Tech

Play For Dream MR Revealed: An Android alternative to the Apple Vision Pro

Apple recently announced that its Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, previously only available in the United States, will now be available worldwide, with Singapore among the first countries to receive it. But it won’t be the only mixed-reality device we will get to experience.

Play For Dream Technology, a spatial computing company founded in Shanghai, has unveiled its own mixed-reality headset, calling it the Play For Dream MR. And it will be the world’s first Android-based spatial computer. 

In Play For Dream MR, the company aims to “set a new standard in spatial entertainment” with features for media viewing and gaming. Truthfully, I would have never expected a competitor to the Apple Vision Pro to be this fast, which makes this device all the more intriguing. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.

Design and Tech Specs

Before diving into its functionality, let’s first discuss the device’s design. Unlike the white aesthetic of the Apple Vision Pro, the Play For Dream MR is clad in all-black, but otherwise, it has a similar design. 

You’ve got the goggles in the front, which have cushioning around the outer area to provide comfort as you wear the device. Spectacle wearers have also not been forgotten, with prescription inserts available to be placed inside. But on top of the device is a dial that can be used to switch your surroundings into a virtual scene—more on that later. Alongside the back headrest, another dial is likely used to adjust the fit when you put the headset on. 

Play For Dream says that the headset measures just 33mm and features a 3:2 weight distribution across the head for a balanced fit. The main unit weighs 288 grams by itself, but it weighs 650 grams altogether (including the battery, head strap, and face cover). Much of the weight can be attributed to the company’s use of build materials, which are mentioned as “environmentally friendly and durable”.

That’s the basic gist; now, let’s get into the specs. Users will be looking at 8K Micro-OLED screens, which deliver 27 million pixels at 3882 PPI (pixels per inch) and have a DCI-P3 colour gamut of 92% when set in Vivid Mode. For some context, the Apple Vision Pro, in comparison, does 23 million pixels at 3,386 PPI.

Meanwhile, behind the Play For Dream MR is the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip. It will also be equipped with 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage capacity. The chip will power Dream OS, which allows users to have spatial interactions through advanced head, hand, controller, and eye tracking. Complementing it are the 11 high-performance cameras, 7 types of sensors, and 22 infrared LEDs hidden inside.

The headset has an internal battery installed into the device, but no details were revealed about its capacity or how long it can last. However, the company does mention that it can be used with an external power bank to lengthen your time with the headset. 

Features

Now that we have gone through the specs, let’s go more macro and talk about what you can actually do with the Play For Dream MR.

Naturally, as a wearable headset, most people would want to watch their favourite movies on the device, which is precisely what Play For Dream caters to. The company has partnered with IMAX to enable an IMAX-level theatre experience on the device.

Users will be able to create an over 1,000-inch screen through the headset, which can be customised to your liking. And remember that dial I mentioned earlier? Well, you can use it to transport yourself to a different environment as you watch. Fancy watching The Godfather in the desert? Now you can.

Additionally, the headset has built-in speakers that feature DTS:X Ultra support. Together, it helps simulate a 7.1-channel experience with a 360° surround sound field, with 8 spatial sound

effects powered by DTS available. It certainly sounds excellent for cinephiles.

But watching movies isn’t the only thing you can do with the Play For Dream MR. The device also touts gaming as one of its primary uses, and Play For Dream says that mixed-reality games, VR games, and 2D large-screen games are compatible with it.

So, how do you play these games? Gesture control doesn’t exactly sound very intuitive. Well, there’s also a pair of controllers you can pair with the headset. The company self-developed these and features haptic feedback.

Play For Dream MR: Controllers
Special controllers can be paired with the headset for general use or gaming

That is perhaps one of its biggest advantages over the Apple Vision Pro. Apple has a walled garden, and that applies to its headset. This means you have to wait for tailored experiences specifically developed for the device or have one of their other products (like the Mac) to get a game to work on it. Android is very much the Wild West in terms of what is available in the ecosystem, but that also means you get more options, especially for gaming. 

Finally, the last big feature of the Play For Dream MR is AI — because, of course, you can’t have a tech device without one nowadays.

The headset is supported by an AI assistant called Xiao Hu, which you can use for several smart experiences. It can do basic stuff like translations and information gathering, but it can also do unique things like transforming a 2D image into a 3D object that you can view in real space.

While I’m not sure about the breadth of its capabilities, considering that it is a mixed-reality device, it certainly opens a lot of possibilities.

Availability

Play For Dream MR: Launch Event
Play For Dream MR on view at the launch event

Play For Dream MR is slated to launch in Singapore and Malaysia in October 2024. Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan will follow in 2025.

And now, the most important part: Price. Unfortunately, Play For Dream says that details of pricing will be released at a later date, but the company has a tease for it—showing off US$1,X99 during the launch event. That’s a remarkably lower price than the Apple Vision Pro, which starts at S$5,299.

Overall, the Play For Dream MR is an exciting alternative to Apple’s headset. I’ll be very curious to see how the public takes to it when both devices are available. 

More information about the device can be found on Play For Dream’s official website. For updates leading up to its October release, follow their Facebook and Instagram socials.


Visuals courtesy of Play For Dream.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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