Smartphones Doubling as VR Headsets with Host of Apps Available

Published Date : Jun 13, 2016

If you want to give virtual reality a try, you need not spend hundreds of dollars on the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset. The iPhone or Android handset that you carry with you everywhere you go now serves as a virtual reality device as well. Even more so if you pair it with the very economical Google Cardboard headset. This headset uses the phone as a screen and is compatible with both iOS and Android. 

If you are on a beginner’s level with virtual reality on your smartphone, these are some of the leading apps that you might want to explore. These are regular iOS and Android apps and do not require the Gear VR mobile headset by Samsung. 

360-degree Videos on YouTube: This app works on both iOS and Android and is free. This very obvious choice is extremely excited about virtual reality and 360-degree videos and hence offers an ever growing portfolio of videos ranging from music to wildlife. One can use the terms “VR” and “360” to find the best options.

Google Cardboard-compatible Apps on the Rise: This iOS and Android compatible app is one of the first downloads by anyone who owns a Google Cardboard headset. This serves as an introduction to what all is on offer, right from zipping over the Arctic to taking a global overview with Google Earth. There are new apps that are compatible with Cardboard that are being released each week.

Storytelling with Vrse: There are an increasing number of documentary film makers who are thrilled about the prospects presented by virtual reality that will allow viewers to actually feel their films. Vrse is one of the best places to begin since it is not only suited for fun shorts and music videos but can also be used to shoot serious videos of various issues around the world.

VR as a News Format with NYT VR: Along with firms such as RYOT and Vrse as well as publications such as the Guardian, the New York Times is also exploring its options with virtual reality as a format for news. The VR reports are showcased via the app and can take viewers from the surface of Pluto to the deep end of the Pacific Ocean.