What's the Big Deal About the Totem Headset?

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are getting ready to explode onto the market and it appears all the heavy tech companies are trying to out-develop one another with better features than their competition. Samsung's Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and Sony's Project Morpheus are just a few headsets companies that are clamoring to get into consumers' hands. Even fledgling startups are looking to cash in on the VR craze, including Bertrand Nepveu's company, Vrvana, which is developing its Totem VR headset.

What's the big deal about the Totem and what separates it from the rest of the pack? Besides the sleek enclosure, the headset features onboard cameras and an accelerometer, which replaces the need for external cameras for positional tracking. That important feature makes the Totem an attractive VR option over the competition. Those integrated cameras (denoted by the eyeholes on the faceplate) could also be harnessed for AR (Augmented Reality) applications, including hand tracking.

Another interesting feature is that it can connect to any number of different platforms outfitted with an HDMI port -- PCs, consoles, and tablets (to name just a few). This means it isn't regulated to a single platform, making it more diverse.

Of course, it has some other notable features as well, including oversized individually focused lenses with RGB stripe OLED full HD display with a wide 90-degree field of view. It also sports an onboard processor and control emulator, which does all the heavy lifting, negating the need for external processing.

Vrvana is currently crowdfunding the totem on Kickstarter. As of yesterday, the campaign raised $17,546 CAD (about $153,078 US) of its $350,000 CAD (about $314,153 US) goal. As of today, there are still seven days left to pledge. Those interested in getting their hands on one can pledge $495 or more for the first production run of the unit.

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