TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 7, 2016) -

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When we are on the hunt for that perfect Christmas gift the two most common goals are being original and keeping it affordable. Well, here is an original Christmas gift idea that is taking 2016 by storm. Virtual Reality headsets, otherwise known as VR viewers, glasses or goggles are selling like hotcakes this Christmas season. These futuristic goggles offer an immersive experience that literally allows you to step into your screen. They are used to play games, watch movies or open apps on your smart phone and provide the sensation that you are inside your screen and everything around you is very (or virtually) real.

The first devices to be developed by the tech giants were the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC VIVE. While these so called "tethered devices" offer a good VR experience, they had to be connected to a powerful PC or game console and could not be used with smart phones. Most importantly, the price tag of these early players ranged from $399-$799 which made them too expensive for mass market appeal.

Several inexpensive VR solutions hit the market and in May 2015 even Google launched a low-cost product that would be compatible with smart phones. They introduced Google Cardboard; a $15 pair of Virtual Reality glasses, like the name implies, made from cardboard. However, these products simply didn't cut it technologically and their quality did not provide an experience with enough "Wow" factor. In 2016, and just in time for Christmas, a solution appears to have been found somewhere in the middle. Consumers are hungry for a high quality Virtual Reality experience that is affordable. Samsung's Gear VR and Google Daydream seem to tick these boxes. At $79-$99 they offer affordability but there still remains the huge problem of compatibility. The Google Daydream is approved for Daydream ready phones and the Samsung gear VR works only with certain Samsung devices.

Avi Benchimol, president of Montreal based Stark Technologies explains how their Stark VR headset seems to have solved all of these problems. "We wanted to market a Virtual Reality headset in the $50-$80 price range. We sourced our own product and technology to ensure we were selling a high quality VR viewer. We made sure that our product was compatible with over 90% of all smart phones, including the iPhone and iPods. We then included free delivery in North America, excellent customer support and a full year warranty." The customer support is important. Most people don't know which Virtual Reality apps to download; "this is a typical question that remains unanswered by our competitors. We have a support team that will help our customers to find the apps they like".

"Over the past few months and as we approach Christmas our online sales have sky rocketed", Mr. Benchimol adds. While they have two primary VR headsets to choose from on their website; one priced at $49.95 and a more advanced model at $79.95, the vast majority choose the more expensive model.

So, if you're looking for an original and affordable Christmas gift idea this year you've probably found it. For Christmas 2016, Virtual Reality headsets or glasses are the hottest gift idea around.

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Jim Bensimon