Vortex VR Is Virtual Reality On The Cheap

Virtual reality is enjoying another round of popularity at the moment, largely thanks to the relative success of the Oculus Rift. But even the Oculus, which is VR on a budget, isn’t as cheap as VR can theoretically get. For that, you need the Vortex.

VR With An LG

Essentially, the entire headset is powered by the LG G3, which is a powerful phone, and makes this less a “true” virtual reality headset, if you want to have that conversation, and more along the lines of a Google Glass or a similar tool. Still, it’s packing a lot of firepower, not least a Quad HD screen, boasting the highest resolution of any VR headset out there, including the Rift. And then there’s the price.

Cheap VR

Admittedly, there’s reason to be skeptical; Android isn’t exactly a robust virtual reality platform, to say the least. And tying it to a specific cellphone is perhaps a questionable strategy. On the other hand, using 3D printing and other tactics, they’ve driven the cost of the headsets down to a ridiculous degree; a Vortex will only cost you about $100.

Of course, cost is only part of the equation: You also have to factor in games, and whether VR is even right for you in the first place.

Reality Bites

Screenshot-2014-09-08-at-10.13

The simple fact of the matter is that yes, there’s a lot of hype surrounding virtual reality… but so what? VR is popular in a hobbyist market, but it’s hard to see it breaking through into the consumer market, which this headset is clearly priced to attempt. On the other hand, it makes more sense for LG to at least make an effort to get on top of a potential market, even if it’s only a niche, than it does to let it pass you by. And besides, if nothing else, it’ll make a neat accessory for when you go phone shopping.

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Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.

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