the coding side too, as they’re backing using Unity and of course have their own Android SDK. But there is a note of caution here that’s being sounded, whether the GameFace team realizes it or not.
Long On Dreams, Short On Details
The main thing that stands out on GameFace’s homepage and all the talk about it is the lack of detail. We don’t know pixel counts, specific companies offering supporting games, which exact chip this will use, or what will make it stand out from the sea of Android products promising something different. True, it’s early days, and at least GameFace has a finished prototype and an actual product to show, which makes us hopeful that one day we’ll get our hands on one to try it out. That said, we want more details, before we know whether or not it’s a revolution.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.