Inspect-a-Gadget: 360-Degree Video Viewer

By Sky Gidge, January 11, 2017

0 0

Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.

A sunlit curtain moves gently in the wind behind you as a girl-next-door type approaches from the front. “You worked really hard today,” she whispers. “Let me massage your shoulders.”

A glance down and the illusion is shattered: where your shoulders should be is a tabletop, the woman’s hands moving back-and-forth above it.

This simulated massage marks the humble beginnings of an in-home VR revolution, the 360-degree video downloaded through a free phone app.

Originally thought to be a joke, Google Cardboard proved in 2014 that all that was needed for a ‘virtual reality’ experience was lenses set in a smartphone-holding, cardboard visor.

With the introduction of ‘truer’ VR technology, which allows room-wide movement and real-time interaction, the content viewable through Google Cardboard is now rightly referred to as 360-degree video, though that hasn’t slowed down the shipping of millions of units.

Now, several Shenzhen-area companies are trying to outdo the big G.

We got our hands on UCVR’s Zombies Cat headset. The frame is made from lightweight plastic, and the band that fastens around your head uses a special Velcro that doesn’t stick to hair. Comfortable padding also lines the places where your face meets the hardware.

The Zombie Cat’s sliding, spring-loaded grips max out at iPhone 6 Plus-sized phones, but, surprisingly, bigger doesn’t mean better; smaller-sized phones deliver the same experience, albeit with some light leakage from the real world.

Until prices on newer VR technology drop (the HTC Vive costs RMB6,888), headsets used to view 360-degree videos are an excellent way to glimpse the experience still just over the virtual horizon.

For who: the VR curious
How much: Approx. RMB200
Sold where: taobao.com, jd.com

Click here for more Inspect-a-Gadget.

more news

Tech Erasure: Liu Bolin's Hacker Art

China's famed 'Invisible Man' tackles technology in his latest critique of modern life

WATCH: We Tried Virtual Reality in Guangzhou

If you're prone to motion sickness, take warning.

China's Music Industry in 2016: 'It's a Chaotic Battle'

We speak with Douban Music's Zhao Yue on the state of the music industry in China in 2016.

Watch Pandas in Real Time with These Live Pandacams

Drop everything and watch these pandas NOW.

Book Review: The Birth of Chinese Feminism

Aelred Doyle from That's Online reviews The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory, the first English language discussion and translation of fearless early Qing feminist, He-Yin Zhen.

Book review: Tomorrow City

Aelred Doyle from That's Online reviews Tomorrow City by Kirk Kjeldsen, a hardboiled crime drama that takes place in Shanghai.

Paul French's 'Bloody Saturday: Shanghai's Darkest Day'

New York Times bestselling author's new book on the 1937 Japanese bombing of the city.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.