Virtual Reality is a seemingly natural environment or a virtual world created through a virtual reality headset that stimulates 3 senses namely sight, sound and touch. It is a 360 degree realistic and immersive simulation of a world that interacts with movement and hand actions. Current VR technologies respond to movement of the body.
To experience virtual reality, one has to use a VR headset. It is a combination of display and sound, with a separate display for each eye and sound provided by headphones or earphones or speakers. Though conceptually been around in written since 1938 with Antonin Artaud in his essays, the term gained was coined in the early 1980’s in a novel. The virtual reality concept was numerously tried many times into a physical machine, with a breakthrough
The VR concept was tried many times into a physical machine, with a breakthrough happening around the time of Oculus offering a headset in a 2012 Kickstarter campaign. After Facebook purchased Oculus in 2012, a stream of efforts started pouring into the VR bandwagon. With Sony, HTC, Google, and Samsung jumping in, the world of virtual reality and VR headsets was never the same.
The major current application of virtual reality for the general public is games, though there has been the military use of it from the past 20 years or so. In fact, the defense has virtual reality training procedures which are much advanced than current market standards. The current VR equipment is a VR headset, a motion detection system and controllers which allow movements and hand gestures. Vibrations are built in through the force feedback from the controllers.
Current virtual reality apps include gaming, porn, virtual tours and more adaptations of the technology would soon follow. There is a lot of scope of VR in the fields of science, medicine especially surgery, training for high-tech labor or machine controllers, aerospace training, real estate virtual tours to name a few. VR has been applied in clinical therapy with impressive results.
Currently, a virtual reality headset or VR headset is primarily sold for gaming, but also allow for viewing of movies and other entertainment content. There are two types of headsets, One which works with your smartphone and the other that requires a gaming PC or a gaming console. The first is a cheaper option, has very limited functionality, while the second is a true virtual reality experience provided by a complete kit. See some VR headsets available in the market.
Cheap VR headsets have the option of adding your smartphone and using its screen to do the job. All it composes of is a cardboard apparatus to hold the phone and a pair of lenses for each eye to get a proper view of the screen. Google Cardboard is perhaps the best of the cheap VR headset options. It can be bought for $15 and offers a very basic experience.
Here is a list of the Top 5 Current Best VR Headset that is available in the market
- HTC Vive – Currently the champion or the best VR headset with maximum functionality and best all round performance. The HTC Vive is PC VR headset, is backed by games giant Valve. It is currently most advanced with a dual motion tracking system that can track your movement in 10-foot cube area. It is the only one which has a built-in camera along with motion and external motion tracking. It is the only one to support a display port in addition to HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. Its motion controllers are also pretty advanced. Offer best in class experience.
Cost – $800. Check it out here.
- Sony PlayStation VR – Currently available as a PlayStation 4 accessory, this add-on competes fairly well with other VR headsets. It is not the best but a great option and with PlayStation 4, it enhances the experience. With 40m PlayStation 4 users, the adoption has been fairly fast and working very smooth. Overall a fine experience for users with the best refresh rate at 120. The cost is fairly competitive too.
Cost – $398. Check it out here.
- Oculus Rift – The original pioneer of today’s VR headset technology, it offers a great experience. Developed by Palmer Luckey, and bought by Facebook for $2 billion. It matches HTC in technology but lags in refresh rate and offerings with the price being a sore point. It is a good experience which should become better as it ages. Its controllers are good too.
Cost – $589. Check it out here.
- Samsung Gear VR – It the VR headset to be used with a mobile preferably a Samsung mobile. The actual experience of virtual reality varies according to the smartphone used, changing other variable factors like screen resolution, refresh rate. There is no special proprietary technology associated, and it is an entry level experience which nonetheless is quite refreshing.
Cost – $79. Check it out here.
- Google Daydream – Another mobile based VR headset, the Google Daydream offers a basic experience, in a fiber clad apparatus. The list of phones that are currently supported is limited, though the number is increasing rapidly. It has a remote that acts a controller.
Cost – $78.99. Check it out here.
Microsoft is soon poised to launch its own Windows 10 VR, along with other manufacturers coming up with their devices to get a slice of the pie. The VR market is waiting to burst, you should get ready for great goodies to come.