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Queen guitarist Brian May launches £25 Owl VR Smartphone virtual reality viewer ()

Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May has designed and launched his own VR smartphone viewer. 

The plastic Owl VR kit allows users to view 3D images and footage from any smartphone while also giving them full access to their handset's controls at all times.

May's £25 viewer consists of a flat-packed plastic frame that snaps into shape, with a pair of optical lenses at one end and a cardboard-backed magnetic strip at the other.

A sticky magnetic card allows any smartphone to be mounted into the viewer while leaving the phone's audio output free for connection with headphones or a home stereo to complement the 3D visuals.

This magnetic card can also be removed and used with other devices. 

The high-grade polypropylene frame is fully collapsible and a slider allows users to adjust the focus to suit their preferred viewing angle. 

During a demonstration, May showcased a specially-curated animation of Bohemian Rhapsody created by Google as well as a dinosaur-based virtual game. 

Speaking at the launch event in London, May said: "The reason I created the Owl was to recreate Victorian stereoscopy. People get fatigued very quickly with [other] VR devices, they get frustrated that they can't reach their phone to get to their controls and they get sweaty with the eyepieces so I quickly realised that, in some ways, this was a better way of viewing virtual reality. 

"The great thing is that any smartphone will work in Owl. Most devices on the market only accept certain types of smartphone, so this is unique."

May's Owl VR viewer is adapted from his patented Owl Stereo Viewer which was released in 2009 as away of encouraging new audiences to view classic Victorian stereo cards as well as newly-released images. 

The Owl Smartphone VR Kit will be available from late May 2016 for £25 from London Stereoscopic Company 

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