Comic-Con 2015 led us deeper down the virtual reality rabbit hole

Mixing VR and AR

NASA teamed up with Mattel to provide imagery captured by NASA's Apollo for Mattel's VR/AR hybrid View Master.

Qualcomm, which provides Mattel with its Vuphoric AR platform, also had a spot at VR Lounge, giving guests a chance to try out the View Master.


Not quite what you had in your childhood

While the AR side of the View Master is powered by Qualcomm, Google Cardboard tech is powering the VR side.

"AR is more focused on discovery and VR is more focused on experience," said Rajat Gupta, Qualcomm Vuphoria business developer, explaining there's a strong move toward a hybrid of the technology.

When you put on the headset, you just need to point a white dot at a "reel" (purchased separately) to start the AR experience, which is the "discoverability" part.

The reel will then initiate a more immersive VR experience, and from here you can click on to other parts of the scene for more details. All together, it becomes a different kind of education tool.

The squishy newcomer

The VR Lounge also attracted another VR/AR hybrid headset in the form of start-up Merge, though it isn't showcasing anything at Comic-Con officially.

Made from soft and durable foam, you'll be able to slide your phone in the front of the headset, similar to Google Cardboard.


The company has also developed a controller, with the headset letting users to employ more than one controller at once (via your hands, as well as clips on top of the headset), depending on the experience being viewed.

The Merge headset should be going on sale later this year, as will the View Master, while Comic-Con goers have the chance to try out the View Master at Mattel's booth.