Disney and Lenovo’s Star Wars-themed AR headset to introduce ‘Jedi Challenges’

Why it matters to you

Disney’s new augmented reality Star Wars experiences could be the most realistic Jedi-simulator yet.

Disney and Lenovo are co-developing an augmented reality headset specifically designed to enable Star Wars-themed experiences. Set to launch alongside Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, details remain thin of the headset’s abilities. However, we do know it works with smartphones and will be available through Best Buy when it goes on sale.

Although the Microsoft Hololens is the most recognizable headset in the augmented reality industry, there are many other companies working away in the wings. Lenovo is one such firm which is now pushing forward with the technology, and it has partnered with Disney to bring its design to the masses.

Shown off in a brand new teaser video, Jedi Challenges headset uses an over-the-head and side-strap system, with a clear front visor and internal lenses. It’s designed with work with a smartphone, much like Samsung’s Gear VR headset, though is said to be augmented, rather than virtual, so it will use some sort of pass-through camera feed.

Of arguably more interest, though, is the lightsaber controller that makes a brief appearance toward the end of the video. It’s surprisingly large — easily several hands long — with a number of inputs and protrusions along its length. The presumption is that this enables the player to swing the controller a if it were a real lightsaber, though it’s possible that it will enable control of other aspects of the game, such as movement and object interaction.

Disney announced a few details about the headset at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California (thanks, Polygon), suggesting that players would be able to take part in large, lightsaber-swinging ground battles, as well as take on monstrous AT-ATs. There will also be a more relaxing game of Holochess to play, though whether you let the Wookiee win is entirely up to you.

One detail that remains elusive for now though, is a release date. Although it’s expected to go on sale “soon” at Best Buy and via Lenovo’s own digital store, for now, if you want to learn more about the headset and Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, you can sign up for more information on the official site.

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