Say ‘om’: Now you can meditate wearing Gear VR

If escaping into virtual reality usually means shooting zombies, chasing aliens, and generally gaming to your heart’s content, then a little relaxation may be in order once you’re done. Now there’s no need to take your headset off at all, thanks to the release of Guided Meditation VR, a new app for the Gear VR that takes you through a series of meditations to help relax your body and focus the mind.

It’s a free download through the Oculus Store on the Gear VR, but beware, at nearly 2GB it’s a very large file so make sure there’e plenty of free space available. Despite its size, the app quickly downloaded on our Galaxy S7 Edge, ready to try out. There are three different relaxation scenarios available at the moment, in four different VR locations.

You have the choice of meditations to promote relaxation, a zen space, or to help release anxiety, each with its own voiceover. The sessions last a varying amount of time, ranging from around five minutes to more than 15 minutes. More mediations and additional environments will be added in the future, but for now there are 16 different options in total.

Interestingly, the program makes use of the heart rate scanner on the back of your Galaxy smartphone. Before the meditation begins your heart rate is taken — so remember to leave the Gear VR’s cover off — and again when the session ends. The idea is to measure the effectiveness of the meditation. It’s a great idea, but in our quick test it didn’t quite work out, as our heart rate increased by five beats-per-minute, rather than slowing down. This may be more to do with the sensor than the app’s effectiveness, because it was enjoyable, and the VR locations are beautifully rendered.

It’s great to see a well-made, accessible, and effective app that takes VR beyond gaming, and anyone with a Gear VR should track Guided Meditation VR down in the Oculus Store now. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift owners should look out for their own version of the app coming soon.


Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?

Need more power now? Here's how you can fast charge your iPhone

The new iPhones have almost everything an iOS addict could want -- except for a fast charger. If you need your iPhone powered back up in a hurry, here's everything you need to know to get your iPhone charged up quickly.

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.