This month, James, TalkTalk Mobile's Devices Product Manager, is taking you through the exciting advances in virtual reality. Now available on smartphones, letting you interact with virtual 3D worlds, it's this year's must-have innovation and most-wanted Christmas gift.
Making the leap from theme park to pocket
It used to be that virtual reality was only really available at theme parks. You'd sit in a simulator and watch a huge screen, believing you were flying a plane or riding a rollercoaster to the moon. But now that smartphones support the same technology, the thrills come to you.
Last year, Google was first to experiment with this new innovation, creating a cardboard headset that lets you play immersive games. This year, some of the biggest names in home technology have followed suit. But what's the difference in what they offer, and is the hype all it's cracked up to be?
Affordable adventures with Google Daydream
If you've got a smartphone that can run the Android 7 Nougat operating system – like the Motorola Moto G4.The Google Daydream headset is made from a comfortable fabric and you get a simple wand to hold in your hand, so it couldn't be easier. You can do everything from watching movies to playing games, so expect the Fantastic Beasts movie to create a tie-in that hits the shelves before Christmas.
Find out if and when your smartphone will be able to run the Android 7 Nougat operating system.
Find out how to update your smartphone to the newest operating system.
Other great headsets and what to look out for
Samsung, LG and even Alcatel have released headsets this year at a range of prices. But how do you know which one to pick? Things like field of vision, weight, variety of games and software, and ventilation for glasses are all factors to consider. Prioritise what's most important to you.
If you're looking for a great Christmas gift, Alcatel's Idol 4 smartphone with included headset (coming soon) does the job nicely. Or you could go for the Motorola Moto G4 smartphone and add the Google Daydream. They're both stylish, low-cost devices.
If you already have a smartphone that supports virtual reality, just be aware that apps will likely take up a lot of space and drain your battery fairly quickly. You can find advice to clear space in your memory and make your battery last longer on our blog.
Have a merry virtual Christmas
With virtual reality we've already had great fun doing everything from fighting zombies to facing the All Blacks' haka. It's amazing technology that will only get better – just imagine what it will do for medicine, engineering and business.
That being said, I heartily recommend you start your virtual adventure this year. The Alcatel Idol 4 is certainly on my Christmas list.
TalkTalk Mobile's Devices Product Manager