Not to be outdone by Samsung’s move into virtual reality, fellow Korean smartphone-maker LG is partnering with Google on a headset of its own.
And unlike the Samsung Gear VR headset, which costs $199, the LG VR for 3G is going to be free to owners of the company’s flagship LG 3G phablet.
Although based on the design of Google’s Project Cardboard make-it-yourself headset, LG’s is formed from plastic and is designed specifically to work with the LG 3G handset and the position of its buttons and other controls.
The headset also has a side-mounted neodymium ring magnet which will work in conjunction with the phablet’s gyroscope sensor when the handset is inside the headset.
This will let users select apps and settings on the phablet remotely, meaning there’s no need to touch the screen in order to find apps and other settings.
“While still in its infancy, this is just the beginning of the virtual reality movement which until recently was expensive and inaccessible to everyday consumers,” said Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications at the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “By leveraging Google Cardboard, not only are regular consumers able to participate in the VR experience, we’ll be able to introduce this technology to future developers who may one day show us how VR can be used to improve our lives.”
LG will be launching the VR for 3G promotion in “select markets” starting this month, and consumers that get their hands on one of the headsets will also be able to download a free VR game, “Robobliteration” via a QR code included in the headset’s packaging.
And, because the headset is based on the blueprint for Google’s Project Cardboard, it will also be compatible with existing Cardboard VR apps already available on the Google Play Store.