Yesterday at 12:30pm Eastern Time OnePlus launched their Loop VR experience, where customers could purchase a OnePlus 3 for a full two and a half hours before open sales began at 3.
I remember last summer’s OnePlus 2 launch (the first-ever phone launch in VR) as kind of a gimmick, and didn’t really have high expectations for this year’s Loop. But I ended up coming away rather impressed—despite not receiving my free VR headset in time and having to deal with a last-minute 604 MB download before launching the OnePlus app.
Being able to actually buy a phone from within the app gives an obvious purpose to the proceedings, but OnePlus also added a clever feature to this year’s experience: the ability to participate without a VR headset. Thus, I’m able to show you these non-stereoscopic screen grabs from my OnePlus One.
I was wondering how I’d be able to make a purchase in VR, and the solution that the app offers is pretty clever. The centre of your screen acts as a target, and hovering over any of the diamond-shaped turquoise buttons that you see will, within a second or two, select it. You begin the app in an elevator; selecting the big button directly in front of you will take you “Into The Loop”.
You begin in the observatory, where you’re greeted by a cheesy Star Wars style holographic image of OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. Fortunately this part doesn’t last too long, and when it’s done—or even before it’s done—you can move on by selecting the button on the bottom-left of this screen.
You’ll then be immediately transported to this render of a Kubrick-esque space station. Kudos to Carl and co. for realizing that their drab offices aren’t the best background for a compelling VR experience.
See those diamond-shaped buttons? You know what to do!
Inside the space station there are three separate rooms, each showcasing a different feature set of the OnePlus 3. Now here’s the important part: every room you visit earns you a badge.
Back in the space station you can see the badges you’ve collected by looking down. Once you’ve got all three head back to the observatory by selecting the button with the half-circle on it.
Now, if you look directly behind you you’ll see a OnePlus 3 with a shopping cart button beside it.
Selecting that button will take you out of VR to this screen, where you input an email address. A few minutes later my inbox had a link with a unique token that I could use to buy a OnePlus 3!
Granted, as of 3pm yesterday you don’t need The Loop to purchase the phone. In fact, as I write this at 7:30am Eastern Time the next morning it’s still available for purchase, with a promise to ship within 8 business days. I’m supposed to get mine next Wednesday; you’ll be hearing a lot more from me about the phone after that!