Virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift depend on powerful computer hardware. In their case, the computer runs the software and the headset acts as the display. There is a completely different form of virtual reality on smartphones. To experience VR, all you need to do is slip your smartphone into a VR headset, and run the apps or games you want. Here, the smartphone acts as both, the display and the processing unit. With smartphone hardware only getting more powerful, the experience is bound to get better.
There is a good chance that your phone already supports VR. Almost all smartphones do today, across operating systems. What makes virtual reality more immersive is the ability to look around by moving your head. That is made possible, with the help of a gyroscope sensor on the smartphone. Most mid-to-high-end smartphones support one. If you’re current smartphone doesn’t support one, then know that you can still experience some VR apps. However, you won’t be able to look around in the game or app. The other optional requirement is a magnetometer sensor. Since you don’t have access to the smartphone screen when it’s placed in the headset, most headsets have a button on the outside to navigate in the app, like a mouse-click. This button works by triggering the magnetometer on the smartphone. Not all headsets though have a button.
Once you know that you have a VR supported phone, you need a VR headset. You can make your own headset at home with the help of some cardboard using a DIY guide. You’ll need to get some other things, like lenses and a magnet. One of the easiest options is to buy a Google Cardboard compatible VR headset.
The simplest and the most dependable option is one by Shinecon headset. These headsets might cost a little more, but their plastic built is more sustainable than cardboard to carry around. It’s also compatible with smartphones of different screen sizes. Besides that we’ve found the cushioning to be very comfortable for long use and the headband is adjustable to fit other people easily. You can get one from a Reliance Digital store closest to you.
Besides these, there are some premium headsets such as the Samsung Gear VR. They offer more features and some exclusive VR apps. However, they are only supported on a few select Samsung smartphones.
There’s plenty of VR apps available at the moment for both platforms. You can download them from the respective app stores. Games of different genres are available for you to try. Most of the apps and the games are free, while some are paid. Not just games, there are plenty of apps that are just built around giving a virtual experience of places. The examples are endless. You can experience the life of an Astronaut living in space or go to the other end of the spectrum, by diving deep into the ocean. Every app comes with a new experience altogether. To make things even more immersive, some apps and games even let you use a wireless joystick to move around. Here are some of the must-try apps on your VR headset.
Google Cardboard (iOS and Android)
This app is your initiation to the VR experience on smartphones. It’s Google Cardboard’s official app. The app lets you use Google Earth, which lets you fly to different places around the world. You can use it to browse your smartphone photos and videos in VR. The app even carries a list of other VR apps that you can download, which is great. The good thing is it’s also available for Apple iPhones, not just Android.
Many people watch movies on their smartphone when traveling. It’s not the most immersive experience. VR One Cinema is the perfect app for that problem. The app makes you feel like you’re sitting at the cinema, where you can watch movies and videos on the big screen theatre.
Titans of Space (iOS & Android)
This is an educational app. It takes you on a trip across our solar system, where you can learn about the planets and compare their sizes. It is both educational and visually impressive. It’s one of the most of popular apps for VR. These few apps can give you a taste of VR. There are plenty of other apps that you should try out. With technology getting better each day and more apps available, the range of VR experiences is only going to get wider. When you’re buying a new smartphone, make sure it supports VR. If you want to know more, or which phones to buy, come visit a Reliance Digital store nearest to you.