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The Best Christmas Themed VR Experiences

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Christmas Themed VR Experiences

Christmas is supposed to be the time of the year that people devote to their families and friends. A time for spending time together, giving gifts, and building memories. If you’re passionate about VR, or even curious about it, you might consider making it a part of your Christmas experience this season.

Christmas Themed VR Experiences 1

A Christmas in Virtual Reality?

Is that even a possibility? Why ever not – especially as in VR, a Christmas season can be whatever you wish it to be. With VR headsets becoming increasingly cheaper, it’s possible for the whole family to share Christmas-themed VR experiences.

Let’s start with this amazing video, as you and your family ride Santa’s sleigh from his secret base in the North Pole…

But that was only an appetizer. The possibilities are really endless…

Christmas Eve VR Cardboard

If sharing experiences is what you feel Christmas is all about, then this app is the one for you. The app has a number of traditional Christmas experiences that a family could share. There’s a beautiful Virtual Christmas Tree that the family can decorate together. One can even leave a treat for Santa to find, which can be a lot of fun for children.

There are old Christmas tunes that everyone loves incorporated into the app, as well as a ‘camera’ function that allows you to photograph your Christmas in VR. Since all this app requires is a Google Cardboard headset, it’s a very cost effective way for the family to enjoy a VR experience at Christmas.

Christmas Themed VR Experiences

Google’s Santa Tracker

This is a small game inside the Santa Tracker app that is a lot of fun. The app also has quite a lot of other interesting features that you can take a look at before going on to toss snowballs in the little mini-game. It’s a lot of fun. But what if it’s snowing outside? Wouldn’t it be better to just toss real snowballs? Perhaps, but the app is a lot of fun, allowing you to play in the snow, while in the warmth of your own living room. Where else could you toss snowballs in your pyjamas, but in VR?

Let’s take a break from the apps to explore another wonderfully Christmas-y video…

Fancy Skiing VR

This VR skiing app was created for the HTC Vive, and the realism of the graphics needs to be seen to be appreciated. It can be played whether you own a Rift or a Vive, and the motion controllers for both can be configured to the game, which means that if you own a pair of motion controllers, you can actually play the game while using the motion controllers as ski poles. Leaning to either side also helps control as you move down a whole range of different mountains. It’s a lovely VR experience for Christmas, and all without having to leave your home.

On the other hand, some people like a change. So how about a Christmas in Vienna?

Go Anti-Santa

Well, Santa is the quintessential Christmas good-guy, and sometimes that unbreakable image can get on some people’s nerves. If you’re one of these anti-social types who detests the ‘man in red,’ then perhaps the ‘I hate Santa’ app is the one for you. This app works with just about every headset in the market, so you can play it no matter what option you own. The game is intriguing, and you get to play an Ebenezer Scrooge in your very own variation of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. And speaking of Christmas Carols, there’s…

A Christmas Carol VR

This is a lovely app, full of the spirit of Christmas. It’s set in a lovely cottage from the 1930s, set in the midst of a valley in the country all covered with snow. Everything is warm and cozy, and this app will really help you and your family get into the spirit of the season. You can actually listen to an adaptation of Dickens’ immortal novel in a true Christmas ambiance.

And that’s only the beginning of the experiences you and your family could explore this Christmas – there are scores of apps and videos out there, to suit every taste. And when all is said and done, don’t forget to send someone this little VR Christmas Card…

What to Listen to While Using Chroma Lab?

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Chroma Lab is a highly interactive  and immersive particle simulation, available for $5 on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. To cite the developers – “Chroma Lab is a VR particle physics sandbox” – in other words, you are, in real time, enabled to play around with hundreds of thousands simulated particles using your motion controllers.

Chroma Lab is a virtual eye candy featuring psychedelic visuals and, with very simple idea and perfect execution, this game is truly mind-blowing.

It does however have one major drawback – the music is nonexistent.

Luckily, you can listen to whatever you want on your PC while playing, enhancing the experience, and while this is a matter of personal taste and preference, here are some of VRBorg’s suggestions on what to listen to while using Chroma Lab!

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (full album)

Do we really need to explain why the Pink Floyd’s most well known album and interactive psychedelic visuals go together like bacon and eggs? Well, let’s just add that this album still holds the absolute record of the number of weeks spent at the #1 of  Billboard-s top albums chartand it was officially selected as the the best album of the 70ies, and yeah, this is the decade when the competition was the fiercest.

Additionally, Chroma Lab works really great when you want to introduce someone to the world of virtual-reality for the first time, and if that special someone is for example your dad, we are pretty sure he would appreciate some the Pink Floyd’s greatest hits, like Wish You Were Here or Another Brick In The Wall, playing in the background!

