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Virtual Reality On The Cheap

Los Angeles – Startup NextCore launched its first virtual-reality headset though the Amazon and the Noon VR web stores at only $89.

For its display, the Noon VR headset uses any iOS or Android smartphone with a screen size of 4.7 inches. Because it leverages the smartphone’s native sensors and computing power, it doesn’t need an additional power source, bringing down its weight to 8.1 ounces, the company said. At 8.1 ounces, it’s the lightest VR headset on the market, the company contended.

It’s also positioned as the lowest priced VR headset that “uses smartphone capabilities and provides a high-quality immersive library of content,” a spokesperson said. Similar products are priced at about $199, she said.

The Noon VR mobile app for iOS and Android phones lets users watch any videos stored on their phone, or streamed from the web, in virtual reality mode. The app also accesses the Koom VR video-streaming service, which hosts more than 1,000 pieces of VR content, including 360-degree environments and user-generated content. More than a dozen VR games can also be played.

The app lets users navigate and select content and menus via head movements, eye gazes, and finger-tap gestures.  Other features include 95-degree field of view, focusing dial for users who wear glasses, strap to dock a smartphone, padded face mask, and low-latency head tracking using the smartphone’s sensors.

Compatible phones include the iPhone 6/6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S3 on up to the S6 and S6 Edge, Samsung Note 4/Note 3, LG Optimus G2 and G3, Sony Xperia Z3/Z2, Nexus 5, Moto G, ZenFone 2, and others.

The Korean company is based in Seoul with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.