Let’s stay in the Christmas spirit, shall we? One of the toughest questions asked in this festive time is: ‘what do you want to get for Christmas’? People generally tend to say that it’s easy to find presents for girls – all you need is to invade a drugstore, buy a bunch of make-up/skin care products and – voila! – you’re done. But what can you buy for a person who’s not so much into this stuff? Well, if the person is a gamer or just a modern technology fan, I have an idea for you. And the great thing is that the same item can be bought in various versions & prices, starting from around 5$!
The idea I’m bringing to you is… a VR set. Virtual Reality became a thing years ago, but for a long time it was mostly associated with amazing (yet extremely expensive) Oculus Rift. However, not everyone knows, that you can have a fully working VR equipment for just a fraction of that price!
Let’s start from the beginning though. You might be thinking what you could possibly do with that set. Aside from playing 3D VR games – which speaks to gamers mostly – you can do other cool things as well: watch videos, animations and photos made in 360° technology. And those are currently rising in popularity on the Internet, which can be seen for example on Facebook and YouTube.
One last thing to point out before I show you how to get a cheap VR set – to make it work you’ll need a smartphone with gyroscope. Most smartphones from the last ~2 years have it, but you might want to make sure the person who’s supposed to receive the gift has one.
So when you have the smartphone, you can buy the headset. The cheapest one, and probably the most popular, is Google Cardboard. It costs around 5$ and that itself is actually enough to play VR films! As you may tell from the name, the set is actually made out of cardboard, so if you want to go for something better looking and a bit more comfortable in use, you can find plenty of plastic sets on Google’s site, but also on sites like Amazon, Ebay or Aliexpress. Their price range is quite wide, so you can choose something that fits in your budget. I personally own a BoboVR Z4 headset, which comes with built-in headphones and cost me a little bit over 20$. I’m pleased with its quality and I would definitely recommend that one 🙂
If you’re wondering how it all works: you have to download a (free) app onto your phone that will make it compatible with the VR headset. Headsets usually come with a QR code for the app, so getting it simply requires scanning the code. Then, you download & play the film or game of your choice, plug the phone in and put it into the headset. And it’s done! Time to put it on your head and have fun 🙂
To play more interactive games in VR you’ll need a controller on top of the headset. A simple Bluetooth gamepad can be bought for literally a few dollars – it doesn’t have to be anything special, any Bluetooth controller will do!