What is this “virtual reality” everybody is talking about?

This weekend Samsung announced the launch of its new smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The launch was however overshadowed by their even bigger focus on the Gear VR headset and Gear 360 camera.

The audience at their event in Barcelona watched a 360-degree video of people playing freestyle soccer on the streets of Barcelona. After the video, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on stage and enthusiastically talked about the future of virtual reality.

Now wait a minute, we were still getting used to the idea of wearing our phones on our wrists, now everybody is already talking about something else?

What exactly is this “virtual reality”?

Basically, virtual reality (VR) is technology that makes you feel like you are in a different location. You thus have a 360-degree view of the area around you.

Side note: According to Samsung, it is the closest humans have gotten to teleportation.

What is the difference between VR and 3D?

When watching a movie in 3D it feels like the imagery is coming out of the screen and almost coming towards you. That makes the experience feel slightly more “real”. If you watch a movie using VR it feels as if you are part of the movie and not just watching it.

What will I use VR for?

Virtual reality is without any doubt going to change the face of gaming. With VR you are not playing as a character, you are the character. You have a 360-degree view of everything inside the game.

VR also offers a completely different experience when watching video content like movies.

From a business perspective, the possibilities for VR are endless, from offering customers the opportunity to explore products before purchasing them, to offering virtual reality training for staff.

What is the Samsung Gear VR?

Samsung teamed up with Oculus to bring us the Gear VR headset. The Gear VR allows virtual reality to become, well, a reality. If you want to enter the virtual world you simply have to slip your Galaxy smartphone into the Gear VR headset.

The Samsung Gear VR is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S7 and S7 Edge.

Check out the video below to see just some of the things you can experience on the Gear VR:


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