Love VR? Get a free headset from Canadian developer Tek Gear

freehmd vr tek gear screen shot 2016 07 16 at 12 18 22 pm
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but a free mobile VR headset? Those exist. Meet the FreeHMD, the world’s first free VR HMD from Canadian tech developers Tek Gear. We always knew our neighbors to the north were our best friends.

Launched as part of the company’s VR for Everyone campaign, the FreeHMD claims to be lightweight and “extremely user friendly,” and closely resembles the Gear VR. Adjustable to fit the majority of users, the FreeHMD is more hollow than the Fear, and features a greater number of controls on the side of the headset that allow for easy adjustments.

Perhaps Tek Gear’s generosity stems from its longevity as a tech company. For over two decades — 24 years to be exact — the Canadian firm has been manufacturing virtual reality products for the military, medical applications, and research institutions the world over. And now, it wants to reach the average consumer — and this sounds like a highly effective method by which to do so.

As Tek Gear President Tony Havelka noted, most of today’s VR products are priced far too high to be attainable by the “average consumer.” So rather than competing in the same $600 to $1,200 range in which many other companies operate, Havelka took a distinctly different approach. “There’s nothing lower cost than $0 — so that’s where we set the price,” he said.

Operating under the assumption that your smartphone ought to be the most expensive component of your VR system, Tek Gear is now offering anyone a free HMD headset at While you will have to cover the cost of shipping and handling on your own, everything else is completely free. This, the company says, will help “keep growing the VR user base.”

Currently, you can use three major apps with the FreeHMD — the Cardboard App, the YouTube VR app, and the Cardboard Camera that transforms your smartphone into a VR camera, which lets you create your own virtual reality experience. But of course, other VR apps available in the Google Play Store are also compatible with the FreeHMD — just download the app, insert your phone into the headset, and enter a brand new world.

And yes, to reiterate, you can do it for free.

Virtual Reality

The Oculus Quest’s competitor isn’t Rift or Vive. It’s the Nintendo Switch

While Oculus is optimistic that its standalone Quest VR headset will deliver a quality experience, the headset was designed on a mobile chipset. That means its less of a Rift replacement and more like the VR equivalent of Nintendo’s…
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

If you're light on memory, these are the best lite apps for Android and iOS

Looking to save data, storage, and reduce performance issues? Lite apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the best options. Here's our roundup of lite apps and PWAs for all the most popular apps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Movies & TV

Never miss a moment of the NBA season with our streaming guide

The NBA season is in full swing, and if you want to watch games online, you've got plenty of options. Here's our guide to the best ways to watch NBA games online, as well as some additional resources.
Virtual Reality

The Oculus Quest and Go both let you play without a PC, but which is better?

The mid-range of virtual reality hardware is by far the most competitive, with Oculus VR now offering two excellent products to those with more limited budgets. We pitted the Oculus Quest vs. Oculus Go, to see which is best.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…

The Oculus Quest is the new kid on the block, but can it beat the Rift?

The Oculus Rift has been available for two year, and the Oculus Quest will be available near the start of the next, but which one is best for you? That depends on the power of your gaming PC.

Still confused about how the Oculus Quest works? Here's the scoop

Oculus' Quest looks to offer PC-quality VR without the need for a PC. From revamped Oculus Touch controls to its sleek design, here's everything we know about the next-gen headset.

From horror to first-person shooters, these are the best games in VR

Whether you own a PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift, or an HTC Vive, you have a ton of different choices when it comes to games. These are 15 of the best virtual reality games available right now.
Emerging Tech

No longer a gaming novelty, VR gets acceptance letter from Arizona State

Students at Arizona State University are getting an unexpected added extra for their tuition money this semester: A virtual reality headset for their course. Here's how it's going to be used.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

Here’s how Microsoft’s Hololens is helping NASA build the new Orion spacecraft

Lockheed Martin is turning to Microsoft’s mixed reality Hololens smartglasses to help build NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day help rocket astronauts as far afield as Mars.