VR is going to be the big gift this year and you are going to see a lot of options ranging from Google's "card board" to units costing hundreds of dollars, but right there in the middle is Merge. At only $99 it's a great option to kick off the VR revolution in your home.
Merge works by sliding your phone into the opening and then adjusting the eye lenses so that they focus on the two parts of the screen, creating a 3D image. There's a ton of VR software already available for both iOS and Android devices ranging from concerts to games to 360 movies. With a ton of people expected to get VR Goggles like Merge VR this year, that library should continue to expand.
Things We Like ...
This is a great option that feels a little bit more rugged and durable than other solutions out there. The unit is actually made from a tough foam that is flexible enough to bend and won't break if dropped off the edge of your coffee table.
Additionally, we like the fact that you can use it with pretty much any phone out there today so you aren't necessarily locked into just one manufacturer's technology.
Finally - in addition to VR apps, you can remove the rubber on one side of the goggles to expose the camera for use in augmented reality. That's pretty cool as well and gives added flexibility for the future.
Things We Don't ...
The downside of something that is designed to work with a wide range of devices is that it doesn't quite go together the same way something like Gear VR might. However, feel like it pretty much holds it own visually and at under a hundred bucks I'm willing to deal with some minor inconveniences. These include the fact that there's no external controls on the goggles to help you navigate. Instead, you need to take the phone out of the unit and then put it back in to switch software. They do however have an external controller that is sold separately (we did not review that though).
That really isn't a huge deal, but it is worth noting.
How to Get Merge VR ...
Merge goggles can be purchased for only $99 directly from their website.