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."

By the end of 2015, we might see VR come into the consumer spotlight thanks to the Gear VR. It has price going for it as well as accessibility — Samsung does own 26 percent of the mobile phone market share, second only to Apple. The next piece is developer support, which includes software in the form of games and movies, and the Gear VR has both of those boxes checked with three games set to launch as “made for the Gear VR” and partnerships with Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, and many others.

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

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less