Experience Virtual Reality in Under Rs. 1,000

by Musharib Akhter

Virtual Reality is an exciting development but it seems to be an expensive one. Whether it’s the Oculus Rift or any other pair of VR goggles, we can’t really see prices being in the reach of most consumers here in Pakistan. That is why cardboard VR headsets, which provide a great way to experience VR, are a welcome development.

Originally kickstarted by Google Cardboard, these VR headsets are a low cost way to encourage development and interest in VR. You simply download the schematics (link at the end) and build it yourself or you can buy a pre-made one for cheap. It’s one of these ready-to-go headsets that we’ll be reviewing today.

Sold by an online store called Bytes.pk, I got a chance to try out the Bytes VR Core 5.7 model and used it with an Sony Xperia Z3. There are four models and the differences between them are shown in the tablet below.

bytes.pk vr headset

Design

The base design of these headsets was decided and finalized in one of Google’s 20 percent projects – a sideline policy that allows Google employees to work on whatever they want alongside their normal day to day work. This one concept simply blew up and spurred a lot of development.

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For our VR headset, assembly is pretty easy. It took me ten minutes to get it ready. The main elements are the two professional lenses attached in the pack, which allow 3D immersion. There is also a magnet switch to allow the control of the Google cardboard app.

How Does it Work?

The cardboard is designed in such a way that it employs the natural bisecting vision (line of sight) of our eyes and creates a cinematic virtual reality environment, Seeing inside of it with a smartphone allows for real-time cinema-like visualization.

The Google cardboard app can be downloaded from Play Store for free. This independent application also allows us to download more VR specific applications. Once our phone is fit into the VR headset box, the only control outside is the magnet switch which uses our smartphone’s magnetometer (built into every phone as a compass).

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The enjoyment involves starting any VR capable app with the phone inside the cardboard and tilting our head left, right, up and down – so the scenery also moves accordingly. So moving my head towards the left direction will move the scenery on its right (as if I were tilting my head in real). The same movements apply to the virtual emphasis that the headset provides to us.

The VR Apps

I started off my experience with an app named ‘An Unseen Sky VR’. It starts in a forest area with birds chirping and a natural scene set around us. The sound is really soothing and touchy. Moving our head actually allows us to see everything in the forest. As the scene moves forward, we enter a cave with a wolf and go past through it into a raining garden where the journey actually ends. It was a good experience as a starter.

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Then there is the ‘VR Cinema app’ which runs any video file into split screen 3D mode just like we see in a cinema. Plus this one also has the ability to use our phone camera as the real view-finder! So we need to turn the camera on and we can actually see through the camera while walking forward or back. I bumped into my room’s walls once because of trying this, so precaution is recommended!

Then there was this ‘Insidious 3 VR app’ which takes us into a 3D room with a lady telling us not to be afraid. And while she talks, the door bangs, the windows break, the table rumbles… and at that moment I stopped the app because I was seriously frightened! The came in the Roller Coaster VR snapped below:

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The best one which made me practically jump up on my feet was the Crazy Swing VR. It is a joyride in between a city with tall buildings. Once we tilt our head towards the right, the ride starts up, and no words can describe how many times I felt like it was really happening to me!

Final Verdict

For the price, this really is amazing technology. Entertainment is the main aim of the VR game and my experience was very positive. New applications are being developed for Google Virtual Reality headsets by major developers so the platform won’t become stagnant anytime soon.

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Adding in a pair of headphones increases the already awesome feeling but that needs a custom hole you’ll have to make yourself. I had to put in two pieces of white tape on the front area because it was soaking moisture every time I used it (credit goes to the summer season) – this is the downside of reasonable yet cheaper materials being used!

If you are fascinated by technology or are even remotely interested in virtual reality, a low cost cardboard headset is a worthwhile investment. You could buy one off of the internet or just follow the instructions and print out the schematics from Google’s own website.


    • Immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality-360-degree fully extended viewing angle. Experience virtual reality in a simple,

      fun, and affordable way.

      Google VR cardboard

      for only Rs:1099/-

      1×1 Magnetic

      2×1 37mm Biconvex Lens

      and the rest kit

      Suports with all android and iphones and u can also experience the videos from your pc to android (Via datacable and specific application for that purpose )

      User guide for everything is included

      Call 0313 4313771

      Availability in LAhore

      Delivery time 1-2 days maximum

    • Search “VR Games” in our playstore and you’ll get the current CROP.. Plus some real MAJOR developers are going through making many more games as we speak ;-)

          • You’re right, i dont know about these… but i do know that unreal engine 10 will be used to make real-reality multiplayer games in which you get to wear real kevlar vests and use real guns to kill each other and the engine will cause you to come to life again! XD

            P.S. this is just a joke. So please dont do those stupid “oh, you are so stupid””That aint gonna happen keep dreaming” kinda comments . Thank you.

  • anyone could please tell me how will I fit my 5.0inch Samsung galaxy s6 in imax pro version. because its for 6.0 inch screen ?

  • I had checked it on propakistani long ago, today when rechecked there are pretty much negative reviews from customers.

    • Cant set the VR headset with glasses on. If your eyes cannot see without glasses at all, you should wear eye lenses. If they’re normal; they’ll work perfectly!

  • saw one my friend made using a Google tutorial a while back. His lens wasn’t that great at that time but sure as hell liked the Idea of it.

