Virtual reality age is an age that keeps changing, with a broad range of devices and software launched in the period of 2016 and more expected in 2017.
With virtual reality, you dive deep into a virtual dimension. This type of feeling is not available on regular screening. Most virtual reality will make use of 4 of the 5 senses; vision, touch, hearing, and smell. This technological power will transport users to a virtual universe with exciting experiences. The design of your brains perceives the experience to be in 3D, this is made possible by the stereoscopic display. The stereoscopic display operates by relaying two different angles of the virtual space to each eye, and this simulates depth. When this display is used together with others like parallax, the results are outstanding. Furthermore, complementing these with the shading techniques creates a life-like experience. You can even now hook them up to your Tablet for further flexability!
Virtual reality has been in existence for a while in the tech industry. However, the technology has made a great impact in the recent years. For example, Google cardboard has opened opportunities to users with Android devices, and the potential of the HTC vive demonstrated that the presence of electricity has improved the existence of the life-like virtual experience making it exciting. All the big companies in the virtual reality industry have either launched or about to launch their virtual reality platforms. However, the question remains whether virtual reality will be here for good and remain relevant. The power of technology has become more evident in virtual reality. A simple headset and motion-tracking device can give a view of the experience of a virtual space as if you exist there; this is fascinating.
Being a promising technology, the current years seems to be conforming to the technology. Oculus has gone to launch the customer ready Rift, Vive and HTC have launched the steam-friendly vive. Sony recently launched the virtual reality playstation while Samsung is improving its VR gear and Google is about to launch the waited Daydream platform.
Mobile or tethered VR
Virtual reality headsets are either tethered or mobile. Mobile headsets are gears or shells equipped with lenses where you put your smart device. The lenses work to divide the screen for your eyes making you experience VR on your device. Examples of mobile headsets are; Google Daydream View and Samsung Gear VR. These devices do all the processing, that is, no wire connections required. They are further inexpensive going for less than $100. Despite this, some phones will not provide the best picture because they were not initially designed for virtual reality. Phones are also underpowered as compared to game consoled-based VR or PC. Nevertheless, some cool VR headsets exist. Qualcomm launched a cool device that lets you traverse a virtual space without any sensors or connections installed in your room. This is the Snapdragon 835-powered prototype headset device.
On the other hand, tethered headsets are connected to a PC, a PSVR or a play station. These dedicated displays, together with motion sensors and camera trackers improve the virtual experience. Head tracking and image fidelity are drastically improved. Examples of tethered headsets are; Oculus Rift, play station VR and HTC vive.
How does virtual reality work?
Gaming and entertainment are transformed by new virtual reality developments. The constant craving for virtual reality is the primary reason why consumers find it popular and cannot wait to lay their hands on a new VR device. As a result, virtual reality companies are making huge benefits by investing in virtual reality products and services.
Applications of virtual reality can be found in Healthcare, gaming, deign, education as well as fine arts. However, the ever-dynamic need of consumers is a challenge for the companies when providing a personalized and detailed experience. Consumers are always in search of the entertaining experience.
For customers desiring the immersive experience in the virtual reality world, below are the best six virtual reality googles to check out.
HTC Vive/ Steam VR
This package includes two motion controllers, a headset, and two base stations. The base stations serve to define a “whole room” virtual reality region. A new dimension or space is added which you experience as if you exist there. Other features include; multifunction trackpads having haptic feedbacks.
The HTC vive is the only virtual reality system that can track your movements. The motion controllers are pretty advanced as compared to the play station VR. However, the price tag of $800 is substantial to most users. Furthermore, it consumes a lot of power. For optimal experience, therefore, the HTC recommends a GeForce GTX 970 GPU or Intel Core i5 processor.
Currently, some new features have been added to improve the VR experience. Improved head straps and updated motion sensors are among the new features. Furthermore, there is the Vive Phone Services; these features enable connection to iPhone and Android devices to deliver messages and receive alerts while you are in virtual reality mode. This allows you to spend time in your virtual reality world while at the same time keep in touch with real world.
Courtesy of steam, the HTC Vive is considered the best VR headset on the market. Its refreshing rate and resolution produce a smooth moving image, which is similar to the Oculus Rifts. Through the Vive home VR software, a virtual space is experienced. You can also choose from either; loft setting that is modern or space station (sci-fi) as the background and the projected system. The system is much easier to use than the Steam VR Interface big picture mode.
