2016 will go down in history as the year that virtual reality went mainstream. This piece of innovative tech has smashed a home run and it’s in our hands today. It ships with the Galaxy S7, and it has changed the ball game in terms of what we are going to expect from competitive devices in future. We're taking about the Samsung Gear VR.
Hadlee Simons, Tech Editor at Gearburn, joined us on Expresso to take us through some of the amazing apps that are already available for this next-generation of immersive media, and to chat a little bit more about the device.
What makes the Samsung Gear VR device so significant?
First off, it’s the first affordable, mass produced, consumer grade product for Virtual Reality experiences. What's also great about it is that it's brought forward a new way of recording and sharing memories, and to experience games. It's also turned the internet into a place that you can visit, creating an industry of possibilities from immersive 3D on line chat forums, to in depth experience training for doctors.
What are some of the top apps for the Samsung Gear VR?
1. Lands End
This is Ustwo’s first VR game, and it is as mesmerising as its predecessor - we couldn’t expect anything less from the team that brought us Monument Valley. It’s a slow paced, relaxing puzzle game which spans over five chapters. It makes great use of the VR’s head tracking as controls, and this mysterious puzzler is best played while standing, or in a swivel chair
CCP Games brings us Gunjack, their first ever VR experience. It's set in the EVE universe - the game which started life as Project Nemesis, which we played back in 2015 has taken on a new face It's now a fast paced arcade space shooter with massive amounts of detail, like cracks in glass as you get hit by enemies. This app packs a punch! A bonus is that it's quick to get the hang of the controls, like sliding back on the touchpad to reload your weapon.
Soundscape is the very first VR music production tool. You can craft your own beats, and tune in your very own immersive loop based synthesizer. You can either jam alone, or with two other people in multiplayer mode. All notes are based in the pentatonic scale, so no matter what you do, it will sound good!
4. Samsung Internet
This is the first ever VR internet browser. You can open up sites via voice or by selecting from your favourites, and you can use the Gaze function to select items by glancing at them for several seconds. For those of you who would rather type what you're looking for, there's also a keyboard option. The app is still in Beta, but already works seamlessly with the device.
5. Streetview VR
Streetview in VR is very similar to Google Earth Street view, but for VR. It's made up of stills for 3,000 locations around the world, and it gives you have the ability to bookmark images, and even lead a group via audio chat.