Virtual reality at MWC


We take a look at the latest in the VR world...
Virtual reality at MWC

One of the big things at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) is virtual reality. We’ve seen new headsets that work with your phone, new tech that’ll make virtual experiences more immersive and even some gadgets that’ll let you create your own VR content.

Virtual reality headsets

If you’re going to be taken to a virtual world, you’ll need a virtual reality headset, and there were three at MWC 2016 that stood out to us.

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung’s Gear VR has been around for a while now – the first version of it was released with the Galaxy Note 4 in September 2014 – but it’s getting a big relaunch alongside the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy S7

With the Gear VR, your Samsung Galaxy S7 provides the screen and computing power. Just plug the phone into the front of the headset and a pair of built-in lenses will focus the screen into a 3D image. Then the sensors in the phone track your head movements, letting you explore the virtual world.

There are a couple of things that make the Gear VR really great. First, the screen of the Galaxy S7 is stunning, so you get a really detailed virtual experience. Secondly, it comes free with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge when you pre-order the phones.

LG 360 VR

With the launch of the LG G5, the South Korean company decided to muscle in on Samsung’s VR party with its own smartphone-powered virtual reality headset.

LG 360 VR MWC 2016

Unlike the Gear VR, however, the brand new LG 360 VR has its own screens and sensor built in. That means this headset is much smaller and lighter than anything we’ve seen before. In fact, it’s so light that the goggles simply slot over your ears like glasses, there are no straps needed.

The LG 360 VR isn’t quite as immersive as other virtual reality headsets we’ve seen, but the fact that it’s small and light makes it much more practical.

HTC Vive

We’ve been hearing a lot about HTC Vive for about a year now. And at MWC 2016, we finally go to see the finished version.

HTC Vive MWC 2016

HTC Vive is a truly high-end virtual reality gadget. It’s made up of a big, sensor-filled headset, a pair of laser beacons that track your every move and a pair of handheld controllers. Together, this system lets you walk through the virtual world and interact with virtual objects like nothing else.

To power the experience, you’ll need to plug the headset into a pretty powerful computer, but if you’re into gaming, the cost of Vive and a new PC is probably worth it.

HTC has announced Vive will go on sale from the start of April and will cost USD$799 (around £570).

Virtual reality tech

While the virtual reality headsets have been grabbing the headlines, MWC 2016 has seen plenty of other technology that’ll help make the VR experience better.

Samsung Gear 360

One thing that will make virtual reality better is the ability to easily create your own content. So alongside the Gear VR and Galaxy S7, Samsung’s been showing off a new Gear 360 camera at MWC 2016.

Samsung Gear 360 MWC 2016

This little gadget has two cameras facing in opposite directions that each record video through ultra-wide 180⁰ lenses. Clever software then merges the two video streams into a single 360⁰ video. You can broadcast that immersive video live to anyone with a Gear VR, or you can save it to watch back yourself. It’s the next level of home movies.

LG 360 CAM

LG 360 CAM MWC 2016

Not to be outdone, LG unveiled its own 360⁰ camera. The LG 360 CAM works in exactly the same way as the Gear 360 above, only it’s designed for the LG G5 and LG 360 VR.

That means you can easily record immersive home movies that you can share with other virtual reality fans or watch on your own LG 360 VR.

The Eye Tribe virtual reality eye tracking

All virtual reality headsets share one problem – you have to move your whole head to look around. In the real world, we do a lot of looking just by moving our eyes, but no VR headset can track eye movements yet.

That’s where The Eye Tribe’s new tech comes in. The company has developed a gadget that works with the Samsung Gear VR to track your eye movements, making the virtual world feel more natural.

The Eye Tribe virtual reality eye tracking

The tech even saves battery and computer power. As the software knows where you’re looking, it tells the computer not to render everything else in high definition, saving a lot of power without affecting your experience.

Virtual reality is all set to take off in 2016. Tell us if you’re tempted by it and what you’d really want from the virtual world in the comments below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Virtual reality headsets were everywhere we looked at Mobile World Congress. Is this the year that i
This could be the year that virtual reality finally makes it out to the world at large but what bene
There was a big focus on virtual reality at Mobile World Congress. Let's take a look at two of the f

20 August, 2018
The next Sony flagship smartphone is coming soon. Details have not been announced...
16 August, 2018
AI is set to change mobile photography. We look at the technology, and how phones...
14 August, 2018
What does the next Apple iPhone have in store? With plenty of iPhone rumours doing...
14 August, 2018
Sony’s Xperia phones are among the best Android handsets on the market - but which...
13 August, 2018
Samsung are back with perhaps their most exciting release of the summer – the Samsung...

9 August, 2018
Samsung has revealed the new super powerful Note9 at its Unpacked event in New York....
8 August, 2018
All about Google’s latest version of Android, and some exciting features.We take...
7 August, 2018
Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event takes place in New York on 9 August, 2018. Here's...
30 July, 2018
The next Samsung is coming some. There are a lot of rumours doing the rounds right...
23 July, 2018
We’re here to whet your appetite with a few of the rumours doing the rounds about...
29 June, 2018
We’re well aware of Amazon and Netflix in the world of entertainment streaming, but...
5 June, 2018
Apple’s annual developer’s conference (WWDC 2018) has kicked off, and the keynote...
16 May, 2018
Monqi is a unique version of Android, designed for children. Through an accompanying...
15 May, 2018
Honor has launched the Honor 10 smartphone at an exclusive event in central London....
12 April, 2018
If you find yourself confused by the mention of 5G, don't worry. We answer any questions...
9 April, 2018
Check out the brilliant new Sony Xperia XZ2, out now at Carphone Warehouse. It’s...
27 March, 2018
Huawei has just announced its new P20 smartphone series at its Paris event today....