Wolf’s test

Virtual reality, or the man with the diving mask

Wolf is testing virtual reality, and it looks completely different de-pending on whether you are the outside or the inside.

Text: Peter Wolf, Video/Photography: Crafft


Looking at it from the outside, the wearer looks like someone wearing non-see-through diving goggles on their head, who is ecstatically throwing their head in all possible directions and might even be making comments about something no-one else can see.

Dive into another world: At 96°, the Samsung Gear VR provides a wide field of vision.

Looking from the inside, however, you are simply immersed! Completely. Once you have the headset on and can view the computed worlds that move shudder-free with your head every time you move it, then you’ll soon find yourself believing that this is reality. Especially when the appropriate sounds are coming out of the headphones.

Smartphone provides the processing capacity

The headset made by Samsung, the Gear VR, isn’t much more than a cradle for a smartphone, which is equipped with lenses, a motion sensor and a few control keys. The screen and the full processing power is provided by the smartphone, which is clicked into the headset. It needs to do a lot of processing for shudder-free computing of both images for both eyes, and so it’s not surprising that it starts to run really hot.

Headset + smartphone: The Gear VR functions with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7.

When first putting on the headset, the user might be a little irritated by the rather gritty screen resolution, but that soon goes unnoticed once you are immersed in the new world.

The combination of smartphone and headset is a starter kit, so to speak, which allows you to gain your first experience in virtual reality, try out what's on offer and discover different opportunities for use. Look at panorama photos and films, control three-dimensional games with head movements, look around places you’ve never been to, discover a new way of telling stories that allows the audience to stand right at the centre of events!

For gamers: Optimise your gaming experience with the optional Bluetooth controller!

Explain complex situations more easily

Sooner or later, virtual reality components will be integrated into our familiar workflows and the sooner you start learning all about them, the easier it will be to adapt to it. It’s not just the sports and gaming industry that will be using this technology, but also the tourism industry, education sector, product developers or service providers. It makes complex situations easier to explain, instructions can be structured interactively and in three dimensions, and processes can be tried out in a virtual dry run before being put into practice.

Swisscom provides an example of use: Instead of a 14-page presentation, all information is integrated into an interactive 360° image.

Tip: Don't wait until you have the headset on to purchase the apps – the store could use some improvement when it comes to ease of operation. Furthermore, you’ll also be given more information about, and diagrams showing, the app if you access the store with your mobile phone in your hand.

Device information

The image extends from the left to right field of vision; this is comparable to standing two metres away from a screen with a 4.5 metre screen diagonal.

Integrated motion sensors, motion-dependent image computation within 20 milliseconds

Enjoy 360-degree, shudder-free content; adaptable environment

Prerequisites: Oculus VR App and Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge or higher, which is clicked into the Gear VR2

Swisscom extra tip

The audience at the One FM Star Night concert, held in Geneva in May 2016, were able to hoist themselves onto centre stage and decide for themselves which angle of vision they would enjoy. This allowed the audience to come closer to the artists than even before, and enjoy the concert from the exclusive perspectives that this technology makes possible.

Swisscom Event & Media Solutions Ltd, a subsidiary company of Swisscom with 60 employees, made all this possible. As a technical agency, it offers end-to-end solutions for the digitalisation of live communication.

Peter Wolf

has been involved with technology for as long as he can remember. For many years, he was a trend scout and social media expert at Ringier. He currenty works part time at e-foresight and thus came into contact with the Swisscom team in spring 2014. He also writes regular columns and app tests for various publications.

More on the topic