RaphTime is Developing a Mixed Reality HMD

By Arthur Berman

RaphTime (Beijing, China) is developing a mixed reality HMD product called the RT Fusion. Similar to the more prominent HoloLens HMD from Microsoft, the RaphTime device is see-through, overlaying video imagery on a view of the real world.

The RT Fusion is used in conjunction with a smartphone as illustrated in the figure below. Given this configuration, the HMD is self-contained and does not require any accessories.

The RT Fusion mixed reality HMD.

Although the price of the RT Fusion has not been announced, a principle “selling point” of the RT Fusion featured by the company is that it gives users the chance to experience mixed reality with an inexpensive device, one represented as costing about 2% that of the HoloLens.

In addition to the RT Fusion, RaphTime also offers an even less expensive cardboard version of their HMD product. It is called the MR Cardboard. In offering such a product, RaphTime is not alone. As previously reported in a Meko article entitled “Holokit Brings Cardboard Concept to AR,” a smartphone-based, cardboard mixed media HMD that has a configuration similar to the RT Fusion is available from Amber Garage.

A few specifications of the RaphTime HMDs have been published. These include:

  • FOV: 35°
  • Weight (MD Cardboard): 112 g
  • Weight Pro (RT Fusion): 365 g
  • Size (MD Cardboard): 135mm × 56mm × 150mm
  • Size Pro (RT Fusion): 128mm × 136mm × 166mm

In order to touch or control the virtual items seen in the real world, the company provides a wand with a picture on it. It is also possible for users to make and use their own personal marker.

A video illustrating the RT Fusion in operation can be found at the end of this article.

If the smartphone incorporated into the RT Fusion is equipped with Tango technology, additional capabilities are enabled. (Wikipedia explains that “Tango technology is an augmented reality computing platform, developed and authored by Google. It uses computer vision to enable mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals.”) With Slam (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and Optical See-Through Technology, RT Fusion users are able to move about and interact with virtual images within their real world environment without the need for any sort of a marker.

The RaphTime web site states that if the user desires a more interactive experience, they can purchase the Leap Motion Gesture (or other similar models) to supplement the RT Fusion. The company web site states that RaphTime will upgrade their apps to keep up with Leap Motion upgrades.

In addition to the apps developed by RaphTime, the company states that all developers will be provided with RT Fusion’s MR SDK at no charge.

The company reports that all product development to date has been accomplished without outside financial support. RaphTime goes on to state that help is desired to speed up further development of the product hardware and software. To that end, the company has launched a Kickstarter campaign that can be found here. At the time this article is written, $4,375 has been pledged by 17 backers against a goal of $70,000 goal. Since the campaign is scheduled to close on June 19, it is uncertain if the campaign will fund. None-the-less, the company has stated that “Even if we do not get all the funding we need, we will proceed with the project, it will just take longer to reach our goal.” -Arthur Berman

RaphTime, Zhiquan Bo, +86-13811768700