I use the GearVR a lot for this blog. Not only do I test apps and games on the platform,I sometimes have the chance to try out accessories or hardware . Lately I had the pleasure to receive a VRPadding.com replacement. Don’t get fooled by the generic self-made website, it’s a great product made from a hard working entrepreneur with a lot of guts.
As a gamer, I also have a few games I like to dive into for hours. Long Netflix session, movies, and long game sessions was uncomfortable. The GearVR padding does an ok job for short sessions, but I came to realize that long play sessions leaves you with major comfort issues. In short, it hurts my face to the point of feeling burns for half an hour after removing the headset. It’s an issues Dave Styles wanted to resolve as a VR enthusiast and heavy user. Even for occasional users, the difference in comfort is huge. Here is the difference in marks left from the original GearVR after only 40 minutes of use, VS the VRpadding after 1h30 minutes.
The size is obviously the major difference. Even the Standard model pictured above is a significant improvement in size. The bigger model is about 50% wider for added comfort. Installation was easy, it sticks to the GearVR velcro system without any issue. I fiddled a bit to get the perfect fitting and block all the lightbleed I had with the original padding. All I had to do is place correctly the nose part, before slowly stretching the padding all the way to the sides before fixing the top part. I tighten the straps a bit more and it felt a lot better than I expected. Here is the difference in size between the Large and the Regular size padding.
Dave got into VR at an early stage, with the Oculus DK2, then he got the GearVR. Unsatisfied with the comfort, he tried many of the different padding offered on the market. He came to the conclusion that what was currently offered did not meet his needs, mostly the same bulk bought from China padding reselling the at 30 times the price (they usually cost 0.50$ and are sold between 10$ and 20$). Instead, he invested his savings and worked full-time, for months, on this new VR padding. He went through the challenging path of entrepreneurship. He analysed the available products on the markets to find out the perks and the flaws of the current offer. He sought the help of designers and the expertise from people used to the production process in order to come up with a final product. What he thought would take a few weeks ended taking over 6 months until he reached the quality his product deserve. Dave wanted to make sure his product is unique and offers premium grade comfort and quality at an affordable price. They are made in the USA to allow better quality control over product. Here again is the visible difference in padding between the original GearVR and the Regular size VRPadding.com
One side is made out of premium pleather, a synthetic leather imitation, while the other side is made of the fabric needed for the pad to attach the GearVR Velcro. The inside is made out of high density foam that allow maximum pressure dispersion. Some people don’t like pleather, but I believe it to be a good choice for most users. First of all, its soft on the skin. Second, while some people rather have a fabric material , it absorbs sweat a lot more. They must be thrown in the washing machine more often while it’s a lot easier to disinfect the pleather with wipes. This unique feature makes it a must have for whoever runs VR demo. When a GearVR is passed around in a demo kiosk, where the ability to easily disinfect padding is important. For people who do want to wash it, note that pleather is machine washable, but to make sure not to damage the padding itself I’d personally recommend hand-wash in soapy water if it ever get dirty.
Usually sold at 24$ each, it’s currently on promotion at 18$ (or 2 for 28$) until supplies lasts. A very fair price for what it is. Christmas is coming and this might be an amazing gift to ask for or give a fellow GearVR friend. You can buy them from his website with a credit card or Paypal. Get yours now at https://vrpadding.com/