Okay, not take over exactly “taking over the world “But the last month of 2014 is offering just a taste of how amazing 2015 will be for virtual reality and virtual worlds!
Watch Virtual Worlds with Google Cardboard
Back in September, we talked about the super cheap virtual reality device Google created with cardboard (you can read about it here). But today, we wanted to talk about how you can use Google Cardboard with your favorite virtual worlds!
First, you need your Google Cardboard kit and a smartphone. An android smartphone, to be specific, but you can make it work with an iPhone as well. Once the cardboard headset is assembled, download the Cardboard app to your phone (you can download it here) or choose from the daily-increasing number of VR apps and 3D videos available. And don’t relegate yourself to just Google-produced app – any virtual headset app works on Cardboard (although results will vary depending on app).
Then, slide the phone into the headset. The lenses help to distort the screen so it looks like the images on your phone are wrapped around your head. This is nowhere near the level of immersion with high end virtual reality headsets, but it’s still a great way to watch your virtual worlds in a much more realistic way than your standard computer or phone screen.
So how do you “watch” your favorite virtual worlds on Cardboard? Download VR Cinema For Cardboard and download some of your favorite user-created videos from a virtual world (in .mp4 format) and enjoy!
Are you going to try it out? Let us know in the comments below!
Samsung Released Their Virtual Reality Headset!
And it’s official! The Samsung Gear VR is now available for purchase online! Anyone can buy it, but Samsung is being very particular with the wording: this version is intended for developers, and you have to agree that you understand that before you make the purchase. However, they don’t care who buys it, developer or not, which makes Samsung the first large company to make a virtual reality headset available to general consumers.
The price tag is a whopping $200, and you’ll need a Note 4 smartphone to run it. Yes, it’s kinda steep, especially when you add in the very specific smartphone. However, keep in mind that when virtual reality headsets first took off, people were expecting to spend close to or over $1,000.
Samsung is currently working on an app store that works with the Gear, but they also developed the headset with the help of Oculus. So for right now you can get apps for the headset through Oculus’ store.
So here’s the details: for $200, you’ll get the headset, a carrying case, an extra face cushion, a lens cloth, and an SD card adapter plus a 16GB microSD card with starter content. If you want to spend a bit more, you can get the gamepad bundled with the headset for $249.99 (use coupon code STAVR2 when you checkout through Samsung to get the deal).
The headset itself features optical lenses with a 96-degree field of view and built-in focal adjustments so you don’t have to wear your daily corrective lenses while using the headset. It’s outfitted with an accelerator, gyrometer, and other features that allow the visuals to adjust with your head movement. And you can still control everything without the extra gamepad: the headset has a navigational touchpad, volume key and a back button.
Virtual Reality At Sundance January 22 to February 1
You know Sundance – that super artsy film festival that happens every year? Well, they do a lot more than indie flicks; in fact, they have a New Frontier program that focuses on innovations in filmmaking. The upcoming festival in 2015 is slated to be dominated by virtual reality, with 9 of the 13 movies to be presented including some form of virtual reality content and exhibits.
Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard are all slated to join in the fun. There will be a VR experience that allows players to experience what it was like on the ground during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, an exhibit that allows users to follow in the footsteps of an officer stationed in Chile during 1973, and even a set-up that allows you to have the full body experience of being a bird!
There’s a whole lot more, but it’s pretty cool to see what’s being done with three of the different headsets we’ve been tracking lately. Hopefully, the super cool set-ups make their way to other shows, festivals and conferences so more people will have a chance to experience what these artists come up with when given the latest, up-and-coming technology. Let us know what you think in the comments below!