If you are not yet a fan of virtual reality, chances are that you might end up being one by the end of this Gitex Shopper. Yes, the spring edition of the mega electronics fair in Dubai is threatening to make VR headsets as the most popular freebie on offer.
That’s not to say that the bundle offers this time around are free of SD cards, power banks, wireless speakers computer bags etc., not to leave aside the selfie sticks. But VR headsets appear to be suddenly catching the consumer’s attention.
Plug Ins is offering VR headsets along with purchases of various goods such as Huawei and Lenovo smartphones. Hisense is offering VR headsets along with any of its smartphones priced over Dh650. VSun has introduced a range of budget smartphones priced between Dh120 and Dh700,, and has installed VR apps and games inside sole select devices and are offering the VR 3D glasses for free with some of its models.
Samsung was the first to start the trend with the introduction of the Gear VR as a freebie to those who pre-booked the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, when the two new flagship devices were first unveiled last month.
However, the company said it has no plans to reintroduce a similar offer during the Gitex Shopper. Tarek Sabbagh, head of IT and mobile division at Samsung Gulf Electronics told Emirates 247 that Its Gear VR has gained in popularity ever since it was put out as a bundle offer along with the Galaxy S7 launch. “We have been experiencing increased sales of the Gear VR since the S7 launch. The popularity of virtual reality headsets are only going to increase in the coming years,” he said.
Haitham Kalakesh, CEO of VSun says his company would even develop exclusive VR content for its users and it would be focus on local aspects. “We are not only entering the VR arena but want to make it affordable to entry level ordinary users. That is why we have ventured towards giving away free VR headsets even to those who can afford a smartphone for Dh400. Democratizing the latest technology to reach out to the ordinary masses is the key to success,” he argues.
As more and more entertainment firms get onto the VR bandwagon Hulu became the latest entrant as the company finally launched its VR app on the Oculus store enabling users to watch Hulu’s 2D library in 360-degree environments apart from its exclusive 3D 360-degree films.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s Oculus announced that it has finally started shipping its Rift to customers. “Rift deliveries begin today, shipping to more than 20 countries and regions! This is a historic moment – soon people all over the world will be experiencing fully-immersive VR in their own homes,” the company announced on its blog.
According to the company the Kickstarter units have already started delivery while the first pre-ordered Rifts will start shipping mid-week and arrive soon after.