New Vortex VRTX VR goggles cost just $100, sorta

Vortex's VRTX goggles use a LG G3 phone to pull off cheap virtual reality.

Tom's Guide
If you own a LG G3, the VRTX 1 is only $100.

It's time to add another name to the growing list of companies looking to push the boundaries of virtual reality. Unveiled at PAX Prime in Seattle, Vortex VR's VRTX I headset uses the display from the LG G3 to create a standalone virtual reality experience.

The VRTX I is essentially a head-mounted system that relies on the user to supply their own display, in this case an LG G3. The mount is custom printed by 3D Systems, the same company working with Google to produce its Project Ara modular smart phone. Vortex selected the LG G3 due to its 2560 x 1440-pixels HD+ display. This is reportedly in hopes of reducing motion sickness and the screen door effect that can be caused by lower-resolution displays.

For those lucky enough to already own an LG G3, the price of entry will be significantly lower as the VRTX I is priced at just $100 versus $350 for the second development kit from Oculus VR. This combination also features a higher resolution than the latest from Oculus VR as Oculus uses a 1920 x 1080-pixel screen from a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the centerpiece of its headset.

To power the stand-alone virtual reality experience, Vortex has partnered with GameFace Labs -- a company already familiar with virtual reality having showed off its own headset earlier this year -- to leverage the hardware inside the LG G3.

With the $100 VRTX I still tagged as a developer preview, consumers continue to wait for the first retail-ready virtual reality experience. Large companies like Samsung, Sony and Oculus are all working on VR systems. So time is of the essence for Vortex, if it hopes to beat the tech giants to market.

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