Well, it’s finally here! After much anticipation, Samsung and Oculus have finally made their Gear VR headset available for purchase. I took the opportunity to sit down with Ben Lang, editor and chief of Road to VR, and Ritchie Djamhur, well-known gadget YouTuber, to talk about the release and the many facets of Gear VR.
It appears that Gear VR is available to order on Samsung’s website, and AT&T’s website, but there is still no word on it’s availability within retail stores. I ordered mine this morning and am sitting patiently on my front porch, waiting for it to arrive.
Ritchie has had his Gear VR long enough to pump out several very informative videos about his experiences with it. After watching a full 2 hour movie and draining the battery life by 50%, he says that the comfort was good, and he had no problem with heat or marks on his face. With a replaceable foam padding, hygiene shouldn’t be much of a problem either.
What about the apps? The current library has roughly 30 experiences, with a few redundancies. According to Ben, a few of the photo and video apps could probably be consolidated to avoid confusion. Now that the hardware is out, we may see a big push from the developers to get their apps compatible and up on the Gear VR store.
We joked quite a bit about using the pass-through camera as a way to wear the Gear VR as we walk around in public. Obviously, we do NOT recommend doing so, despite the convenience that the camera provides when using this product.
A case! The VR community loves their cases, and so I was pleased to hear Ben describe the wonderful zip-up case that came with the Gear VR. I fully anticipate seeing several photos of it soon from folks showing off their entire VR “family”.
The lenses seem to be just a tiny bit smaller than the DK2’s, and the field of view is also just a slight bit smaller, but anything more than 90 degrees should be adequate to give a decent sense of immersion.
What will drive the average consumer to buy this product? Will it be the apps, or watching movies, or just general love for gadgets? Only time will tell.
I want to thank Ben and Ritchie for coming on the podcast and sharing their experiences with us. Stay tuned to Ritchie’s YouTube channel for more VR content, and Road to VR for more exciting coverage of the Gear VR.
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Direct download of episode 87: MP3 Download