With VR becoming more popular through the success of the Oculus Rift, more and more VR options are rapidly becoming available – with Sony, Microsoft, and other third party companies joining the fray. Not only is there a range to choose from, they are also expanding to other platforms. From PC to console to even your mobile phone; that’s where the Immerse VR Headset comes in. This is a cheaper alternative to the bigger companies which might be what you need to step into the virtual reality world without running out of cash in the real one.
This $40 (£30) headset for smartphones looks the part — similar to an Oculus Rift — and features an eye cushion to fit comfortably on your face, adjustable strap, and adjustable lenses to fit almost anyone’s face shape and head structure. It is compatible with most smart phones with a retractable holder for phones between 3.5″ and 5.7″, which is pretty much any phone in today’s market, as long as it can download and run VR apps (sorry Windows users!). There are two slots on either side of the headset for headphones, which shouldn’t get in the way of the straps and is recommended for the immersion. There’s also extra pads to keep your phone in place in case the current ones wear off. And that’s the whole kit, simple and ready to go. Here are some photos of the headset in and out of use:
While it doesn’t compare to the technology used in much more expensive VR headsets, this headset uses the technology of the phone, so the performance varies based on how powerful your phone is. I was testing it with a Sony Xperia M2 Dual and the apps ran fine, but looking around to move the point of view was very slow and prevented me from being able to use some apps. Was this related to the headset? I don’t think so. However, the possibility of your phone not being compatible is something to keep in mind; it might be best to download and try a VR app before buying the headset. A big problem with the set up is actually being able to interact with your phone. Unless you are in an app that only uses head movement, or you’re watching a video, the only way to interact with the screen is to open the flap and access your phone that way. I’m not too sure what they could do to fix this, but it does cause a disconnect and can ruin the experience if your app requires the touchscreen at any one time.
For a mobile phone, I don’t see much wrong with this headset and even the price isn’t half bad. I would say that after experiencing other forms of VR, if you’re looking for a true VR gaming experience, avoid this and go for the more expensive alternatives. However, if it’s movie watching and 360 video viewing you are looking for, then I couldn’t recommend this enough. The better your phone is, the better the experience, too. As long as your phone is smaller than 5.7″, overtime this headset should become a more useful product. Is it worth purchasing over some others like the Google Cardboard? It’s certainly sturdier and nicer looking than a cardboard version, but it does the same job and costs less so it’s really down to personal preference. If you have the money to spend, I believe the Immerse Virtual Reality Headset is a good buy to step into the world of VR.