Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Samsung’s Virtual Reality


Everyone at Biff Bam Pop knows that Granny is severely tech challenged, but that doesn’t stop me from loving gadgets. In fact, I was eager to find out everything about the new VR equipment for my Samsung Galaxy 7 phone. I quickly headed over to the Deptford Mall Verizon Store to learn everything about virtual reality. Was I wowed by my investigation? Grab your Samsung phone and follow me.

Gear VR

I’ve been catching the commercials showing people trying out the virtual reality gear by Samsung and I wanted to know what the big hoopla was about so I headed over to the Verizon store inside the Deptford Mall in Deptford NJ. Luckily for me, the salesperson who greeted me was very helpful. Jenna Calascione was not only happy to explain how this new-fangled contraption worked, but she offered to give me a demonstration. I have a feeling Jenna knew how tech challenged I was when I asked her to show me the “Thingy.”


Jenna downloaded an app from the Oculus Store onto the store’s Galaxy Samsung phone before strapping the Gear VR headset on me. I was surprised at how comfortable it felt on my head. Jenna had picked a pool party scene for me to view and I was suddenly in IMAX heaven. It was unbelievable and, I truly felt like I was there at that pool party, sans the heat and sunburn. The photo was crisp and when I moved my heard in different directions, I was able to see more of the pool and the happy bathers.


I was curious as to how the system worked, but as Jenna explained how the Gear 360 films the scenes through front and rear lenses that each capture in 180 degrees horizontally and vertically, I was suddenly reminded of the old Stereoscope Viewer and special photos that I had at home. The Stereoscope works because the photos, which were taken with a camera having duel lens, are seen as a 3 D image when viewed through the viewer. It’s cool but nothing like what I was experiencing in the store.


The Gear 360 and the Gear VR enables you to watch just about anything from photos, movies, games and even a roller coaster ride that you download from the Oculus Store. There are games like Minecraft, EVE, and GunJack with new games being added all the time. The Gear VR puts you in the middle of the action.


Every experience is recorded in high resolution video and 25.9 MP Photos. The only drawback to the 360 is that you have to buy into the Samsung universe with a Samsung phone and the Gear VR.   I know a few people on my Christmas list with Samsung phones that would be very happy with the Gear VR and, for my husband who loves to film just about everything that has to do with nature, I think he’s ready for both the Gear 360 and the Gear VR.

At the Verizon Store inside the Deptford Mall, the Gear VR runs about 100 dollars with tax and this is good if you’re just interested in downloading videos and games from the Oculus Store onto your Samsung Galaxy phone, but if you want to make your own films, then the Gear 360 runs around 329.00 dollars. The future is here and it looks to be a lot of fun even for us tech challenged grannies.

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