GEAR VR NEWS SILVER TRINKETS
Welcome to an ever-expanding link list of everything cool and useful for VR! You can contribute to this in the comments below by posting links any helpful or cool VR-related products or gear you think should get added. Thanks! And check back often!
ITEM #1) WANDS VR
Description: WANDS video game, in conjunction with the software-based positional-tracking solution UNIVRSES (item #4 below), allows the user’s hand to be tracked, allowing an old unused phone to serve as a pointing device. You can now hold a light-saber, or a gun, knife, or paint brush in a mobile VR system! Wands itself is a game about being a magic user while using your 2nd phone as a magic wand.
ITEM #2) LINEARFLUX LITHIUM ION BATTERY
Description: LINEARFLUX is a 3000mAh-capacity lithium-ion HyperCharger made for power-hungry phones like GearVR’s Note 5 and S6 varieties. It is the only charger capable of providing 3Amps of output, the same as what your Samsung uses when it Fast Charges.
(I purchased one, here is the review: Awesome. It has enough life to charge your phone twice. It has two outputs and can charge two phones simultaneously, an iPhone and an Android, but not two of 1 variety as their is only one iPhone-style plug and 1 Android-style plug. It is slick, sleek, and fun to use. The sticky cloth it comes with doesn’t really work, it sticks for 2-3 seconds and then falls off. The sticky cloth is a gimmick, nothing more.)
ITEM #3) SANDISK CONNECT (SWS4-064G-G46)
Description: SanDisk Connect is a new kind of flash drive re-imagined for phone, tablet, and computer. It allows for extra storage on your smart device via its own on-board Wi-Fi broadcast antenna. Stream HD videos and music to up to 3 devices at the same time!
(I have one of these and here is a short review: it works well in most cases, but it cannot stream 4K videos in real-time without hitches and pauses, so the device’s capabilities at this time aren’t fast enough for SOME 3D 360Videos. I have tried a lot of videos, and about 30% can’t be played, depending on codec and resolution size. But a majority still can. The choice to buy this iteration is left up to you.)
ITEM #4) FEELREAL VR HELMET – SMELL THE GAME!
Description: FEELREAL is a revolutionary multi-sensory VR mask for 3D video games and movies that lets you step into the most immersive, unbelievable and fascinating virtual experience you’ve ever known. It maximizes your virtual reality presence and allows you to explore virtual worlds using smells and simulated effects of wind, heat, water mist, and vibration. The mask portion (sold separately from the larger helmet) attaches under any HMD like Oculus Rift and Gear VR, etc…
The coolest part is it has a SMELL function which creates aromas for video games based on profiles game developers can link from their games to the hardware via templates. The aromas are created by up to 7 cartridge slots that can be interchanged for each game’s template however needed. Game developers then create a profile for their games that work with the FEELREEL device to provide interesting odors and smells at critical points to add Presence and immersion. It also provides burning-hot sensations when you get too close to a heat source such as a fire, or cool wind flows for a mountain breeze.
ITEM #5) UNIVRSES PLAYGROUND POSITIONAL TRACKING
Description: UNIVRSES is a positional-tracking solution for HMD devices. It is software only and cable-free. Stand up, sit down and walk around in VR. No cables, no expensive hardware, no external trackers – just you and your legs. Mobile positional tracking creates new use cases for gaming, education, architecture, business, and industry. Friends at your house can enter your local Playground. See players from anywhere in the world move and use their gadgets. In addition, by utilizing that unused old phone with a broken face, you suddenly have a 3D hand controller with millimeter accuracy.
ITEM #6) VR COVER FOR HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAYS (HMD)
Description: Protect your VR device’s foam innards from getting dirty and oily over time with these HMD Covers. They have covers for GearVR, Oculus Rift CV1, DK2, and even Vive! Some covers are made from two layers of 100% cotton chambray fabric that is soft and comfortable to wear for extended VR sessions. They even have a full-leather cover for the Oculus Rift and the Vive. There is one caveat, however, discovered over time, that using these will reduce your FOV in GearVR by 2-3 degrees due to the thickness pushing your face back a little further than the default cover. But I think it’s worth it for such comfort.
