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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Virtual reality viewers test: Homido Mini Vs. Google Cardboard (Knox viewer)

Homido mini
* Incredibly portable; it folds and fits in your pocket.
* Works with most phones (iPhone 5 and up and most Android phones)
* Great for quick sharing or videos or panoramas. I've shared some quick panoramas on the street and the reaction is priceless. This makes accessibility a big plus. Sharing was very cumbersome to do with cardboard, and created unnecessary awkwardness. With the mini, sharing is a breeze.
* You don't have to take the phone off its protective case.

* No button (you'll have to hit the screen for those); and this means some games or apps won't work properly.
* You'll likely have to cup your hands to see a lot of stuff, especially outside.
*  Not as well constructed. The glue on one lens started to come off after 10 days. Duct tape did the trick, but you lose cool point if you have to duct-tape your glasses.

Price: $14.99 in Amazon. (It's more at Homido's own site.)

Verdict: I carry this with me whenever I want to show virtual reality to others. As such, it's become invaluable. This portability carries its own limitations, however, so I still would want to have another viewer for more immersive experiences.

Knox viewer V2.

* Quick immersive experience. Easy to assemble.
* Button.
* Works with most phones (iPhone 5 and up and most Android phones)

* It's made of cardboard. It will start to deteriorate with use, especially in the forehead and nose areas.
* Bulky so a bit cumbersome for casual sharing, It's not like anybody's going around town with your Google Cardboard.
* You have to take the phone off its protective case.

Verdict: A great introduction to virtual reality. This should be your first choice.

Price: $23.95 via Knoxlab.

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