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Posted by drew10 on Sep 22, 2015
Immerse VR Headset

Immerse VR Headset

VR is massive at the moment; it’s kinda like the early nineties all over again. Once hailed as Holy Grail for video games it has taken the best part of 20 years for this particular train to come around again. Whether it is Oculus Rift or Sony’s Playstation VR, the world of Virtual Reality has never been closer than it is now. The main drawback for either of these systems is price and this is something that may restrict many users from ever really adopting the technology in full.

However there is a solution for the more frugal amongst us. Thumbs Up have released the Immerse VR headset that works with your mobile phone to give you the full VR experience for a mere £29.99. Simply pop your phone into the headpiece and use one of the many VR apps that are now available on the app store and hey presto a full VR headset at a fraction of the cost. Well that’s the idea, how does it do in practice?

First impressions upon unboxing were pretty positive, the Immerse certainly looked the part although closer inspection showed off the plastic as a little cheap but overall it looked like a VR headset. The instructions state that the unit will fit phones for up to 5.7” so I gleefully installed the 2 free VR apps from the store, (you can use the immerse with tons of VR apps and games as well as 3D movies) folded down the front flap and attempted to slip my Samsung Note 4 into the holder.

Trying to get the Note 4 into the holder produced a couple of quite glaring issues. Firstly, the holder has a sliding section to allow for the different sized phones and this became very fiddly when trying to install a phone the size of the Note 4, despite what the instructions claimed. After some messing about I managed to get the phone into the holder and this is when the second issue presented itself. Where the holder clasps the phone it presses directly onto the off switch of the Note 4 causing it to constantly reset, obviously a bit of an issue. After having a play with the extra soft pads that come with the headset I managed to get the phone to stay on and run one of the apps.immerse-virtual-reality-headset

The app I played was Rollercoaster VR which, perhaps unsurprisingly has you sat on a roller coaster. The overall effect is excellent the accelerometers in the phone telling it which way your head is moving and adjusting the image accordingly. However, the image was pretty blurred.

This should be easy to fix I thought, after all the Immerse has adjustable lenses, like those in a set of binoculars. Unfortunately no matter how I adjusted the lenses there was simply no way to make the image clear. It seems that the quality of the plastic on the lenses is just too poor to get a clear image and this is a shame as it is another problem (and a pretty major one) with what is otherwise a really cool idea.

In case it was my phone that was causing all of these issues I also tried a NTC One and an iPhone, the rounded back of the NTC meant it kept slipping out of the holder and whilst the iPhone sat neatly the size of the phone meant at points you could see the edge.

Overall the Immerse is an excellent idea, let down by some poorly considered design and cheap plastics. And what is a shame is that people would have probably paid that bit extra for a unit that had clearer lenses and more universal phone holder.

 

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