The Gear VR Cover is lightweight and fits the Gear VR perfectly so it stays in place and you can simply leave it on when you carry it around or travel with it. The price is $20 for….
- (GearVR Version):
- 2 Gear VR Covers
- 1 small carrying pouch
ITEM #7) FACESHIFT MOTION CAPTURE
Description: FaceShift is a face-motion-capturing solution for VR. FaceShift Studio’s website explains it thus: “The software analyzes the facial movements of an actor and describes them as a mixture of basic expressions, plus head orientation, and eye gaze. This description is then used to animate virtual characters for use in any situation where facial animation is required, such as movie and game production.” However, FaceShift’s future in its usage for VR is uncertain at this time because it was just purchased by APPLE for an undisclosed amount. The software is so awesome at animating CGI faces from real actor’s expressions that it was recently used in the making of Star Wars VII: the Force Awakens to animate the CGI characters. I would have liked to have seen this used to create a movie-dubbing game that lets you perform scenes from famous movies yourself and then play it back to the original audio track and see how close you can get to the original performance. With Apple, who knows, right?
ITEM #8) THE “PETAL”-VR-WIND FAN
Description: The PETAL is a computer-controlled fan capable of slight or intense gusts of wind precisely aimed via horizontal and vertical slats that can focus the wind where a game needs it to go. It can be powered by USB or wall socket, and it can be daisy-chained together to provide wider/taller coverage areas or greater wind capacity. The controls do need input from the game designer’s, a template if you will, to tell the fan how to work. While riding your VR exercise bike, you could potentially feel the wind gushing around you. While racing a convertible with the top down, you would feel the wind hit your face convincingly. Or stand on a mountain peak and feel the raging wind of nearby windy peaks blasting you.
ITEM #9) REACTIVEGRIP FORCE FEEDBACK GAME CONTROLLER
Description: The ReactiveGrip controller is a new idea in force feedback controls. The four pistons in the handle are mechanically driven and the way they move in different combinations create different sensations between your hands and your brain. This means you feel sensations never before seen in games. For example, when the back and front pistons move in opposite directions up and down, you feel a twisting/wrenching sensation between your palms and your brain. This can be used to simulate how a handgun would feel when fired, or how casting a fishing-pole line would wrench when cast. Swing a ball and chain in game and feel the weight of the ball wrenching and flailing in your grasp.
ITEM #10) THE GLOVEONE – A HAPTIC FEEDBACK SOLUTION
Description: GloveOne is wearable tech that creates the illusion of weight or contact with objects in the virtual space. You could feel your hand contact a basketball, and you could get an idea of its weight, but the glove does not actually press down on you in any way. It’s an illusion created by the combination of vibrations, micro-actuators built into the glove, and the way the brain processes that information to form the sensation of touch and substance to things in the virtual space. SENSATIONS AVAILABLE:
Weight of Virtual Objects (mechanical tricks, not actual weight pressing down)
Interact with buttons and elements (touch a button and feel it click on your finger)
Differentiate textures (smooth, silky, rough, course, granular, soft)
Feel sound waves (put your hand on a virtual speaker and feel the thump of the bass)
Receive haptic warnings and alert events (you’re about to run into/hit an actual wall)
Feel the soft fluttering of butterfly wings near your skin or rain-drop impacts.
ITEM #11) VIRZOOM VR CONTROLLER EXERCISE BIKE
Description: VirZoom is an exercise-bike controller for VR games that lets you turn working out into a something epic and much grander. You are the horse you are riding in VR, your legs are it’s legs. You are a bike rider in the Andes mountains. You are an astronaut on the moon, propelling a new Lunar Glider under your own steam. You always dreamed of having a TV that would only play its shows if you were riding an indoor work-out bike? Well, now you can have that, too. Because VR makes many more things possible that were too difficult in real life …
ITEM #12) FineSource Mini BT Gamepad & Selfie Remote
Description: FineSource Gamepad Lets You Play Games on Your Android Phone. And it Also Lets You Take Pictures From Up to 32 Feet Away. A Super-Lightweight Mini Gamepad!
