Long ago I used the literal cardboard Google Cardboard to hold my phone as a VR viewer. The Cardboard eventually fell apart (as expected).

Later, I replaced that with a Samsung Gear VR headset as at the time, it was the only headset I could find with a diopter adjustment. All other headsets were unusable by anyone who must wear reading glasses. The Gear VR kinda worked as a Cardboard viewer as I did not have a Samsung phone and the Gear VR only works, officially, with Samsung phones. But with emphasis on “kinda” worked – this enabled testing the VR waters, so to speak.

A week ago, I finally got a Daydream compatible headset to use with my Pixel 2 – and no surprise – the Daydream Controller refuses to pair with my phone.

How on earth can VR achieve any market share success when it is a pain to set up? Is there VR gear that is usable?

Separately, I used the Fulldive VR viewer as it does not require a controller to make selections. Unfortunately, after a bit of VR 360 Youtube viewing, I experienced nausea. 30 minutes after discontinuing using the VR viewer I am still feeling ill. Oddly enough, I can watch 3D videos all day and have no such troubles.

I think the problem is a combination of VR motion but also low resolution and focusing issues that cause eye strain.

Trying to get the Controller to work, I reset the Controller by pressing and holding the Home and App buttons simultaneously. I can then pair the controller with my phone using the Android Bluetooth menu and the controller shows in the Bluetooth devices list.

However, when I run the Daydream app, it says no controller is paired and attempts to pair it with the controller always fail. Well, except two times it began the pairing process but failed.

I have paired a Bluetooth mouse with the phone and I can use that to select user interface items, but the mouse lacks the accelerometers in the controller for use in gaming and other actions.

The Daydream Youtube viewing experience is not great – the user interface seems clumsy and more often than not I end up exiting the Daydream app and have to remove the phone from the headset and get it reset back in to Daydream. The resolution provided by a phone is also inadequate – I think the visible pixels contribute to the feeling of nausea.

Shooting VR stills or video is fairly straight forward. But the viewing experience is not very good – yet.

Consequently, I’m not inclined to buy a dedicated VR headset ($400 and up). VR has been around a long time but with difficult to use viewers and poor user interfaces, this tech needs further development.

Update – the vendor of my Daydream compatible headset is sending me a replacement Daydream Controller. Hope it works!

By EdwardM