  • Will it play my normal videos on it? And how would I explore in 360 and see everywhere when the shows are not shot with a 360° Camera?
    And do you have to hold it all the ttime or is there any strap?
    And will it work if one has prescription glasses?

    • All of your questions are answered already, except one.
      videos (normal avi and mp4) run like you are watching a 3D cinema. and yes, this one does not come with a strap so you have to hold it.. Although I made a custom strap for myself using one of my lighter weight belts :)

    • S3 hardware is mediocre, so I think it will give you hiccups on frame-rates here and there! And the apps are available of playstore when you search for “VR Apps” or “VR Games”

  • no thanks… , i’d like to go one better…
    something in between the card board and the actual headsets

  • Just got the VR Core IMAX, love the experience. My 4yr old won’t leave it :)

    Now if only bytes will import the Zeiss VR 1, I would buy it in a heartbeat!

    • iPhone support has just been started recently, so applications are comparatively lesser in volume, but the good news is, everything essential and that has been discussed above are all available!

  • AOA,
    I hope you all will be in good health. Anybody who have used it, can he/she please share their experience ? Would appreciate it.

  • This was announced over a year ago by Google but not many paid much attention and I was wondering what it was all about. Thanks for telling us about this amazing experience which we were missing out for so long.

    • Totally depends upon the hardware they have. I would recommend you download any VR app that is more than 25mb in size and try to run it in your phone. If it lags more than you can endure, don’t buy the headsets just now until you upgrade your phone :-)

    • I want to buy many things from aliexpress and banggod but i dont know pakistan tax procedure so will you plz guide how to order things from these sites and receive in pakistan with tax procedure.
      Also remember that i am living in multan

      • I ordered some low cost products and a 1300Rs shirt. I was never taxed. Maybe Pakistani authorities will tax you if you are receiving some expensive product or multiple products.

  • Currently i am using button fone bcoz i was fedup with touch screen fone, but now to feel the vr experience i want to buy touch fone again, plz guide me which fone is best to buy in Rs.15000, new or used? Does qmobile i12 is good ?

    Does these cardboard headset really give me 3d experience and give me feelings that i am in virtual world ?

    Does any pakistani online store is selling samsung gear vr, i have listened that they are best for virtual purpose ?

    Hope Musharib or any other guy will help.

    • Thank you for clarifying your situation.. .

      Yes, it does give you a 3D world like experience when you use it with a headphone, and some games are really awesome when you have to tilt your head to turn the bike or car (depending on the game)

      Samsung gear VR is not available at large since still in development phase, I would recommend you purchase a plastic version of this headset from HSN if money is not an issue for you.

      The phone that you should go for, for the best experience in your VR headset within the 15K budget should have at least 2GB ram, and 5 inch screen for the best results.
      Some used Motorola phones are good to consider, Droid ultra maxx and Droid ultra fall into this section. Might get HTC One M7 in the same price range and will be awesome too..

  • people who want to make this, face only one problem which finding lenses. I looked for lenses for 3 days in Peshawar and finally i found it.

      • You can buy it from whole seller shops of wrist watches. There are all type of convex lenses they fit over wrist watch. to make them biconvex, connect 2 convex lenses.

  • Will anyone plz guide me which fone is good to buy in Rs.15k, either new or used, which can play vr games and aps easily ?

    • Try Motorola Droid ultra maxx or Droid ultra, or HTC One – all these phones have a good chipset plus 2GB ram. Only the Maxx version has a good battery too, since VR sips up quite a lot of battery while we use it..
      New phones with 2GB ram in this range will only let you get the ASUS zenfone 5 and some Huawei phones.. But I haven’t tried VR on these phones.

        • Yes it is.. And you can also go for Lenovo Vibe X S960 available at 12,999 Rs.. search for it and go buy that one! Lenovo flagship phone going on cheap sale! Take my name when you find the store and you may even get a discount ;-)

  • I want o buy huawei honor 4c or honor 3d just for vr games, will anyone plz tell me that does these fones work good with these mobiles

    • I think you asked if these VR sets work with these phones you mentioned. Recently a friend reported it does not work with Qmobile M90. So only buy good phones for the VR headsets or else you won’t be able to enjoy the screen quality and hence the overall experience

  • Immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality-360-degree fully extended viewing angle. Experience virtual reality in a simple,

    fun, and affordable way.

    Google VR cardboard

    for only Rs:1099/-

    1×1 Magnetic

    2×1 37mm Biconvex Lens

    and the rest kit

    Suports with all android and iphones and u can also experience the videos from your pc to android (Via datacable and specific application for that purpose )
    screen size 3.5 to 5.5inch
    User guide for everything is included

    Call 0313 4313771

    Availability in LAhore

    Delivery time 1-2 days maximum

  • Salam
    Can the position of lenses be adjusted according to different faces.. the distance between eyes is not same for all. Are the small holes with lenses suitable for every face size?

  • Its not that good! you can just watch movies.. QmObile dont have 3D view support so this post is lame.. You can move your head but the screen will remain same.. and Also you can not enjoy 360 videos.

  • I tried this cardboard and it was MIND-BLOWING … for anyone looking for a good VR experience, I’d suggest an underwater video (my favorite video is Great White Sharks 360 Video on YouTube) and a VR game called Silent Home VR – am amazing horror game

  • Byter VR plastic version, available for 1999, contains imaxx lenses or just simple one?? Its not mentioned there though.


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