Here it goes for the first article on this blog!
I’m currently the owner of a new VR headset the HOMIDO V2 www.homido.com/en. For those of you who aren’t much familiar with VR yet, it consists of a fake reality in which you can dive with the help of a VR headset. We basically find 2 types of VR. One that mostly consist of 360 videos or static pictures (mostly consider as a “fake vr”) and one that consist of actual 3D modeling with which you can interact. Obviously that kind of 3D modelling opens up a lot more opportunities and makes the immersion greater. However it does require a much greater processing power and a longer development phase. We can think about HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Both of these headset requires a high spec PC. On the other hand, the “fake” VR is accessible to about anyone with a smartphone. Of course the processing power of a phone is no where near the one of a gaming PC. That being said, the experience you can get from smartphone VR can still be very enjoyable, especially when you consider the prices.
Smartphone VR headset can vary from a couple box (Google cardboard) to couple hundreds of dollars while the PC version are all above 600$.
As for how to make VR work on your smartphone you need two things: a VR headset and some apps. The available apps are mostly basic yet fun. You can find games, Google cardboard official app where you can fly around in Google earth or watch 360 degree YouTube videos, a multitude of 3rd party video players which quality varies greatly, some of which only recreate a cinema sensation by projecting your normal video on a distant screen. You can also go for Google Street view app where you can access the famous street view directly from your headset. I haven’t yet come around something mind blowing but as I said earlier, developer need to take into consideration the limited processing power available on smartphone.
One big negative point is how hot my phone becomes hot. It’s seriously burning after only 10 minutes of VR. That might only be the case with my phone as I haven’t tried any other phone. Another negative point was the actual screen quality. I could see all the pixels. Keep in mind that the quality relies in your phone screen. The greater your phone screen is, the greater the VR experience will be. I guess those were more complaints about my own phone (OnePlus 2).
One big negative point about the headset itself is the lenses that came with it. I saw a lot of reviews saying it had very clear lenses. Well that was not my experience! The lenses came very very dirty. I could not even clean them all and they remained dirty for the whole experience. Also the cover of the headset, on which you attach your phone, only holds by a magnet which seems quite weak. I have had no accident with it but it just made me feel a little scared when I was looking down.
On the positive side, I love the case in which they came. A beautiful and solid case to protect the headset. Well done HOMIDO! I also like the build quality. You can feel the plastic but it’s still a very solid and working product. It’s very comfortable and very adjustable! I don’t even have to wear my prescription glasses when using it and I can still see very clearly. Also, it’s quite light. Again, the weight of your smartphone is going to add to the total weight so keep that in mind.
So……should you buy it. If you want to try “fake” VR, look at 360 video on YouTube and play very basic games, yes! You could try out smartphone VR with cheaper google cardboard before. If the you think its something you would enjoy on a regular basis you should definitively go for the HOMIDO headset. Cheap, good build quality and they offer a very solid experience.
I’ll be adding pictures soon!
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