Infected Mushroom

Infected Mushroom is an Israeli electronic music duo, mostly creating electronica, psytrance and psychedelic music. Most of their compositions include variety of musical sources and often changes of tempo and drum beat. Often times their songs contain acoustic guitars like Becoming Insane for example.

Psytrance and electronica are definitely a great choice to listen to while using Chroma Lab. Infected Mushroom however likes to experiment between the genres, so you can find traces of house, electronic rock and even hip hop in their work. They are one of the best selling groups in Israeli music history, both domestic and worldwide.

Faithless paired with Chroma Lab

Electronic music pioneers explored and crossed over between almost every musical genre known to man. Yes, they essentially create electronic music, but they can also be classified as trip-hop or electronic rock band. Faithless’ live performances feature entire band playing – the bass guitar, various drums, keyboards, electric guitar, and of course the band’s MC – Maxi Jazz, who brings unique kind of energy to each of the live acts.

An often time overlooked fact about Faithless is the top-notch quality of their lyrics. Honestly, I’d speculate that even the greatest rock bands in history would be proud of Faithless’ songwriting. This is due to the fact that Maxi Jazz used to be a rapper before he formed the group with Sister Bliss. Even after years of listening to them, even today I discover some messages between the lines of their lyrics.

Honorable Mentions

Have in mind that the music you’d want to listen to while using Chroma Lab is a matter of personal taste. Many users report that they enjoy trap music or dubstep while using Chroma Lab, however I do not listen to these so I am unable to recommend any songs of the genres.

Here are another few of my personal favorites.

Massive Attack

Kollektiv Turmstrasse

The Prodigy

Techno Live Sets

My personal top pick is this crazy live performance by Nina Kraviz at the Exit Festival Dance Arena. Enjoy!

Tips for Wearing Prescription Glasses Under the VR Headset

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Exposure to various screens around us in the digital world we live in is taking its toll. According to the data, 6 out of 10 people are wearing glasses.

Inside virtual reality, you are actually looking at a flat stereoscopic display, and the purpose of the two lenses that are built in the VR headset is to focus this “screen” on a fixed distance, about an arm’s length away. In other words, when you look at the object that is farther away or closer in VR, you aren’t really changing focus, but only the angle.

This essentially means – if you are short/far-sighted, you will have to wear prescription glasses or lenses in order to enjoy virtual reality.

Get to know the headset’s dimensions

This is what you should do before buying the VR headset. The first and most logical solution to the problem at hand is to wear glasses under your VR headset.

Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are both 15cm wide, but the Rift’s height is 6.4cm compared to Vive’s 5cm. On Oculus’ official website you can see the required width and height of your glass frames which will allow you to wear the headset – width of 142m or less and height of 50mm or less.

PSVR offers a lot more room, and in most cases you won’t have any issues wearing your glasses under this VR headset, except if your choice of glassware are those really bulky, funny-looking hipster glasses. The same goes for Gear VR as well.

Another dimension you should have in mind is the depth of the headset. We talked about how to protect VR lenses, so in order to avoid scratching both your glasses, but also the VR lenses, we strongly suggest that you read the aforementioned article.

Another thing you should practice when putting the headset on while wearing the glasses is always to go front-to-back, meaning you should align the face-plate of the headset first, and then the strap to the back of your head.

Conclusion – your glasses need to be small enough in order to fit them under your VR headset. Take measurements, and make sure that you have about 0.5 – 1.0 centimetres of spare space in each direction. Getting $10 lens protectors is also a good idea if you want to ensure your eyewear doesn’t damage the VR lenses.

Prescription lenses work perfectly

If you have already purchased your VR headset without checking the dimensions/compatibility with your glasses first, only to find out that your eyewear doesn’t fit under it – don’t be alarmed, there is always the alternative solution. This time the alternative – prescription lenses – is much more convenient and comfortable than wearing glasses under VR headset at any cost. The downside – you have to buy the lenses, obviously.

With the lack of official manufacturer support, third party companies seized the opportunity and decided to work on the solution many glass wearers encounter with VR headsets.

VR Lens Lab was the first to come up with the solution – prescription VR lenses specifically designed for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and the lens protectors for PSVR. All the lenses are calculated for each individual in order to bring out the best experience for the headset of your choice.

For a while, VR Lens Lab was the only manufacturer of this merchandise, but recently Widmo VR joined the market. Some competition among the companies making desired products is always good, especially for the customers.

On Widmo VR’s website you can currently buy Rift Prescription Lenses Adapter at the price of $65 and the Rift Cover (extra soft) for $19.99, but they will surely soon broaden their offer and include the products required by the owners of different headsets.