The Brand New Gear VR is here and we finally get a controller now. The 2017 model improves on last year’s headset by adding a controller similar to the Daydream VR controller from Google. Let’s take a closer look!
We’ve seen plenty of phone based Virtual Reality gear. We’ve seen some great demos of phone based Augmented Reality, but no one device that claims to be both VR and AR ready. Until now. Asus took the wraps off the ZenFone AR, a phone supporting both Google Tango AR and Google Daydream VR. Here’s out first look!
Back in October of 2015, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey responded to rumors that Rift would cost $350. To help mitigate any potential pricing backlash, Luckey told reporters that their VR headset would cost more than $350, but would be roughly in that ballpark.
Now that Rift is available for pre-order we know what that ballpark is. It’s $599 before taxes, shipping, and it includes and XBOX controller, but not the Touch tracking controller. We can be fairly certain that most people weren’t expecting this price point when we were told that $350 was too low but in the ballpark, and the Reddit Oculus and VR subreddits are awash with angry members decrying the headset as too expensive.
I’ve never much been a fan of how gadgets are valued online. I find the discussion pretty toxic when geeks try and grade something as being “worth it”. The second that phrase pops up, you can almost always find a radical justification for why someone isn’t going to buy a product.
I would buy this bleeding edge piece of technology if it instantly came with one hundred games, did my dishes, had month long battery life, and only cost $17 and a half a ham sandwich. Then it would be worth it for the monies.
While the above is an exaggeration, the tone of this kind of commentary often lands just shy of “a company failed me by making a product too expensive for me, so I will punish them by not buying said product”. I think it’s a defense mechanism. It’s not that the individual is cheap, or they can’t afford it, they would totally buy the thing IF it were worth it. Totally…
Continue reading “What a $600 Oculus Rift Means for the Future of Virtual Reality”
VR is going to be the next big thing, and you can play with it now using your phone to power a headset. Merge VR has a high quality option for folks looking to flirt with VR. Let’s take it for a spin!
Shop the MERGE VR Goggles on Amazon http://goo.gl/HYEJfG
I wrote a book! If you want to take your smartphone photography and video skills up a notch, you’ll want to read my book! ‘Take Better Photos: Smartphone Photography for Noobs!’ is now available – http://amzn.to/1LZMa52
Continue reading “Merge VR Goggles Review: High Quality Headset for Your Phone and Google Carboard”
If you’re a Galaxy S6 owner, you can now pick up a Gear VR headset built on Oculus Rift tech. Utilizing the screen and processing power of your S6, you can strap this puppy to your face to experience immersive gaming and video.
Samsung is also touting their Milk VR service which streams 360 degree video, similar to Youtube’s roll out of their 360 video service.
The Innovator Edition is available online now for $199 and thankfully works with both the S6 and the S6 Edge (unlike the Note 4 version of the Gear VR). The headset should be available to purchase in store at Best Buy later this month.
People keep saying Virtual Reality WILL be the next big thing, but there still aren’t very many ways for consumers to try out VR without investing a ton of cash. LG sent over their headset, which uses the G3 as the display, for us to test out some VR apps and the Google Cardboard ecosystem!
What started off as a proof of concept for VR applications on mobile devices, has exploded as it’s one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to try out VR content. App developers are paying attention as there’s a growing list of services being developed for VR with Google Cardboard in mind. While you can create your own headset using Google’s template, there are also a number of companies building pre-assembled headsets out of cardboard or plastic. Even the Viewmaster will be returning this Fall as a Cardboard inspired VR experience.
With a growing community, it would only make sense that Google would continue investing in this project, and they’ve now announced a “Works With Cardboard” program for better hardware and software compatibility moving forward.
Developers will receive better tools for migrating existing apps and services into a VR environment, Manufacturers will get a new tool which helps customers automatically configure the app for different hardware builds, and consumers will have access to a better organized app store experience.
It’s a very positive development to see Google taking this sector seriously, as VR is primed to be a hot industry as Oculus, Razer, Samsung, and HTC are all moving to get solutions into consumer’s hands. Google is betting on your first taste of VR coming from the (Android) phone you already own.
You can now upload 360 degree video to Youtube! This will be amazing for Google Cardboard and VR headsets, but even viewing it on a phone or in a browser, it’s a really immersive way to interact with content!
Here’s a quick tour of my completely trashed office shot on the Kodak Pixpro SP360! Make sure to view this in Google Chrome or through the Android Youtube App, otherwise you’ll just see a regular wide angle video.