I first got my hands on Pinć (pronounced Pinch) last month when the company gave me a tech demo of its still-in-development VR headset/smartphone case that utilizes Minority Report-style user interfaces. The company initially opened up preorders for the $99 accessory for iPhones, but today it’s making the Android version official by offering Android devs the same opportunity to preorder the hardware ahead of an official launch next summer.
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A few things make Pinć stand out from the crowd: it doubles as a sub-15mm thick smartphone case, uses hand gestures tracked by the phone’s camera for input, and includes a full SDK for developers built on Unity. It utilizes wireless rings (or pinchers) on each hand that allow users to navigate with touchscreen-like hand gestures when tracked by the device’s camera. A proprietary optics system enhances the device’s camera to increase its normal field of view.
Android devices that will be supported include: Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, LG G3, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Moto X, Sony Xperia Z3, Sony Xperia Z2, and Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
The apps you see in the demo embedded below were built by Pinc’s developers Cordon Labs, but the company hopes developers will embrace the “Discovery Edition” shipping next summer and utilize its toolset for building mobile apps that support Pinć and the company’s 3D user interfaces.
Here’s what I said about my experience with the device when I went hands-on: So far early prototypes of Pinć leave a little bit to be desired in terms of fit and finish, and the tech demo, which wasn’t yet running on Unity, was a little too early and buggy for me to pass judgement. I was able to wear an early prototype and navigate the UI pictured above, although the product I tried was far from finished (a 3D printed prototype actually) and the software was not up to snuff in terms of what’s promised in the videos as far as fluidity and ease of use. The company does, however, seem to be pretty confident that its latest build of the software running on Unity and tweaks to hardware in the coming months will bring the experience up to speed and ready to launch for devs and early adopters by spring of next year.
The company has a crowd funding campaign for the project where you can preorder the Discovery Edition of Pinc for Android for for $99.