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LG announces free virtual reality headset giveaway

Virtual reality is one of those tech buzz words that carries much hype but little mainstream success.

However, that could be set to change as LG has announced that individuals purchasing its flagship smartphone will also receive a virtual reality headset free-of-charge.

Read more: Virtual reality vs augmented reality: Which will take off?

The LG G3 handset was originally released last year to positive reviews, but the free virtual reality giveaway is likely to boost sales of a device now more than eight months old.

However, LG’s headset is not set up to compete with the likes of Sony’s Project Morpheus or Facebook’s Oculus, but instead takes the same approach as Google Cardboard to help bring VR to the masses. LG’s device is even compatible with the Cardboard app, but is obviously a lot more sturdy and professional looking that Google’s print-your-own headset.

“While still in its infancy, this is just the beginning of the virtual reality movement which until recently was expensive and inaccessible to everyday consumers,” said Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications at LG. “By leveraging Google Cardboard, not only are regular consumers able to participate in the VR experience, we’ll be able to introduce this technology to future developers who may one day show us how VR can be used to improve our lives.”

LG has not confirmed which markets will be receiving the promotion, although it’s probably a safe bet to assume the firm’s native South Korea will be top of the list. The roll-out will take place later this month, with US and UK markets also likely to be involved.

Read more: Leaked LG G4 specs hint to impressive 3K display

Although it may seem obvious, if virtual reality is to really takeoff then it needs to be placed into the hands of more consumers. Even relatively simple products like Google Cardboard and the upcoming LG headset help to take VR from a niche concept to a mainstream one.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.