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Noon VR: Another smartphone-based VR headset enters the fray

When it comes to standalone virtual reality headsets, the Valve HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are the first two that come to mind for most people. A bit less talked about are the more affordable smartphone-based headsets, and in that space Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR are the big players. However, Seoul, South Korea-based NextCore Corporation is looking to enter that crowded market with the introduction of its Noon VR headset, featuring a competitive $89 price tag.

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For VR programs, the team behind Noon VR is partnering with Koom VR, a VR distribution service. Users can use this service to share their own VR creations and download and watch the work of others. The app is available on both iOS and Android, which offers the service and accompanying headset to a wide range of smartphone owners. The content is video-based, and currently there are approximately 1,000 pieces of content available.

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The app can be controlled in a number of ways including head movements, finger tap gestures, and eye gaze tracking, which means users have plenty of options for working within the app and choosing the VR experience that suits their tastes.

Apple and Android devices between 4.7 and 5.5 inches will fit into the headset. This means phones like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6 and plenty of other devices will slot right in and work.

Related: One year on, Google Cardboard is bigger and better than ever

Some other notable features of the actual hardware include vents for keeping fog out, a velcro strap that goes around and above the user’s head for stability, and a 95-degree viewing angle that creators promise will not cause eye strain. Once the phone is locked in with the elastic band docking system, there’s a plastic cover that goes over it to keep dust out while the device is in use.

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The headset is available right now from Amazon for the aforementioned $89 price. It’s entering a growing and very competitive market, so it will be interesting to see how it works its way into the space as we venture forward into the VR era.