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 FreeHMD.com 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.