Gear VR ad reminds you it's not a phone, preorders quickly gone

This week will see the launch of what could be the most affordable, ready to use (that is, not DIY) virtual reality headset in the market and Samsung isn't going to pass up the opportunity to remind people of that. Of course, it is pretty much stating the obvious when saying that the Gear VR is not a phone, but it's yet another jab at Apple's "if it's not an iPhone" ads. It is, of course, a completely different experience, one that tries to commoditize virtual reality even more beyond what Oculus itself is doing.

That said, Oculus does have a hand in this device, as the Gear VR is the fruit of the collaboration between Samsung and the makers of the Oculus Rift. Whereas the Rift is still mostly in development and geared more towards developers and hardcore gamers, the Gear VR, which is coming out this week, at least on T-Mobile, is more like the lightweight but still serious version.

The Gear VR was somewhat revolutionary in its approach to VR. Instead of requiring you to buy the whole complete get up, it instead reuses a screen that you always have with you: your smartphone display. In this case, of course, it's limited to a select few Samsung Galaxy smartphones, but, as we've seen with a few recent attempts, it's an idea worth pursuing with other smartphone models as well.

Virtual reality as a consumer technology is still rather at its infancy, but it seems that every tech company, and even some non-tech ones, wants to jump in on the VR fun. And it seems that it's an idea that resonates with many consumers as well, at least if pre-order numbers are to be believed. Amazon and Best Buy have reportedly quickly run out of their stock, hinting that such a smartphone accessory is quite in demand. The $99 price tag for a novel experience doesn't hurt either.