Almost two years since it was first unveiled, Google has made its Cardboard VR headset available to buy in the UK. A single Cardboard can be bought from the Play Store for 15, or a pack of two is on sale for 25. Alternatively, if you'd rather not pay 15 for a piece of folded cardboard, Google has also released instructions to make your own. Almost two years since it was first unveiled, Google has made its Cardboard VR headset available to buy in the UK. The headset is made from corrugated cardboard folded to form a no-frills enclosure.
The new Samsung HMD Odyssey virtual reality headset will run on Microsoft's Mixed Reality platform. While compelling virtual and augmented reality content remains in short supply, there's no shortage of headsets flooding this still tepid market. On Tuesday, Samsung planned to take the wraps off a new high-end VR headset called the HMD Odyssey, which boasts built-in microphones, position sensors and AKG headphones. The company also claims to have the "highest resolution in the industry" thanks to dual AMOLED displays that are commonly found in smartphones. The $499 HMD Odyssey, which was to be revealed at Microsoft's Mixed Reality demo here, is available for pre-order Tuesday and will begin shipping in early November.
OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone company that promises premium quality smartphones for a fraction of the price of an iPhone, will launch its 2016 flagship device next month with a virtual reality event -- offering fans the chance to view it for free using its new Loop VR headset. OnePlus claimed a world first in 2015 when it launched the OnePlus 2 with a virtual reality event, handing out 30,000 cardboard VR headsets to fans for free. This year it will once again offer viewers the chance to watch the launch of the phone -- expected to be called the OnePlus 3 -- in virtual reality, but it is now offering fans the chance to get their hands on an upgraded VR headset called the Loop. Looking very similar to Samsung's Gear VR headset, the Loop headset will be sent to the first 30,000 people who register their interest on the company's website. As well as being able to see the launch of the new smartphone in virtual reality, the company says it will be the first time anyone will be able to buy the new phone in VR.
Virtual reality (VR) is far from a new concept -- the term was coined in 1987 by computer scientist Jaron Lanier. But the technology hit a critical milestone this year, as high-end VR gadgets are now widely available to the masses for the first time. The Facebook-owned Oculus VR's Rift headset began shipping on March 28, after first appearing as a Kickstarter project in 2012. HTC's Vive headset launched on April 5. Samsung's Gear VR goggles, based on the same software as the Rift, was released in November. Each of these devices enable experiences that are some mixture of immersive, strange and awkward.
Samsung is trying to dazzle consumers by adding more entertainment and educational options to its Gear virtual reality headset as it attempts to turn a technological curiosity into a cultural phenomenon. The new selections announced Wednesday include "Nomads," a three-dimensional video series examining different lifestyles in remote parts of the world. There's also an upcoming video game called "Tactera" that requires players to plot a battlefield strategy on a holographic tabletop. They join a menu of more than 250 apps designed for the Gear VR since its consumer model was released nearly six months ago. Oculus, a Facebook-owned virtual reality specialist that helped design the Gear, says more than 1 million people are now using the 100 headset.