VR is getting bigger and bigger these days, not because of super-heavy Lawnmower Man-style devices, but because of our smartphones. Google’s simple Cardboard headset started the craze, and now most phone and gadget companies are scrambling to cash-in on the latest trend of wearing your phone on your face. What a world, eh? To that end we take another virtual step forward by testing the Homido Virtual Reality Headset.
For those unfamiliar with this new kind of tech, the Homido Virtual Reality Headset is basically a plastic headset into which you slide your smartphone while it is running a VR app or game. The headset features optics which focuses your vision on the app’s split screen, and the phone’s accelerometer creates the virtual reality effect. We last tried this out with the Archos Virtual Reality Glasses and loved it, so how does the far more expensive Homido Virtual Reality Headset differ?
As a unit the Homido Virtual Reality Headset looks great and is quite comfortable to wear for long(ish) periods. Ideally it is designed for phones with screens of around five inches, although it can fit handsets of up to 5.7, and as small as four. We tested it on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (5.7”) and it looked fine. We like how you have to slide the phone easily into the holder from above, making it easy and quick to insert (and remove) and it leaves the camera and headphone port accessible. Once in, the phone is gripped firmly and we felt quite relaxed about swinging our heads around.
The head straps are adjustable, with the one that goes over the top of your skull being optional. The Homido Virtual Reality Headset also features something that we very much appreciate with all gadgets and accessories… A HARD CARRY CASE! Yes! We love a good carry case, and it makes perfect sense for a device such as this where you really want to keep those lenses clean and dust free.
Speaking of which, the optics can be adjusted in several ways. You can twist a knob on the side of the headset to draw the phone closer to or further from your eyes, and a dial on top lets you alter the spacing between both lenses. Uniquely the Homido Virtual Reality Headset also ships with two extra pairs of lenses which are designed to make viewing VR and 3D content more comfortable for wearers of glasses. There are lenses for near and far-sighted people, helping to remove that blurry, sickness-inducing feeling you might get once you take off your specks to use the headset.
There is no magnetic NFC switch, as with Google Cardboard and some other VR headsets, but we’ve always found those to be a bit hit and miss anyway. Obviously you can always pair a Bluetooth device or controller to your phone, should you need to use one. Other than that, our only complaint was to do with the hole for your nose. Although big enough to let your beak in – and therefore not have the whole weight of your phone pressing down there – we found that our hot breath sometimes made it to the lenses, fogging them up slightly. This will depend on what environment you’re in, but we found a slight bit of fogging occurred almost all the time. If there was a cushion resting on your nose this would seal that section up, but perhaps this is price you pay for a more comfortable fit?
Apart that one snag we found them to be comfortable, practical, and easily adjustable – just what you want in a VR headset.
Available from www.mobilefun.co.uk