Though we’ve been hearing the same thing for a few years now, 2018 was always going to be a big year for mixed reality – which is to say, VR and AR.

For one thing, with AR having emerged in the last few months of 2017, innovation in this space is a given. We just recently learned that Apple had met with AR suppliers at CES, as headset rumors continue. It likely won’t be another full year before we see designs and possibly even available products relating to Apple’s quest to become the leader in AR. Presumably, there will be new glasses or goggles that work with our iPhones (and iPads) to facilitate augmented reality.

For another, we expect to see new businesses working their way into mixed reality. Film, for instance, has been slow to get on board but we’re sure to see studios experimenting with VR and/or AR content this year. Additionally, casino markets (which represent a massive segment of the gaming industry) seem to be on the cusp. There are wide selections of 3D games already, not to mention card table games that use live dealer feeds – both of which seem to be leading to mixed reality as a next step. There will inevitably be more types of entertainment on mixed reality as the year goes along.

What most of us hadn’t counted on however was the release of new, game-changing equipment in the VR headset category. While VR is far from perfect, there’s already a fairly satisfying range of equipment. From little $25-$30 third-party options you can buy to fit your smartphone with, to the HTC Vive, there are tons of different headsets over a huge range of prices (and sophistication). The market is fairly well established for consumers to pick as they please, spending as much as they’d like for the VR experiences they want. Even so, however, a new headset has recently been unveiled that we saw fit to write up as one of the most promising gadgets of early 2018.

This new headset is Lenovo’s Mirage Solo VR, and it isn’t just new – it’s actually able to differentiate itself from every popular headset that’s already hit the market. This is because it doesn’t depend on a smartphone or a powerful computer to operate. Rather, all of the necessary technology is built into the headset itself. The device will supposedly cost less than $400 and will operate with up to seven hours of battery life on its own. It will also have access to Google Daydream software (and relevant apps), and will also reveal Google technology for movement sensing.

The only direct competitor for the Lenovo Mirage Solo VR would be Facebook’s Oculus Go, which is a forthcoming headset that, unlike the original Oculus, also won’t depend upon a computer to work. However, that Google tech previously referenced sets the Mirage Solo VR apart. Basically, thanks to this technology, users will have a wider and freer range of movement in virtual environments than they will when using the Oculus Go (at least so far as we know).

At a glance, this might look to you like just another headset in an increasingly crowded space. However, it appears to be a major development. This device has a chance to reset the VR industry to some extent, and as mentioned is one of the most significant new gadgets we’ve seen early in 2018.