MergeVR is the newcomer in the virtual reality for mobile industry with their newly announced VR headset, strictly for mobile use. MergeVR will be available for both Android and iOS mobile devices, including larger smartphones. MergeVR is going to be available alongside its VR Motion Controller and it’s going to be the cheapest that we’ve seen until now, except for Google Cardboard. According to MergeVR, the retail price before tax of the US edition of the VR headset will be only $129, which seems like a pretty good bargain.
Specifics of MergeVR have not bee fully disclosed, but the company says that there will be millions of devices compatible, as it works on the same basis as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR. Merge VR runs on proprietary software that taps into the content that is already available for VR platforms from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, content that includes 360 videos that are available on Youtube. Although MergeVR doesn’t bring anything new to the market, it is a better alternative to Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Project Morpheus and maybe HTC Vive when it comes to pricing and accessories.
Since the MergeVR comes with a motion controller, it might be a bit harder to use than Google Cardboard, but the creators promise a unique user experience. The motion controller is a wireless gadget that offers 9 inputs, including a thumbstick, 9 axis sensor and integration with upcoming games and apps created on the Unity 3D engine. The VR headset itself is rather bulky and blocky, but that’s more a trade-off for the cheap price that it comes with. If you can save $70 and use this headset with any smartphone of your choosing, it’s already a sign that this will beat Samsung’s exclusivist Gear VR. Gear VR is only available for the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S6, so that’s a pretty big investment one needs to make.
The downside and another trade-off is that as far as we can tell, the motion sensors are all located in the motion controller, so moving your head won’t result in any sort of immersive experiences when using the VR headset. Still, the aim behind MergeVR is to make virtual reality accessible and easy to use and it might be easier to get used to if you use a motion controller. That way, people will most likely avoid getting nauseated. The MergeVR should be made available sometime this Fall, so keep your eyes peeled.