Virtual reality is now available in the UK for less than £100 after Samsung announced the Gear VR headset has gone on sale in its online store.
The technology giant’s virtual reality (VR) headset is the result of a partnership with Facebook-owned VR firm Oculus, and Gear VR is one of the first to be aimed at consumers rather than developers.
The headset requires a smartphone to be slotted into it to provide the viewing screen, and is compatible with Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge devices.
Once in place, apps running on the phone are used to create a virtual reality experience – giving the impression the wearer has entered a virtual world.
Samsung’s president of IT and mobile, JK Shin, said: “We see virtual reality as the next computing platform, and we are thrilled to partner with Oculus on Gear VR to set the standard for mobile VR and bring this revolutionary product to consumers.”
Virtual reality has grown rapidly as a technology category in the last three years, sparked by a crowd-funding campaign by Oculus for its first prototype.
Since then, as well as Samsung, Microsoft, HTC and PlayStation have all created their own headsets, each of which are due to be released to consumers some time in the next year. High-end video games are also being developed to work on the platform.
Google has also created Cardboard, a free, self-assemble VR viewing device that also fits a smartphone and can be used with VR apps on the firm’s Google Play Store.
Samsung confirmed the Gear VR would be available for £80 from the Samsung Shop, with retailers including O2 set to begin stocking the headset early in 2016.