Lenovo Mirage Solo is the first standalone Daydream VR headset


Leveraging on Google Daydream, the Mirage Solo headset also features WorldSense, the motion-tracking technology that allows for incredibly immersive VR experiences without being tethered to a PC.

Inside-out tracking, popularized by Microsoft's HoloLens and then its Windows Mixed Reality, solves those limitations.

It feels like Google's announcement of standalone Daydream VR headsets from partners HTC and Lenovo came an eternity ago, and while the former hardware maker pulled out of the high-profile alliance to focus on its own immersive products, the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is official and (almost) fully detailed at last.

Content shot by the Mirage camera is wirelessly uploaded to Google Photos and YouTube, where it can be viewed either as a VR video through a headset, or as a 180-degree video which can be panned around with a mouse on the desktop, or by tilting a smartphone or tablet. Google calls this technology Worldsense. There's a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) display with a 110-degree field of view, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8345 processor paired with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of UFS storage (expandable via microSD slot). Thanks to that, Lenovo's Mirage Solo runs without the assistance of a smartphone or PC and is the fist Daydream-powered display to do so. Unlike the latter, the headset isn't front-heavy and has been created to distribute the weight evenly all throughout. "We also lined the areas that touch your face and forehead with breathable, insulated contoured padding for maximum comfort". Which again, makes it lighter weight and since it is already pretty thin, it can slide right into your pocket without looking awkward - unlike most 360-degree cameras on the market right now. Lenovo promises that a suite of apps will be coming soon to expand the platform, though that will happen closer to the device's release in the second quarter.

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Lenovo's Mirage camera will be available in the spring, along with a camera from Yi Technology, the Yi Horizon. There will also be a cellular-connected variant of the Camera, but pricing was not provided.

However, if you want to ensure the camera's point of view is flawless - perhaps you want it positioned low down or up high for dramatic effect - then it can be paired with a smart Android device, such as a smartphone, to get a live-stitched preview. You can pair it with your smartphone using Wi-Fi Direct, and if you download Google's VR180 app, you can even use your smartphone's screen as a viewfinder and preview your photos and videos. They also think that VR180's unique perspective is much easier to consume than full 360-degree footage. The Mirage Camera with Daydream, on the other hand, might have a price tag that's a bit harder to swallow at $300.

Other than being standalone, the Mirage Solo's other big selling point is that it's the first all-in-one to run on Google's Daydream.