This year Virtual Reality (VR) finally goes mainstream. Although a non starter in the 90’s with the gaming and screen technology on the market, VR has made a comeback today. There are a number of incredible VR headsets in development, and some already for sale now. VR allows you immerse yourself in the world of games such as Skyrim, and other console & PC fantasy universes, giving you the full HD 3 dimensional experience of the game world. Even movies are compatible with these headsets. Here are the best VR headsets to watch out for.
Sony Project Morpheus
Sony’s Project Morpheus VR headset has a launch release date of the first half of 2016. Already in the final stages of development, Project Morpheus features a 5.7″ 1920×1080 organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. This is meant to improve the motion blur and enable low persistence. The refresh rate of the display has been set at 120hz, giving you a chance to play games at 120 frames per second.
The Vr headset is able to give the user Six degrees of freedom (6DoF), allowing you to rotate your head in any direction for a view. It also features a high Field Of View (FOV) meaning that the display is high quality enough for you to see large distances into the environment. This is Sony’s second attempt at virtual reality, with their first in the 1990’s for the playstation called The Glasstron. Not very popular at the time, lets hope their new headset takes the gaming world by storm.
The HTC Vive is a result of a team between the mobile phone hardware manufacturer HTC, and game development company Steam. This VR headset is scheduled for a release in November 2015. The Vive headset plugs into your PC, and is designed to work with Valve’s huge gaming ecosystem. It is built with 70 sensors for motion detection, and allows 360 degree head tracking. There is a 90 hz refresh rate on the display. It also comes with a context aware controller that allows you to move, shoot and interact with game elements directly.
The HTV Vive VR headset features 2 different screens for each eye, both with a display resolution of 1080×1200. It also houses an accelerometer, to reduce the lag when you move your head in a direction quickly. Valve has already released it’s OpenVR software development kit (SDK) and has been endorsed by Epic Game, the makers of The Unreal tournament saga.
The Oculus Rift is the VR headset that started the current trend for virtual reality capabilities. First launched in 2012 as part of a Kickstarter campaign, and then bought up by Facebook. It has gone through a number of interceptions since it was first released with various improvements to its tracking and display system. The previous Crystal Cove edition of 2014 has now been replayed with what people expect will be a 2015 release, and its called Crescent Bay. This gives you full 360 degrees of visual freedom, and 1080p visual display.
Although not for sale publicly, the Oculus Rift has sold well over 100,000 units as a developer kit. This developer kit headset features a number of features that we can expect to see in the released version. There is a proposed 1000 Hz Adjacent Reality Tracker that gives better tracking facilities than all the other headsets on the market. As well as gyros, and accelerometers, the headset uses magnetometres to provide absolute head orentiation without tracking drift. There are a number of games already released that support the Rift including Half Life 2. Will we see the Oculus finally released in 2015? We sure hope so.
Avegant Glyph take a novel apporach to the VR headset challenge. It doesn’t emerse your eyes into a blackened out world, it allows you to see what else it going on around you just by shifting your eyes. Its an approach that sees the Avegant Glyph opt for a streamlined deswign, that looks like you just pulled a set of head phones over your eyes. It works by reflecting the image on an array of mirrors directly into your retina, giving you a good view of the VR image your looking at.
It does feature 1280×720 display resolution for each eye. While it only features a 45 degree FOV, it does have a 120hz refresh rate. The makers of the Avegant claim that their approach reduces eye fatigue, and motion sickness. The original Avegant started life as a kickstarter project, and its expected release date is sometime in the fall of 2015. It hasn’t been announced what the headset will be compatible with.
Mobile Phone VR Headsets
Samsung Gear VR
Samsun has decided to enter the VR heradset battleground with the Samsung Gear VR. Its built in conjunction with the Oculus VR, and allows you to put your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 inside tteh headset. The VR head doens’t use its own display, thats why it requires the Galaxy Note 4. It does have Oculus Rifts’ head tracking module built into it though, so it gives you better tracking ability than just using your phones tracking.
The Samsung Gear Vr headset uses Super AMOLED display as your screen, and the Galaxy handset plugs comfortably into a Micro USB slot, in the front of the headset. There is a trackpad and back button the side of the headset that allows you to control the menu of games with a basic approach, but you will need a compabable Bluetooth controller to be able to play games on it. The Samsung Gear Headset is available to buy now here.
Carl Zeiss VR One
The Carl Zeiss VR One headset is a headset that is powered by smartphone. Its different from the Samsung Gear in its range of compatibility though. The Carl Zeiss VR headset will work with any iOS or Android smartphone between 4.7″ and 5.2″. This coivers a wide range of smartphone on the martket today. You can watch videos, and browse pictures on the headset as well as play compatible VR games. Priced at $99, and scheduled for December 2015 release date, Carl Zeiss is hoping this VR headset will prove to be popular. But with the lack of a development kit so far, and specialized games showing off its capability, we doubt it will.