Hi Peter! Thanks for sharing your insights. I am glad my article inspired you to share a more indepth look into mobile VR. Just to make clear: I am a big cheerleader of WebVR & A-Frame and am excited about the potential that it creates for us web developers.
I agree that, just like VR HMDs, smartphones can still render an immersive experience, that as you state can be considered real VR.
However, like in your example with Netflix (now streaming 4K video), optics, audio and performance/latency make the VR experience more realistic, doing a better job of tricking the senses.
In an optimal VR environment our camera view should reflect to our body height, respect our arm length and recognize or position in space — when I am sitting, standing or jumping.
But we have to start somewhere and I am glad that Samsung Gear VR/Galaxy S7 is leading the way, and followed by Google’s Daydream View/Pixel.
I am secretly hoping that an extremely sensitive altimeter will be integrated into the next generation of smartphones, that can sense the change of distance between eye level and ground.
I am not condemning the potential of a technology by judging where it is today, I am pointing out that we have to develop today within hardware & software “limitations and restrictions” and progressively enhance towards the future. WebVR will only get better as the browsers and hardware keep improving.
On that note — we already see smartphones released with 4K screen resolution on 5.5 inches (806ppi), sooner than later we will get rid of the grid-raster graphics in our Cardboard devices.
Thanks for keeping the conversation going! It’s a pleasure exchanging ideas with you.