Virtual Reality is still a new concept to me as I’m sure it is to you as well. But I can promise you this. It’s going to become more and more mainstream over the next few years.
Recently, I got the chance to review the Samsung Gear VR, which is basically a virtual reality viewing headset that works in conjunction with the Samsung Galaxy smartphone. I used both my own Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and a borrowed Galaxy S7 and found that the Galaxy S7 handled things a little better.
The way it works is that you snap the Galaxy S7 into the front of the headset, with the screen facing towards your eyes. The Samsung Gear VR takes over from there splitting the screen in half so you have one display for your left eye and one display for your right eye.
Before you get to the virutal reality part though, you’ll need to install a Samsung app on your smartphone but don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes to get things set up correctly.
And when everything is set up correctly, the magic begins. When you place the Gear VR headset on your head and over your eyes, you’ll feel like you’re standing in a room with a giant video board. On the video board are virtual reality experiences. To select one, you just look at it (no kidding) and then tap the select button on the side of the Gear VR.
Cirque du Soleil virtual reality experience
The first experience I selected was a Cirque du Soleil show. You might wonder why anyone would want to watch a Cirque du Soleil show through a virtual reality headset but trust me, you’ve never experience a Cirque du Soleil show like this before.
Previously, your best seat in the theater was in the front row. With the Samsung Gear VR, the best seat is now on the stage! It’s literally like the performers are performing the show all around you. I wish I could explain it or share a video of the experience with you but I can’t because you have to watch it through the Gear VR headset to get the full effect.
And because the Cirque du Soleil show was filmed with a 360 degree camera, you can look up, down, left or right during the show to see things from a new point of view. Heck, you can even look behind you back into the theater itself.
Plus a lot more
The Cirque du Soleil show is just one virtual reality experience. You can do other shows as well by adding more apps into the equation. Or you can play 360 degree games or ride a virtual reality roller coaster. You can even connect the Gear VR to your Netflix account and pretend you are sitting in a living room watching television. Except instead of normal television programming, the show on the television is whatever Netflix show you want.
Plus, more and more live events are getting on board with virtual reality. One person told me they already watched a Final Four game back in March as if they had courtside seats.
If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: It’s Not a Phone, It’s a Galaxy: Gear VR
The possibilities for virtual reality are pretty much endless which is why I think it is going to be such a big deal. And because, the technology to support it (ie, the Samsung Gear VR) is relatively inexpensive at right around $100, it’s going to affordable enough for everyone to try it.
If you’re looking to give virtual reality a try and you already have a Galaxy S7, S7 Edge or Note 5 (or are thinking about buying one), the Gear VR is a worthwhile addition.
Note: The Samsung Gear VR in this review was provided to me by Verizon Wireless and can be purchased at your local Verizon Wireless store or at www.verizonwireless.com.