Virtual Reality with Samsung Gear VR

Virtual Reality (VR) aims to recreate an immersive experience, aka the feeling that you are actually present in an alternate setup, using digital technologies. IMAX theatres and 3D movies were first attempts towards this goal. VR headsets from Oculus, Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG etc. is the next step. This year (2016) might bring in a lot more players in this field. If you thought Google Cardboard was enough, do note that it was a cheap joke. (Note: Google's Project Tango and Microsoft's Hololens are Augmented Reality).

I got to experience it via Samsung Gear VR first hand and it was simply mind-boggling!! The headset might look weird to an on-looker, but the wearer soon forgets about it completely. The Martian Landscape transports you to Mars instantly. Dinosaurs seem adorable, non-threatening and pet-worthy. Choosing menu options is like reading big signage in a mall. If you are not good at running, you end up in dragon's mouth in Temple run chase!! And if you wanted to watch a movie in an empty hall, you can do that too!!

VR requires heavy computing power. For Gear VR, this means three things:
- You need ATLEAST Samsung S6 / S6 Edge / Note 5 to run this adding to cost.
- The device heats up (no joking) fairly quickly as the cores are running at full throttle.
- Unlike its competitors, the phone (computational device) needs to be mounted in the headset. This increases the weight. Other VR headsets are connected to a phone / computer via a wire. On the plus side, this means no messy wires around.

Also, the experience is only visual. However, it seems so real that one would like to interact (touch and feel) with the virtual environment. Some companies are working on additional body tracking gears that should allow the user to interact more naturally without separate console or controls built into the headset.

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