Even though Oculus VR is currently working on limited number of Samsung phones, including Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy Note 5, it has been used by more than one million people in April.
As per Oculus VR, developers have generated more than 250 applications for the Samsung Gear VR platform, which is powered by Oculus VR technology. Currently, some of the top-selling applications for Gear VR include EVE Gunjack, Star Chart, Dreadhalls, End Space, Escape Room VR, Land’s End and Bandit Six.
Some of the listed ‘must haves’ are Hulu, Goosebumps Night of Scares, Mike VR and Orion Trail VR. Seven of the top 10 most used apps are videos and on any given data, nearly 80% of people who use Gear VR watch video content.
The company has announced that it will start adding 360 photos to the News Feed in the coming months. These photos can be taken with a phone or a 360 camera and viewed in VR form using the Oculus Photos app provided for the Gear VR headset.
Oculus VR has also revealed that Oculus Home for Gear VR will be updated in June. It will be having a revamped design to make search for recently downloaded content a bit easier. In November 2015, Samsung launched the Gear VR headset, which is considered to be cheaper than Oculus Rift.
The device has an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for rotating tracking, which connects to the smartphone’s micro USB port. A proximity sensor detects whenever the headset is worn. But if you want to enjoy cost-effective taste of VR then you can try Google Cardboard, which is compatible with all Android and iOS-based phones.
According to a story published on the topic by Engadget, “Oculus’ mission is to help people experience anything, anywhere,” Max Cohen, Oculus’ head of mobile, told a roomful of journalists this Tuesday. There’s the high-end experience of the Rift, of course, but there’s also the portable easy-to-use version of the Gear VR. “The secret [with VR] is it can’t just be slightly better than other experiences that you’ve had,” said Cohen. “It has to be even better.”
Part of the reason why the million mark is so exciting, then, is because it’ll hopefully push developers to create even more content for the platform. Cohen admits that it’s sometimes daunting to get developers to spend time making VR content. “They tell us, ‘Give us a call when you’ve a hit a million users.'” Well, now it has. Plus, Cohen says, the average time that users spend on the Gear VR is around 25 minutes a day. “They’re highly engaged with the product.”
“Unlike 360-degree videos, virtually anyone with a smartphone will be able to create these new photos. Panoramas, photo spheres and photos shot with 360-degree camera units will all be supported by Facebook when the update drops. On the other hand, if you want to take professional 360-degree photos, you’re going to need a full 360 camera rig (for which Facebook happens to have introduced a set of blueprints last month). You can also pick up a GoPro Odyssey if you have a spare $15,000 lying around, or the Ricoh Theta S if you don’t,” according to a recent BGR report.
Along with being a neat addition to the platform, 360-degree photos are also another push for users to begin adopting VR head-mounted displays (HMDs). Facebook now owns Oculus, which is responsible for both the Oculus Rift and the software that runs Samsung’s Gear VR headset as well. “We’ve been beta-testing 360 photos internally for awhile now,” writes Eugene Wei, head of video for Oculus. “It’s a lot of fun. You get to share where you are; the story of your life with other people.”
A report published in CNET News informed, “VR is only as cool as the content you interact with. Right now this ranges from games and education to roller coasters and even pornography. Just as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu today are grabbing up marketshare by creating their own shows, Facebook-backed Oculus will gain a lot of momentum by giving its users stuff they can’t find on any other platform.”
“A million is kind of a magic number for a lot of people to start taking this seriously,” Oculus head of mobile, Max Cohen, told me. “It starts making more economic sense for others to join in.” For example, Cohen continued, Microsoft wouldn’t have been involved with releasing a VR version of Minecraft if it didn’t think Oculus’ platform was going anywhere. The potential is huge, too, just like it was when Facebook itself first took off.