Remember when the “next big thing” was HDTV? Well, these days HDTV is standard, and what everyone’s looking forward to is when (not if) Virtual Reality takes over and thrusts us into the action. I mean, can you imagine watching a baseball game as if you were standing in the batter’s box? What about watching your favorite rock band as if you were on stage?

Of course, the problem right now is that while VR is cool, high-end displays are expensive and programming is limited. So, for most of us (i.e. those that don’t light our cigars with $100 bills!), it’s going to be a while before we dive into the VR experience. Or is it?

You may not be aware, but there are some surprisingly low-cost headsets available. All you need is to plug your headset into a smartphone or tablet, head to the web, and voilà: you can get your VR fix anytime, anywhere. Here’s a look at 7 really cool apps that I think you’ll enjoy:

Cardboard

Google’s Cardboard is a good place to start if you’re new to the VR universe. The app lets you explore the planet with Google Earth, visit famous places, watch your favorite videos and more. Yeah, it’s been around for a while, but it’s still a must-have app.

Within VR (VRSE)

This one is my personal favorite. VRSE, which is now called Within – VR, offers a collection of high-quality short films and documentaries. The company behind this app works hard to give users an amazing experience. The app immerses you in intense and beautiful situations that will fascinate you. I highly recommend it!

Titans of Space

The two previous apps let you visit interesting places on earth, but Titans of Space will launch you into space. You’ll see what things look like from the captain’s chair, and the experience lasts about an hour. This app is amazing. Check it out – trust me, you won’t regret it.

YouTube

Yes, that’s right: good old YouTube, home to an infinite number of cat videos and unboxings, actually has some surprisingly cool VR videos. Just download the app and immerse yourself in a 360 degree experience. Grumpy Cat would approve.

Chair in a Room

If you’re an easily scared person, don’t try this one alone at night. Chair in a Room is an immersive horror game with a storyline that will, sooner or later, make you scream and jump up in fright (so make sure you don’t have a beer in your lap or anything!). And no: the game isn’t about you sitting on a chair in a room. There are multiple environments, stories, and many mysteries to resolve.

Fulldive VR

Fulldive is one of the most useful VR apps out there because it allows you to do many different things, including:

  • Explore and stream YouTube Videos (normal, 3D and 360 videos)
  • Watch your videos
  • Browse the internet in VR with the app’s built-in VR browser
  • Take VR pictures and videos
  • Store and access your pictures and videos in the VR gallery
  • Access all VR applications you have installed on your phone directly

You’ll also soon be able to use the app to watch Netflix and stream content to a monitor. I’ve tried lots of VR apps, and this is likely the most practical.

Nighttime Terror VR

This VR game was one of the first I ever played, and I’m still fascinated by it. Nighttime Terror VR is simple and fun. Here’s the story: you’re in a kid-like environment and must defend yourself from the evil toys. There’s also a demo if you’d like to give it a try before buying.

What should I try next?

Have you tried any of these apps? If so, please share your experiences. Please also let me know what apps I should try next!