This is what Samsung's virtual reality glasses feel like
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    • This is what Samsung's virtual reality glasses feel like

    This is what Samsung's virtual reality glasses feel like

    Published on 28.12.2015

    The Samsung Gear VR

    It’s rushing. Every second, more than 100 cubic meters of water fall down Gullfoss Waterfall in southwest Iceland. Mists are in the air, whirlpools and foam waves pierce the water masses of the Hvitá River. An impressive spectacle, which does not seem quite real on the office chair in Germany only because the water mist of the Gullfoss does not break through the screen in Samsung’s virtual reality glasses Gear VR and lies on the face. And because it is not Icelandic cold, but rather tropical warm under the combination of smartphone and 3-D glasses.

    2016 will be the year of virtual reality (VR). At least when it comes to the manufacturers. In the race of Oculus, HTC or Sony for the first market-ready VR glasses, Samsung is first ahead with the help of Oculus. While the competition relies on complete systems with their own screens, the Gear VR (about 100 euros) is connected to a current smartphone from Samsung and takes on the role of the screen. So far, so simple.

    The Gear VR is reminiscent of oversized ski goggles. It has sensors, two lenses, a touchpad and various switches. The installation is quite fast. The smartphone (the current edition of the Gear VR works with the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge + and the Note 5) is connected to the USB port on the front of the glasses. Then the necessary software and access to the Oculus store are downloaded. Here you can also find all other apps – from VR cinema to games to 360-degree photos and videos.

    In the test, a whole series of apps flicker over the rather high-resolution screen of the Galaxy S6 Edge+used for a smartphone with 2560 to 1440 pixels. We travel through the human bloodstream, dive through reefs full of colorful fish, hover over Iceland and fight our way through swarms of space hunters in space. Practical also: With the glasses, many exciting holiday resorts can be explored from afar.

    The VR experience is very positive: As soon as the glasses are on your head, you feel like you are sitting in a different world – while you are actually only turning on an office chair. Front, back, top or bottom – something can be discovered everywhere. Samsung has also developed a browser tailored to the glasses.

    Warm and heavy

    So you can browse the net with the Gear VR halfway comfortable, with the Netflix app can stream movies. Since only one half of the screen is used per eye in VR mode, the resolution drops to 1280 to 1440 pixels. Due to the large magnification of the spectacle lenses, you can quickly see the pixel structure of the display. The edges of the image are also slightly blurred.

    Oculus Rift: The Oculus Rift is the classic among virtual reality glasses. The first developer version has been on the market since March 2013. Meanwhile, there is already the second kit for tinkerers. In the fall of 2015, the glasses should finally come on the market. Currently, the Oculus Rift is still hooked on the low image resolution (1280x800 pixels) and the number of compatible games. In addition, the glasses only work with PC games until now. But that should change until the official start.Sony Project Morpheus: Sony used the big stage of the Game Developers Conference 2014 to present Project Morpheus. With the glasses, Sony wants to set new standards and take video games to the next level. The Japanese aim for a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a high frame rate. The viewing angle should be 360 degrees in the horizontal and 90 degrees in the vertical. In terms of sound, Sony relies on its own 3D audio technology, which makes it possible to reproduce sounds depending on the position, taking into account the player movements. Project Morpheus is scheduled to be launched in 2015.Google Cardboard: Nice gimmick from Google: The company gave every visitor of the developer conference Google I/O 2014 the so-called Google Cardboard. This is a VR headset made of cardboard, which the user folds himself. An Android smartphone serves as a display. The right app comes from the Play Store. In a tweet, editor-in-chief Axel Telzerow shows how the cardboard glasses look finished.LG VR for G3: The Avegant Glyph: The Avegant Glyph is VR glasses and headphones in one. If you want to dive into the virtual world, simply fold the temples over your eyes. The lenses are integrated therein. Unlike the Oculus Rift, the glyph does not cover the entire field of view. Still 2015, the glasses should come to the market at the price of 499 US dollars. Microsoft HoloLens: HoloLens is a computer with 3D lenses and sensors that can generate holograms. The entire holo technology at HoloLens is in futuristic-looking glasses. If the user sets these up, he can freely place objects and rooms and handle them or move around in them. The operating system is Samsung Gear VR: Flap open, smartphone pure, be in the virtual world. This is how the Samsung Gear VR works. In the development of the VR glasses, the South Korean group collaborated with Oculus VR, among others. Unlike their Rift glasses, however, the Gear VR needs the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to work. This acts as a screen. With a price of 199 euros, the Gear VR is quite expensive. The variety of available apps is also expandable.View-Master: Virtual reality should also be introduced into the children's room. In February 2015, Mattel therefore presented a new edition of the View Master in cooperation with Google. The glasses work similar to the cardboard. In other words, the user pushes a smartphone into it and dives into the virtual world via an app. So that children in particular do not spend too long with the view master, Mattel has deliberately dispensed with straps. Cost: $ 15.Pearl VRB50. 3D: As one of many providers, Pearl has a clone of Google Cardboard in its program. For around 7 euros, buyers are allowed to fold the cardboard glasses themselves. In the flap in front of the lenses fit smartphones with display sizes from 4 to 5 inches. If you need it bigger, you can get the glasses for devices from 5 to 5.5 inches for around eight euros.Pearl VRB60. 3D: Pearl also offers a replica of the Samsung Gear VR. For the VRB60. 3D, however, you only pay a tenth of the price that Samsung calls up with 19.90 euros. But the quality of the glasses in front and behind is not right. The workmanship looks cheap, the frame sits uncomfortable, and the image is blurry.

    It is controlled by head movement and via the small touchpad on the edge of the glasses, which, however, ensures many annoying incorrect entries. Another problem is weight. Together with the S6 Edge+ weighing just under 150 grams, the combination weighs around 450 grams. The good fit and padding make up for that in the beginning. But after a few minutes, the Gear VR sits heavily in the face. In addition, the heat that accumulates in the glasses during prolonged use.

    True, VR nausea (Motion Sicknes) is far from being such a problem as it used to be. However, sensitive users still suffer a little during abrupt movements, virtual stair walking or events that take place at the edge of the visual field.

    The conclusion after a week with the Gear VR: If you already have one of the new Samsung flagships, you can turn it into an entertaining VR headset for just under 100 euros, which works without annoying cables and expensive additional computers. The videos, panoramic images and games from the Oculus Store are fun, the app offer is already appealing at the start, and there are also numerous free apps to try out.



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