virtual reality headsets from Samsung Gear VR
Yes i love tech but I haven’t been overly excited over it of late. The virtual reality headsetsis one of those things that is hard to describe.
No matter how many reviews about virtual reality headsets I read, I just couldn’t grasp what the reviewers were trying to tell me. I fear I will be no better but I will give it a good shot for those on the fence about it.
I Pre-ordered mine for Best Buy. I use it with my International, unlocked, Galaxy Note 5, 64GB model. I mention this because after I ordered I saw the phone would require a carrier update, since my phone is carrier free, I wasn’t sure if this would be a problem. Its not. My Note 5 detected the Gear VR and installed the needed software. Set up was easy and painless. Some of the things I’ve done with it.
I took a trip through our solar system in an experience called Titans of Space. It made it feel like you were in a little ship, flying up to each planet and some of their moons. The information panel or hud, gives information on each(Planet,Moons, Stars), then sped you through space to the next planet. I’d look up and see space and stars, turn around in my real sit to see part of my virtual chair, look down I could see the controls, and out the windows more space and whatever planet I was near. I am a sucker for space and this just blew my mind. After the tour of our sun, it started showing other suns in scale so that you could see how much larger it was over our sun. I saw a blue sun in the Orion system, another red sun that was so large, if dropped where our sun is, it would reach close to Saturn. And of course the demo in this part of the tour was to give you a sense of scale. I was completely immersed and it made me see just how much potential this tech has. Something like this for learning and retention beats a text book and teacher lectures any day.
Netflix has an app that puts you in this château up in the snowy mountains. Nice big screen on the wall and to your eyes it really is a big screen. I have a 52″ in my house but in VR, I felt like I was in front of a much much larger screen. Imagine when this stuff goes full HD. The mobile version is only 420p I believe.. That’s really the only downside to it. PC version will have higher resolution and cost a lot more.
I’ve also been in an App. I forget the name of it. It may have been Oculus Video but don’t take this as truth. Anyway, the App allows you to pick from a home theater setting, a movie cinema, on the moon, in the forest of ANTS (that animated movie from years ago) and black Void. I usually use the cinema and the screen appears to my eyes as big as an IMAX. I never expected these types of experiences from this headset and my phone.
I’m not really interested in it for gaming. For seeing shows, live events or visiting places you’d never get to see is really cool. If I turn I can see what’s going on behind me, above, below and in front. Really tricks your brain when you reach out to touch what you see and it’s not their. I can see this as being the next big fitness craze. Imagine walking in place on a treadmill while walking the tropics of Hawaii.
So did a couple of under water experiences. I honestly am not overly interested in the sea or sea life but this blew me away as well. full 360, look below and I could see the light above penetrating the surface of the ocean where I was. I was in a cage in the ocean, watching a great white shark swim around and bump the cage trying to get to me. Took an under water tour of the Arctic seas. Saw different varitaty of whales with a narrator giving information on each one.
Am seeing so much potential for this. Right now games have the most attention but as the tech matures it can be used for a lot of things. I took a tour of some really fancy house. I could move through every room, check out the ceiling, the floors, just like I was there and my thought was, this would be so cool for real estate. Imagine shopping for your next house and not having to leave the house unless you found one you really liked. This could be a time saver in real estate. Get more houses shown, save realtors on gas money you name it lol.
I saw a beautiful performance with Cirque de Soleil’s Zarkana. I’ve watched it six times. It puts you right there on stage and it was amazing. This will be huge for live events one day.
And what is a review without pros and cons.
Pro’s: Lots of content both free and paid. Inexpensive to get into if you have the right phone. Fully Immersive and entertaining. Its Mobile
Con’s: Low Res. Sometimes I can see a screen door effect.
Worth 59,99$ bucks? I cannot stress enough it is worth every penny. Its been a long time since anything fully blew me away. If your on the fence about the more expensive VR thats coming, this is a good way to try it before going all in.
Update: Seems Samsung is releasing a browser tomorrow. This is suppose to allow you to check out YouTube videos without the need for an APP. If this is important to you and your trying to decide between the two, this might level the field a bit more. I’ve since bought a ViewMaster VR while it was on sale so I could try Google Cardboard stuff. Its (Google Cardboard) is not as seamless and hassle free as the Oculus/Gear VR combo is. Google stuff seems to be a holder for the phone, which I constantly had to open and close to keep selecting what I wanted to see. Gear VR on the other hand, you don’t have to remove the glasses. Its easy to go from store to library to content using just the side button.