Google Daydream view
The headset is made of a gray material, with a flat top where your Android device is put. It comes with a single strap, which goes behind the head. The Google Daydream view is only compatible with pixel wireless phones and Google pixels. The new Daydream view VR headset is beautifully designed like the pixels phone and the Google Home Speaker. The device is similar to the Google cardboard. You just put your device on the headset, and it works as the display. The two lenses inside that divide the screen enables this experience. The headset goes for $79
Comparing it with the Google cardboard and the Gear VR, the Daydream view headset comes with a controller. The remote controller is equipped with a menu button, home button and a touch pad. It is also tilt sensitive. Battery life is 12 hours and can be recharged with a USB cable. The software library has a few apps, but you can still find apps that can work with it. It is also not compatible with the cardboard apps. Google are working to develop the product to be compatible with more phones in the future.
Activation of the headset is simple. Select the Daydream app on your pixel phone put the phone in the front slot of the headset and strap it. Using the remote control, you can browse through the Daydream Home screen. However, only limited Google play apps are available. The power of your phone, screen resolution, and size can also inhibit the quality of the VR. This is not a major issue since only two phones, which have solid displays, are available for the Daydream View.
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR is the fourth iteration of the Oculus-powered virtual reality headset. The Korean based company owns this product. The new Samsung Gear VR was launched together with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Just like its predecessor, the new Samsung Gear VR costs $99. Furthermore, it has similar features to the previous Samsung VR headset.
This device has exciting features. The headset is comfortable to wear, wireless, requires simple set up, powered by your phone and the software library contains free and affordable applications. The library has expanded. The Samsung Gear VR has advanced ergonomics and features a sleek design. It is more improved compared to its predecessor. Besides being compellingly polished, the device is hugely accessible as well.
Activation of the gear is simple all you will need is a compatible device (Samsung Galaxy Smartphone). Compatible phones include; S6 edge+, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5.
With the Gear, games, videos, and application usage are brought to an entirely new level. However, only those with compatible devices will able to enjoy this. Purchasing a new phone to be used with a new gear shoots the total process to that of owning an HTC Vive.
The collaboration of Samsung with Oculus enabled the building of the VR software ecosystem. This comes with a broad range of applications, games, and virtual theaters. With virtual theaters, streaming video services like Netflix is made possible. The product is considered the best choice if you want to experience quality virtual reality, due to the rich content its library offers.
Exciting new features
Given that the device is similar to the previous one regarding features and price, one would ask; what is new? The most notable change is arguably the darker body, dark blue. This is different from the predecessor’s, which is white in both the interior and exterior. The dark region of the device improves viewing when in bright rooms. The field of view has been increased from 96 to 101 degrees. You therefore, will, be able to more on the screen. Another notable difference is the replacement of the USB-C connector port and the charging port with the standard legacy micro-USB. Besides the mentioned compatible Samsung devices, the Gear will also support the new Samsung Note 7. This, therefore, becomes apparent to the choice of VR Gear you will need when you purchase the note 7. Furthermore, you can charge your phone while inside the VR headset. You are however required to use a Samsung cable. The charging port is located on the sides of the headset. Alternatively, you can use the micro-USB adapter from the 2016 VR’s packaging gear, if you have an old Samsung Smartphone.
Other outstanding features include;
- Easy to use touch controls,
- Adjustable headset that are comfortable and fit well lighter weight and
- Improved and durable padding.
Sony PlayStation VR
The Sony PlayStation VR has transformed the world of gaming. An entirely vivid virtual world experience is evident with the device. With 3D audio technology, the sound is clean and sharper. A lifelike feeling when gaming is possible by the advanced virtual reality display. The device is easy to use; just plug and play. For your comfort, you can adjust it for optimal experience after wearing for too long.
The device is affordable, user-friendly and accessible. The Sony PlayStation VR outlook is impressive; a black fascia, sleek white edging and cool lights that allow motion sensing. The Sony play station VR operates with the PS4, PS4 slim, and PS4 Pro. This advantage makes it cheaper than owning an HTC vive or an Oculus Rift.
Advanced VR display
An expansive 5.7” OLED 1080p display connects you to the virtual world. This display has a running capacity of 120 frames per second. There is a presence of LEDS around the PlayStation Move controller, DUALSHOCK4, and the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation camera tracks these LEDS, providing an accurate image capture of your motions in the virtual environment.
The headset experience
The headset design is meant to balance, be adjustable and comfortable to users. When you wear it, it feels like you are not wearing it. This experience ensures you are not disturbed when exploring the virtual gaming universe. The technology used by the PlayStation VR is similar to the other VR’s. However, Oculus and HTC Vive have higher screen resolutions. Furthermore, the product’s design is not for children under the age of 12. Nevertheless, when you consider the price and the fact that you already have half of the gaming hardware with you, owning the product becomes irresistible. Adding this to the company’s clear distribution channel, quality control, close developer relationships, the PlayStation VR presents a very compelling position. It becomes a solution to the complex universe of PC-based virtual reality.
