China’s LeTV Is Building Its Own Virtual Reality Headset

LeTV, best known for running an online video service by the same name in China, is branching out into virtual reality: The company getting ready to sell its own VR headset, dubbed LeVR Cool 1, which just passed the FCC.

From the looks of it, the headset seems to be similar to Google’s Cardboard VR headsets. Users have to bring their own phones to use as displays, with the headset itself adding little more than lenses to the mix. The difference is that the LeVR headset comes with straps, which should make it easier to wear it for a longer period of time. Also, it looks like the company is set to sell it in combination with a simple Bluetooth input device.

LeTV's LeVR headset, as shown in a FCC filing.
LeTV’s LeVR headset, as shown in a FCC filing.

LeTV has been making its own hardware in China for some time. The company began by producing its own TV sets, which offered access to LeTV’s streaming services. This year, it added Android-based phones to its hardware lineup. From the looks of it, LeTV built its VR headset specifically for these phones, even warning users in the manual that “the best experience may not be guaranteed when used with other phones.”

LeTV has been eyeing the U.S. in recent months, with plans to eventually sell its phones stateside as well. The new LeVR headset may be proof that this expansion is imminent: The LeVR handbook specifically asks users to download an app from Google Play, which isn’t available in China. A LeTV spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, LeTV announced the hire of Eric Mika as senior VP of open ecosystems, strategic alliances and partnerships.

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