By Casey Jones
Throughout the last few years, virtual reality (VR) has reared its head in many areas of the media outlet with many companies releasing their own versions.
The list includes the Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, PlayStation VR, and other less-known headsets.
Recently, I purchased the Samsung Galaxy S7, which came with a free Gear VR headset as a promotion during March.
So far, I have already spent countless hours on it just enjoying the experience.
The headset works by placing the phone, limited to the latest Galaxy phones, inside of the headset in front of corrective lenses which relieve the strain of trying to focus on something so close to the face.
When first worn, the phone goes through an installation process that places an app for the Oculus onto the phone where you can download many different VR apps.
The apps give a multitude of different experiences; with GrooVR, you can relax and listen to music while drifting through a psychedelic river.
Oculus Video provides different viewing options for streaming 360° videos, as well as normal two-dimensional videos with the option of placing yourself inside of a movie theater, home theater, a theater on the moon, or just in a void.
This is the experience I generally look forward to while using the headset. The video quality is fantastic, and it feels like you’re really there.
Individual pixels can easily be made out because of the proximity to your eyes, but it doesn’t take away from the experience.
It’s fairly disappointing when you reach for the popcorn sitting next to you and instead punch a table.
Despite the video quality, there are many obvious downfalls for the Gear VR, the main one being an issue with overheating.
Since the system uses so much of the phone’s processor power, it should be obvious that there would be problems, but each VR session is limited to around thirty minutes before you receive a warning about overheating affecting performance.
This could be an easy fix with automated fans, but Samsung removed the fans in the latest version to reduce weight and relieve strain on the users head and neck.
It’s a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t work out for the long-term user.
The only real way to mitigate this effect is to stay in a cool area or sit in front of a fan, and both can be annoying while trying to enjoy your stay in virtual reality.
However, this still provides as a nice transition for people unsure of virtual reality, so they can only risk paying $100 instead of dishing out $400+ and being disappointed with the experience.
I sincerely hope this issue is not apparent in the more expensive VR headsets.