Tek Gear offers free headset

(Image courtesy Tek Gear Inc.)

(Image courtesy Tek Gear Inc.)

Canada’s Tek Gear Inc. is offering a free virtual reality headset to anyone who wants one — as long as they pick up the shipping charges.

“We’ve been in the VR business for over 24 years, delivering high end immersive solutions to military, medical, industrial and research institutions worldwide,” said Tony Havelka, Tek Gear president, in the announcement. “Most of the VR products we sell are priced quite high and out of reach of the VR enthusiast.”

By offering it for free, he said, the company hopes to get more people to try virtual reality.

“Our experience in the VR industry has shown us that, in order to get a consumer grade VR headset to market, it must have a much lower cost,” he said. “There’s nothing lower cost than $0 – so that’s where we set the price.”

However, when you consider the shipping costs, the headset isn’t such a great deal after all.

For example, to get it delivered to me here in Massachusetts, shipping starts at $30. Physically picking it up at their offices costs $14.

For that price, I can get the Leji VR Mini, which has better specs, and save myself a drive to Canada.

The Tek Gear headset weighs 12 ounces, which is about the same as the Samsung Gear VR. The headset can hold phones from 4.5 to 6 inch screen sizes.

It looks a lot like a white Shinecon, which start at $15 on Amazon.

Tek Gear did not say what their headset’s field of view is, but the Shinecon is 80 degrees, which is lower than most other headsets on the market. Both the Leji VR Mini and the Samsung Gear VR are 96 degrees. The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are 110 degrees. The BoboVR Z4 claims a 120-degree field of view.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Roman Monges

    How do i get a free vive

    • First, you wait five years for Vive 5 to come out.

      Then you find someone with the first-generation Vive who wants to get rid of it, and you tell them you’re going to Best Buy anyway, and you can drop it off for them in the recycling bin.

      Then you keep it! Bwa ha ha ha.

      But seriously, I don’t know of anyone giving away $800 headsets right now. If you want to try one out, I recommend joining your local VR meetup group, where developers often do demos of new tech to get early feedback, or visit one of the VR arcades that are now popping up in various places.