ITEM #13) ROTO VR CHAIR
Description: Whichever your VR headset, whichever VR game or movie you wish to experience, Roto delivers total immersion thanks to it’s integrated technologies:
Motorized turning add immersion, comfort & cutting-edge experiences.
Spins clockwise and anti-clockwise infinitely without cables tangling.
Explore 360 degrees using Roto’s intelligent head-tracking technology.
Take a ride with Roto’s Theme Park feature (movies & games).
Bring your steering wheel or flight-stick into 360 VR using the Roto VR table.
Roto’s VR rumble seat helps you ‘feel’ the game and enhances your experience.
‘Walk’ in VR, whilst seated comfortably, using the integrated foot pedals.
Choose from a wide range of ergonomically-designed VR gaming chairs.
ITEM #14) PROJECT GOA
Description: Debuting at the 2016 GDC is this hand-tracking hardware for Oculus Rift and GearVR, both. I don’t exactly know why it’s designed like it is, with those big huge holes and that odd faceplate that undoubtedly add tons of weight to the front of the units, and it doesn’t exactly look very cool. But then again, nothing in VR usually does (wink, haha). This tracking system comes with a base, containing the camera, which is used to offload the processing. The device can render hand-tracking with sub-millimeter accuracy. Due out later in 2016, this device boasts the following features:
- 6-Degrees of Freedom (DoF) Positional Tracking of HMD.
- 6DoF Positional Tracking of the 2 Controllers.
- Wireless or Wired with 2ms Latency.
- 120 Degree FOV.
- Sub-millimeter accuracy up to 8ft (234 cubic ft of tracking).
- Offloaded CV Processing.
LINK: PROJECT GOA
ITEM #15) Samsung RINK Controllers
Description: Samsung’s Rink Controllers give your hands and fingers a way to interact with VR using Samsung GearVR. The devices aren’t ready yet, but the anticipation from GearVR users is nearly palpable, despite very few having even heard of these devices yet. One of the cool aspects (depicted above) is the virtual keyboard projected into applications like the Samsung Internet Browser, which will enable typing in virtual reality for the first time. Or close your fingers and open them to cast a spell. The system can detect individual finger positions, allowing for complex and intuitive controls not yet seen on the GearVR. It comes with a base station that sits on top of the GearVR via sticky tape of some kind and monitors the two hand devices for 360-degrees of hand-motion controls.
LINK: SAMSUNG RINK CONTROLLERS
ITEM #16) 6Freeze’s HMD “FREEZE” Heat Sink
Description: 6Freeze’s Heat Sinks give your Samsung S6 or S7 phone an extra long play time without concern for the reviled and oft-seen “Please remove your device and allow it to cool before continuing…” message from bothering you as often or as soon as usual. Right now, the company is small and cannot produce enough supply to fill the demand, but you can check in on their Facebook page and contact them if you are interested. Who knows when their situation might change to allow for more volume? Let them know you want one ASAP!
ITEM #17) Amazon’s Android Bluetooth Keyboard
Description: Amazon’s Android Bluetooth Keyboard allows users of GearVR to navigate Samsung Internet Browser, quickly enter locations into Google Street View, and even instantly take photos of your games and applications (except for Netflix) with the press of a button. This is the easiest way to do “Screen Capture” for GearVR as you don’t have to leave your game to set it up. Just click the button. It is quite small; this can be held in your hands or placed on your desk while you are in VR. With this, using the GearVR’s internet browser is amazingly fluid and makes writing a document or surfing the web in VR much easier and more fun.