Without breaking the bank: Headsets promise a taste of VR

Google Cardboard
Google's Cardboard is probably the most recognizable member of the cheap-VR bunch, as it was one of the first devices to champion dirt-cheap virtual-reality experiences. Of course I use the word "device" loosely: as the name implies, it's just a piece of cardboard, coupled with velcro and a pair of lenses. 

You can pick most of the components up at your local hardware store to build your own using Google's instructions, or pick up one of the numerous unofficial Google Cardboard dopplegangers -- they start at as little as $15 (about £9, AU$19).

Archos virtual reality glasses
Archos is no stranger to...uhh...inexpensive wearable tech of questionable value, so it stands to reason that the company would get into the cheap virtual reality market. The Archos virtual reality glasses are no exception: £25 (which works out to about $40, AU$52) gets you a chunky plastic case to slot your Android or iOS phone into, and strap onto your head. 

Archos will also be offering a video player that'll also let you watch 2D and 3D movies -- that app will be available later this year.

Mattel brought back a classic earlier this year, and it's been revamped to deliver a virtual- and augmented-reality experience on a budget. You can just slide your Android or iOS smartphone into the View-Master, as it's compatible with the many Google Cardboard and Cardboard-ready apps kicking around the Google Play and Apple App stores. 

The little plastic reels you might be familiar with make a return too: point the View-Master at them to get a glimpse of dinosaurs, or of San Francisco. The new View-Master is expected to arrive later this year, for $30 (about £19, AU$39).


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