Top New VR Headsets
Virtual reality headsets have come a long way since their first appearance on the market in the early 1990s. Considered a promising and entertaining gimmick for decades, virtual reality headsets have become more user-friendly and designed for use at home. Breaking through long-standing barriers like affordability, access, and ease of use, VR headsets have risen in demand in fields like education and medicine as well as gaming. While the idea of virtual reality is far from new, it wasn’t until devices like Google Cardboard opened up possibilities of virtual reality using smartphones, making it a reality for consumers of all interests and levels of play. Thanks to technological and design advances, virtual reality headsets have also become more comfortable and even fashion-forward. The top three VR headsets coming out in 2016 are the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Samsung Gear VR.
The Oculus Rift is by far the most popular virtual reality headset on the market. One of the biggest names in the virtual reality world, Oculus Rift promises huge improvements over previous models. The Oculus Rift is constructed of several sensors, integrated headphones, and a display for each eye. While some details are still murky regarding where the Ocuclus will be able to pull content from, one certainty is that the Oculus Rift can be used with Xbox One and with Windows 10 on PCs through the Oculus app store. In addition to gaming, the Oculus Rift provides positional tracking cameras in order for users to explore virtual spaces. Users will be able to feel immersed in the virtual space, able to peek around corners and lean over surfaces without feeling sick from motion. The Rift offers a total resolution of 2160?-1200, a field of view larger than 100 degrees, and a 90 Hz refresh rate.
The HTC Vive is another comprehensive VR experience. What sets it apart is the ability that users have to freely roam around the room. While similar systems provide some movement, the HTC Vive utilizes wall-mounted lasers to map location and movement that can be integrated into virtual space. The Vive has a range of sensors, including two ski pole-like controllers, triggers for gaming, track pads, and a grip. However, users may have to supply their own headphones for the full experience. Another advantage to the Vive is that HTC has partnered with the popular gaming company Steam as part of the research and development of virtual reality products. The HTC Vive has a total resolution of 2400?-1080 and a field of view that is over 100 degrees. HTC is also in talks with HBO, Google, and Lionsgate, for exciting virtual reality content for the future.
The Samsung Gear VR represents a partnership between Oculus and Samsung, promising a comprehensive virtual reality experience using a smartphone and a headset. The most notable advantage of the Samsung Gear VR is that it is used with smartphones, which are far more affordable than high-end gaming PCs. The Gear VR experience is limited to the newest models of Samsung phone, from Galaxy Note 4 and newer. All of these phones have higher resolutions, with 2560?-1440 Super AMOLED screens, along with a 96 degree field of vision. Many of the apps used with the Samsung Gear VR will require the use of Samsung’s Game Pad, which will cost extra, while the Oculus App is free and can be used with the Gear VR right out of the box.