Written by Guest Contributor: Jennifer Birch Gamers, otaku, and film buffs alike, rejoice at this wonderful invention
We’re entering a new Golden Age of Geekery. Not only are some extremely beautiful titles coming out, but technology has made everything much more accessible to us. Where we used to have to purchase physical books to read our manga and comic books, we can now read them on our phones with comic book readers. Where we used to have to go down to the local arcade for our video games, we can now play them on our phones.
The latest technology from Samsung might just be what we need to be able to enjoy all of our favorite digital media too. Samsung has teamed up with the team behind the Oculus Rift to create the Samsung Gear VR, a revolutionary new virtual headset for mobile phones.
The Gear VR works as a dock for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the latest in Samsung’s flagship line of phones. Stereoscopic lenses transform the images on the display of the Galaxy Note 4 – which O2 calls “the best in the business”, displaying four times the number of pixels as standard HD – into everything from a movie screen to a virtual world. It transforms ordinary experiences with your phone into unforgettable excursions into virtual reality. The Gear VR allows its users to feel completely immersed in a virtual world, with a screen that extends to beyond your peripheral vision. Demos of the Gear VR have shown that you can watch movies in settings such as a private movie theater, or even the moon. A version of Temple Run that was made specifically for the Gear VR also allowed users to glance behind them to see their pursuer, as well as look around themselves at the hurdles and chasms they had to hop over. It’s immersive mobile gaming at its finest. Marvel has also gone through the trouble of creating a mobile app that allows you to explore the Avengers’ workshop. Legendary has even released a simulator where players using the Gear VR were put in control of a Jaeger from Pacific Rim!
There are still some kinks to work out with the Gear VR, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 heating up quite noticeably while in use, and how the phone sometimes exits VR mode unexpectedly, but it seems the Gear VR could very well be a forerunner in VR headsets – especially for mobile. Because the Note 4 operates on the latest version of Android, you can rest assured that you will have access to all the best apps and games. Not only will you be able to use your favorite comic book readers and manga readers, but you could potentially stream your anime on the device too. The Gear VR relies solely on the Note 4 for its processing power, so as long as you can get it to work on your Note 4, you can get it to work with the Gear VR. There isn’t a whole lot of content and games available for the Gear VR just yet, but imagine the possibilities!
Of course, the obvious downside is that the Gear VR only works with the Note 4, but there are many other developers who have begun work on VR headsets that are compatible with just about any kind of phone. These also promise to be cheaper than the Gear VR. It certainly seems like we’re entering a new era of entertainment, and virtual reality is the final frontier.
(Images from Maurizio Pesce via Flickr Creative Commons)