How to Experience VR on your smartphone

Like 3D TV, you may not have actually tried out Virtual Reality (VR) just yet. It’s becoming a growing trend, especially with gamers and now with businesses too as online training and distanced interaction becomes more commonplace.

However, most still don’t realise that there’s no need for expensive equipment or big cash outlays in order to get involved in virtual reality. With simple tools and apps, you can actually experience VR on your very own smartphone. In this article, we explain 5 simple steps which will let you start enjoying VR right now.

5 steps to follow to experience VR on your smartphone

1. Check if your smartphone is VR enabled

This is easy enough to do and pretty much all modern smartphones will be able to meet the video requirements. However, if you want to be sure – just watch VR content on your smartphone on YouTube and you’ll soon see whether your phone or the app you’re using can support it. On YouTube this is especially easy as, even without a headset, you can hold your phone outstretched and view around a new and far-flung destination.

VR simply uses sensors in your phone to detect which way you’re holding your phone, then you can freely explore the video.

2. Get hold of a compatible headset

Despite what you might have thought from reading about intricate full bodysuits and specially designed treadmills, an expensive Oculus Rift or HTC Vive is actually not actually necessary to experience VR.

All you need to do is invest in a standard headset that you can slip your phone into, to make viewing this content more immersive. Some of the more affordable options include the Google Cardboard. If you like DIY, you can also choose to make your own, but this will involve the use of lenses and magnets. We’ve done it before here at Coolsmartphone.

If you have the means to invest a little bit more, there are various levels of VR headsets to suit your budget, including brands such as Shinecon and Samsung Gear VR.

3. Search for relevant content

As we mentioned above, there is a lot of free content available to view online. This includes free 3D videos on YouTube, which have been shot in a certain format that allows you to feel completely immersed in the experience while you are watching it, even if it isn’t technically VR.

The YouTube VR icon

Some of the most fun videos to watch that we could find include the range of National Geographic 360 degree videos, as well as some very innovative roller coaster rides, that make you feel like you’re really defying gravity. Just look for the icon above and “Virtual Reality” in your search.

4. Download a VR app

To take things a step further, you can download a variety of VR apps, including the Google Cardboard app, VR One Cinema, Rollercoaster VR and Titans of Space, which takes you right out into the universe, where you can learn all about different stars and planets.

If you’re a gamer, there are a variety of free VR games that you can download. If you like a game with higher stakes, which we’re sure you do, you can also immerse yourself in an online casino environment with an app, which certainly seems to be the future of VR when it comes to gaming.

5. Start having fun!

Once you’ve checked your phone, got your headset sorted out, and have taken a look at what kinds of VR content you’d like to engage with, it’s now time to have fun! Some pointers to note include making sure that you have placed your phone correctly into the headset, so that it doesn’t fall out. No one likes to have to fix a phone unnecessarily, or deal with a cracked screen!

It might seem obvious, but it’s also important to make sure that you are in a safe environment before you put on your headset. This includes checking your surroundings if you plan on moving around. Otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy being transported to another virtual realm.

Final thoughts on experiencing VR on your smartphone

It’s incredible to think that with all of the advanced VR technology being developed, that experiencing this much hyped technology can be as simple as placing your phone into a headset. Some of this technology might still be expensive, but as products like the Google Cardboard show, it is becoming more and more accessible to the wider market.

As we’ve covered, there are some simple steps to follow before you can fully immerse yourself, which includes checking whether your phone is VR enabled, purchasing/making a headset and downloading or viewing all the relevant content. However, once you have all the tools at your disposal, it’s time to have fun, while staying safe and not bumping into anything in your home while you’re watching, of course!