Tracking head movement is possible, and the play station camera together with the PlayStation Move control or PS4 controllers outputs the virtual reality experience. The headset is flexible and does not fasten to your face. This is not the case to other VR headsets. By just pressing a button located at the back of the headset, a plastic band extends. Placing the band over your head, it adjusts automatically to fit. When you feel like the headset is still light, use the plastic dial to tighten. While doing all this, it does not feel like your head gripped. This reason is why the headset is very comfortable.
The weight of the headset spreads to your forehead and back of your head. When you wish to prevent external light, small rubber flaps will do the trick.
Through the PlayStation VR, gamers are provided with an exciting experience. Since the launch of the product, a broad range of content is accessible to the users. From applications to over 70 games, were initiated in a window period of only a few months. These games and applications are already available to users. Furthermore, several mini games and experiences are available in the PlayStation virtual reality world. Games like the London heist, the playroom VR, RIGS and Batman: Arkham VR, fantastic battle zone area available.
The difference that sets the PlayStation VR apart from the other VR’s is the presence of an already existing platform. This eliminates the barriers to virtual reality. Your current gaming console will be used to experience the vast content that the PlayStation VR has to offer.
Oculus Rift is solely responsible for creating the powerful wave of virtual reality at its various promises to the virtual industry. Palmer Luckey started oculus rift as a kick-starter project. He eventually sold the project to Facebook for a huge two billion dollars. The virtual reality experience was excellent. Ocular rift’s primary consumer market targeted the virtual reality headset users. Despite the fact that the price tag for the product is heavy, the features and qualities of the product easily out did the other competitors in the virtual reality industry.
In the premium segment, the Oculus Rift is the primary rival to the HTC Vive. Understanding how to use the Oculus Rift is simple, and this has set the product apart from others. With little visual flair, it comes as rectangular visor with rounded edges. It has a completely flat front panel marked with the famous Oculus logo. Similarly, the visor sides are also flat. The visor links to arms that move slightly up and down and attaching to three straps that secure the device to your head. The device comes with a re-display, remote control, and integrated headphones.
Two straps extend around the side of your head while one strap extends from the top of the visor over your head. Here, the padded triangle at the back connects to the visor. Hook and loop fasteners hold the three straps in place. The straps can also be adjusted. The headphones sit on the arms, where they pivot and can move up and down to fit in your ears properly. Without the other integrated features, the headset is light and very comfortable. Glasses can be worn with the device; however, they will fit tight. The oculus rift further comes with a movement sensor and an Xbox controller. To achieve optimal performance, the Oculus Rift will require enough room space and a powerful PC just like the HTC Vive. Several gaming PCs have been recommended on the product’s website.
This is arguably the cheapest and simplest way to get a feel of the virtual reality experience. The Google Cardboard viewer is easy to set up and is compatible with most Android devices on the market. It also supports the Apple iPhone. To use the cardboard, you just mount your Android device into the headset and proceed to install the Google Cardboard app, available at no cost in the Google Play Store.
Compatible and fits in any smartphone
The Google cardboard product first came into existence in 2014, merely as a cardboard container that can be used to hold your Android device. The Google Cardboard has attracting qualities and features. It comes as a twofold, that is; it supports or is compatible with a broad range of Android or Smartphone devices in the market, as long as they fit in the headset, and there is the Google Cardboard app. The cost of the Google Cardboard hardware is small and sometimes often free.
In some way, the Google cardboard is considered a breakaway success. The device allows Smartphone users to experience virtual reality content from either Google or elsewhere, without investing in a sophisticated system. Reports from the Google Company indicate that the shipment of Google cardboard device to users around the world has reached five million. A wide range of applications is available for the device. Google has also highlighted on the continued VR development and more investment in the future. It should also be noted that the Google cardboard device serves not only as a cardboard viewer but also as VR platform name from Google, which has been succeeded by the Daydream view.
No heads strap needed
With the Google cardboard, no head strap is required. In fact, the presence of the head strap would make it uncomfortable to wear. It is an ad hoc virtual reality viewer. The cardboard was designed to be held close to your face so at to view the content. A variety of Google cardboard applications for the content can be accessed from its software library. With the device, you can see 360 environments like the Google street view or YouTube material in a 360 view. The Google Cardboard is the first step for a user who wants to dive into the virtual reality world and experience what it has to offer. With the Google cardboard, everything makes perfect sense.