I have owned the Samsung Gear VR headset for almost two months now. Even though I don’t use the virtual reality headset for several hours a day like I did at first, seeing the reactions from people using it for the first time is almost as entertaining as when I first put it on. I have bringing my headset to Starbucks and, of course, there are people who take interest.
Perhaps the most memorable moment was when I let a middle-aged photographer watch Jurrasic Park 3D in the Oculus Cinema IMAX theater. He actually started crying and said, “Is this a dream?” Three days later, I saw him with his own Gear VR headset at the same Starbucks. He said he purchased the Galaxy Note 4 and the Gear VR for over $1000 and noted it was the best money he ever spent.
I let my friend Kai try it as well. He wasn’t very impressed with the 360 degree videos which he thought looked like VHS clips. He was right. But when I immersed him into a 360 degree picture taken on Mars, he couldn’t stop screaming, “Wow!” He also was very impressed playing Dreadhalls, but it made him a little dizzy.
I haven’t actually filmed anybody using the Gear VR for the first time, but found some fun clips on YouTube.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge variety of apps to show off to people yet. One would think that Milk VR, Samsung’s 360 degree video service, would be the showing point for the Gear VR. Unfortunately, most of the videos are just awful and harm the reputation of an otherwise excellent device. However, one can download videos through third party websites and put the videos in the proper 360 Degree folder on the Galaxy Note 4.
It’s quite interesting that many technology lovers that I have run into still don’t know about the Gear VR. Samsung obviously hasn’t advertised the device a lot since it is still considered a developer’s edition. However, this is a huge mistake; even though the Gear VR has some flaws, it’s good enough to produce emotional reactions from people who use the device for the first time.
Samsung has just started airing commercials for the Gear VR. This past week, they announced that the virtual reality headset is now available at Best Buy. However, Samsung needs to push the Gear VR a lot more into the hearts of consumers before their brilliant device ends up like Google Glass.