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LeTV launches a USD 24 Google Cardboard-like VR headset

LeTV has released the LeVR Cool1 an RMB 149 (USD 24) Google Cardboard-type Virtual Reality (VR) headset on Wednesday announced together with the company’s strategy for VR content production and the establishment of an online streaming platform.

The first of LeTV’s VR headsets is the same as Google Cardboard in essence, with no electronic components but a pair of lenses that produces a basic VR experience for you. Compared to Google Cardboard, the LeVR Cool1 has a more futuristic look rather than a cardboard appearance and is attached to headbands that free you from holding the device in usage. The headset weighs 330g.

The headset will need a smartphone and a LeTV-produced VR app to fulfill the full VR experience. The VR headset is compatible with smartphones with 5.5-inch screens. LeTV recommends the use of the Le 1 and Le 1 Pro, the LeTV phones the headset has been particularly optimized for.

The app will be run on LeTV’s cloud computing platform LeTV Cloud. LeTV claims this will ensure delay is reduced to 20ms. Delay more than 20ms often causes motion sickness with users during VR experiences.

LeTV also claims it will launch a HTC Vive-like all-in-one VR headset but no detail on specs or release schedules were disclosed at the press conference. Baofeng, arguably the most well-known Chinese VR device maker, just released its fourth generation Cardboard-type headset and an all-in-one headset in November. The price of the all-in-one Baofeng device is set at RMB 2999 (USD 469).

To supply more high-quality content on its platform, LeTV will produce VR-specific content including celebrity interviews, live performances and VR movies. LeTV also launched two content production projects, “100 Million Fans Coverage Plan” and “10,000 Content Producer Alliance Plan”, to encourage user generated content on its platforms.

“VR was invented for a live experience. To fulfill a live experience, you must have high-quality terminal devices, strong content production ability, extremely useful but simple content consumption methods, and extraordinary data transmission capacity,” Ablikim Ablimit, the Strategic Vice President of LeTV Holdings, said at the conference.

According to Business Insider, VR devices will become a USD 2.8 billion market worldwide by 2020. Facebook acquired VR maker Oculus in 2014 with USD two billion.

Pre-orders for the first 20,000 headsets started on Wednesday afternoon and will go on sale at the LeTV online store LeMall at 12 pm on December 29th.

LeTV is a Chinese smart device producer and content producer. Devices it produces include smart TVs, smartphones and electric bicycles.

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