16 People Freak Out Trying Virtual Reality For The First Time

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No one can see their hands, but everyone wants to.

At least, that’s the impression staffers at The Huffington Post left after they spent some time with Gear VR, the new virtual reality headset launching Friday from Samsung. (You can get it for $99.99 on Samsung.com, Amazon and Bestbuy.com.) It’s probably the best experience normal consumers like you and me can have with virtual reality this holiday season — even if it requires specific Samsung smartphones to work — but it’s not necessarily what our crew of VR newbies had in mind.

The headset is comfortable and easy to use. Most HuffPost testers — new to VR — were blown away by the visuals when we exposed them to an alien environment in Oculus 360 Photos, an app you can download and use with Gear VR. But they were disappointed that they couldn’t move around and interact with the objects in front of them by reaching out to touch them with their hands.

In a sense, a lot of what we call virtual reality today isn’t that at all — rather, Gear VR and other platforms, like the budget-friendly Google Cardboard, offer a wealth of static environments and videos that you can occupy but not affect. You can’t reach out with your hand and flip a switch.

It’s a “look but don’t touch” experience, but it’s an oftentimes impressive one.

Here’s how our staffers responded to”Neon Buddha,” a virtual environment created by Miksim Loginov — keep in mind that all of these photos are candid and that our test subjects (including me, at the bottom) only spent time in one app out of the many that are available:

  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “This is super bizarre. Is there always a fountain here or is it just because [the photographer] is sitting there? Do hands ever — is it part of the technology? This is super crazy.
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Oh, looking down is kind of trippy. Oh that’s weird, I don’t like that, actually. Up is the best… I feel like I’m in a computer game. It’d be great if it was more realistic.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Oh wow. Now what do I do? Whaaaaat. Oh you can look down? This is crazy. I don’t know why I thought I could see my hands.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Oooh! Oh my God, I wish I was here in real life. It’s like ‘TRON.’ Ahh, it’s so cool… Oh my God, I’m going to look like such a tool. I wish you could see your hands.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Is this like a club? Ooooh heey. I can’t see my hands.
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Whoa! This is so weird. I’m trying to look in my peripheral vision to make sure I’m still in this room. This is kind of scary… It’s really weird to think about how my nephews and kids one day are going to play with stuff like this.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Oh my God. The depth is insane. I feel like there’s hundreds of feet around me in this room… I wish there were people, characters to interact with or something to make me feel like I’m not alone in this right now. It’s just so expansive, this one setting I’m in. The colors are so vivid, detailed. This is insane.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “I feel like I should be able to touch things. It’s cool, you see this planet here and I just want to reach out and touch it or grab it or something. I like how neon this is, it’s like something out of ‘TRON’ or something. It’s like out of an ’80s music video.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “This is a missed opportunity, to be honest. They created this whole world but then the world isn’t actually doing anything.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Oh my God. Oh this is so cool. Dreams becoming reality. Wow. This is like, who needs a dating life? That is wow.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “It’s weird that you can’t see your legs when you look down. That’s the trippiest part… Also, yes, this room is super weird. It looks like ‘TRON’ a lot. It’s awesome.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “The floor is so trippy! I hate this… the ceiling’s weird… I feel like this would be the worst room to get drunk or high in. You would trip over everything.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “I feel like I took a shot of acid or something… I sat in line for this?
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “I tried to touch things. It felt like I was in an actual space, fully knowing that I’m not in a different space.”
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “I wish I could interact with these things… There’s lots to see! There’s a world to see.
  • Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post

    “Okay, I’ve actually used VR before — and I always wish I could see my legs.”

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

SHARING IS CARING!
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