I hear you can capture your own VR content. How do I pull that off?
There's no way for consumers to create true virtual reality, which requires complex coding to produce interactive digital environments. But with a 360-degree camera, you can make something nearly as cool: photos and videos watchable inside your headset, with realistic head-turning visibility. A couple of years ago, 360-degree cameras cost $10,000 or more, but they're quickly becoming affordable. And they're no more difficult to use than a GoPro. Samsung's Gear 360 ($350; samsung.com), for instance, uses your phone (Samsung only) to digitally stitch together 4K images captured by two wide-angle lenses. The camera comes with a mini tripod that sets up quickly at parties and concerts. Or mount it to your ski helmet or bike handlebars for a killer 360-degree action video.
A similar option is the 360Fly 4K ($419; amazon.com), which uses a single lens so that images don't have to be stitched together. The 360Fly works with both Android and iPhone. For travelers looking to make epic shots on the move, the Ricoh Theta S ($299; amazon.com) has a slim, pocket-ready profile and can be fired up and ready to shoot in 10 seconds. And finally, if you're aiming for maximum resolution, the Panono ($1,750; panono.com) is a softball-size sphere, packing in 36 cameras that generate a combined 108-megapixel still image. The video is stunning, permitting high zoomability.