Using your smartphone as a virtual reality screenSince virtual reality became public many have desired to have a complete virtual reality experience but in certain ways, kits such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive are too expensive, some prefer to go to conventions where virtual reality is being promoted and stand in a long queue in order to have a taste of this experience. Many companies have exploited most of the potential of virtual reality; one example is Sony which now presents its PlayStation VR, an accessory for PlayStation 4 which we can use to enjoy a virtual reality environment with the use of special glasses, a motion camera compatible with PlayStation 4 and a compatible game.

Conferences in which companies reveal their virtual reality prototypes have been very common in big videogame fairs such as the E3, Paris Game Week, Tokyo Game Show and even Microsoft or Sony fairs. In these fairs, large quantities of virtual reality prototypes are presented and with a little bit of luck we we could have a chance to experience virtual reality without any cost, however we don’t have to go through that in order to have a full experience of virtual reality. Here in Vofeel we’ll show you some alternatives to enjoying virtual reality at a very low cost.

Virtual reality glasses

There are easily accessible virtual reality head sets in the market which enable us to use our smartphones as the screens’ projection. How does it work? The glasses have got special lenses that simulate the projection of an enlarged view, the smartphone sensors are what gives it the precision to know in what direction we are moving and the apps we download will maintain a double screen in order that each lens of the glasses have a unique view for each eye, though it should be or will always be the same image, depending on the app we find in the app stores.

Samsung Gear VR (150 Euros)

Maybe the best bet to enjoy virtual reality but in a not so cheap way is the Samsung helmet version, one of the best designs presented so far, adaptable to most smartphones hence making it universal. This virtual reality helmet weighs 300g, it includes batteries, an aux exit for headphones and micro USB ports and USB sort C. The belt it includes is to simulate and strengthen the idea of it being a helmet and not to have a problem using it any other way.

VR Case (15 Euros)

When it comes to fulfilling all of the users requirements at a very low cost we find ourselves with the virtual reality glasses from VR case, inspite of it costing very little, it fulfills the lens functions; only insert your smartphone and you can begin enjoying the experience of virtual reality. This model also includes belts and a section where you can insert your smarphone, but it isn’t universal; only smartphones that measure between 3.5″ inches to 6″inches can be placed in this section, however if it doesn’t cover all that’s needed we could have problems with one of the lenses.

Construct your own virtual reality glasses

One of the biggest proposals that Google presented to the virtual reality market was to create a small prototype called Google CardBoard VR, in which simple pieces of cardboard and cheap special glasses would carry out all the functions of a virtual reality headset. There already exists in the market finished CardBoards, we only need to buy them and start enjoying them, personalize it how we want and we have our own virtual reality helmet, nevertheless Google gives you the opportunity to design it by yourself.

In the beginning Google released to the market a small envelope with all the tools to create this economic virtual reality helmet; pieces of cardboard, economic special glasses and corresponding instructions on how to assemble these glasses. On the internet you can also find instructions on how to create a CardBoard with the same Google design, it is as simple as downloading a model of how to trim the cardboards, buying a lens of 4mm with special augmentation and following the instructions step by step.

Apps for smartphones

In the app stores we will find many apps that work with augmented reality, the way to indentify if an app manages augmented reality is, if it is double screened and if it can also move in the direction of whichever way you turn. Since Google shared in Android the DSK of CardBoard it’s been seen infinities of examples, prototypes, videogames and interaction with users that have a CardBoard or a virtual reality helmet. At the CardBoard launch, Google also created a special section of videogames and apps that perfectly work with virtual reality either with the glasses or with another companys’ helmet.

Estudiante de Ingeniería de Sistemas en el Instituto Universitario Politécnico Santiago Mariño en Venezuela. Redactor freelance para VOFEEL international desde 2016. Amante de la música clásica y de la tecnología. [English]: System engineering student at Santiago Mariño University. Freelancer writer for Vofeel since 2016. Classical music and technology lover.

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