Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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This iPhone dock wants to bring augmented reality to tabletops everywhere

This iPhone dock wants to bring augmented reality to tabletops everywhere

With Tango, Google is going all in on augmented reality-enabled phones. Their first device with the hardware was the recently released Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which shipped with a number of enticing AR-advantageous apps. But with this development, it leaves all the rest of us measly iPhone dwellers in the dust. We’re left with augmented reality more in-line with what Pokémon Go offered us for one fleeting adventure-seeking summer, which is not of the room-scanning, dynamic variety. It also means we’re restrained to only our screen’s devices—and not much more. But the team at ToneTree wants to broaden the iPhone’s AR capabilities.

an “augmented reality playground”

Introducing the Oak dock. The Oak uses your phone’s camera to read your surroundings, making the phone a starting point for its intentioned “augmented reality playground.” In its Kickstarter campaign, the Oak will ship with a number of interactive “kits” to utilize the external device. Like the “Rockstar Kit,” where musicians can tap musical pads that correspond with customizable sounds for music making purposes. Similar to that video where electronic musician Mark Redito (f.k.a. Spazzkid) recreates one of his own songs by using sushi, cats, and even McNuggets as coordinated samples.

The Rockstar Kit in action.

Other kits include one aimed towards gaming and app developers as well. But the dock boasts that you can do more with even mere household items. “Once you place your phone on the Oak dock, ordinary objects become extraordinary,” says Max Escaler, CMO of ToneTree, in their Kickstarter pitch video. “Whether you want to turn a table into a music studio, or turn a toy into a game controller, anything is possible.” While the specific hardware details and the explanations of how this is all possible are unclear, the Oak has already surpassed its $30,000 Kickstarter goal with still 22 days to go in the campaign.

At the moment the Oak dock will only be compatible with the iPhone, but there are plans to eventually expand to Android devices. You can read more about the Oak dock on ToneTree’s Kickstarter campaign here.

All photos courtesy of ToneTree.

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