Now Get Virtual Reality Via Your Smartphone

Samsung is moving virtual reality out of the developer market and into the hands of consumers.

For a while, virtual reality has been a product of enthusiasts and developers. But Samsung and Oculus have partnered to announce the Gear VR, a mobile virtual reality headset. It's consumer-grade wear priced at a reasonable $99 and can be used with any of Samsung's 2015 line of smartphones (the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, S6 edge +, S6, and S6 edge).

The capabilities of virtual reality are really beginning to come together in exciting ways, says Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. Virtual reality as an innovation is ready to take the leap from enthusiasts to consumer-grade technology.

"A number of technologies [are] coming together: infinite computing, very cheap high-resolution cameras, machine-learning capabilities, low-latency/high-bandwidth networks. All of these things are coming together to reinvent the virtual world experience."

Some movie studios are even converting their films to fit VR. However, they probably won't be as immersive as we'd like. But the British firm Alchemy VR seems to be working on a virtual reality natural history film with the voice from Planet Earth, David Attenborough.

Oculus and Samsung have done something here: taking VR and making it an accessory for your phone. So long as you have a current Samsung smartphone, VR is as attainable as buying a $99 headset. There's a chance virtual reality might actually go mainstream.


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: Charley Gallay / Stringer/ Getty

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
Keep reading Show less

Trauma in childhood leads to empathy in adulthood

It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Mind & Brain

  • A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
  • The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
  • The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.