The idea of virtual reality or VR is not new. It has been circulating in the technology space for many years, but recently, technology has broken some of the long-standing barriers. This has led to the development of the virtual reality headset.
In recent years, these VR headsets have become more accessible both in terms of price and usability. It may have started with devices like the Google Cardboard that opens the door for anyone with a smartphone, but even the high-quality headsets are now more comfortable to use and more appealing.
Modern gaming machines are also much more capable and can help you provide “real” virtual environments in the comfort of your home, which makes it a much more exciting time for VR.
As we have seen with the development of drone technology for domestic users, VR is also developing at great speed.
Getting familiar with a virtual reality headset
A virtual reality headset is a head-up display (HUD) that allows users to interact with simulated environments and experience a first-person view (FPV). The VR headset replaces the user’s natural environment with virtual reality content, such as a movie or a game, with a VR environment pre-recorded at 360 degrees, which allows the user to turn and look around, as is the case in a real world.
Even though virtual reality has been around for some time, the hardware connected to the experiment has traditionally been expensive, bulky, and power-hungry. Today, mobile VR headsets, which are practically goggles that are comfortable to wear and dimple to use.
The video below from BBCJP JP gives a really helpful insight into how to use a Virtual Reality Headset. Have a look.
Tethered or Mobile?
A tethered headset will give you the most realistic virtual reality immersive, fantastic experience on the market.
If you prefer casual games, watch traditional videos on a huge private screen, dive into 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, and take virtual tours, then the mobile headset can be more than adequate. Also, both smartphones and headphones are getting better and faster – and low prices mean that trading up to a newer headset won’t break the bank.
Are virtual reality headsets dangerous?
Most VR headsets come with warnings to watch out for tension, dizziness, nausea, and even clumsiness. However, some experts are concerned about the “immersion” of VR technology on children’s emotions and memories, while other experts say that using VR glasses is no different than using a smartphone.
Every virtual reality headset manufacturer warns of the dangers of overuse of VR headsets. Most VR headset manufacturers agree that parents should supervise their use and allow their children to wear glasses in just 30-minute steps.
Exposing your child to virtual reality will allow them to enjoy experiences they may have only dreamed of before, but it is vital to make sure that your child has free time that is not connected to technology.
Controls, Tracking, and Sound
Many shoppers ignore the controllers when shopping for VR headsets. What they don’t know is that controllers are your gateway into the VR world, and they vary by system. While some controllers provide actual 1:1 position tracking, others do not. It is the controllers that allow you to reach and immerse yourself in your surroundings and it is vital to be as comfortable and precise as possible.
Positional tracking is a vital factor to consider when buying a VR headset. The more accurate the tracking for a specific headset, the better the immersion in VR. Any discrepancy between your position in real life and the game will negatively affect your experience.
As with controllers and positional tracking, sound also plays a significant role in helping you feel immersed. Entry-level VR headsets come with built-in speakers that may not produce premium sound like premium headets with built-in headphones. Such high-quality headphones also come with a built-in microphone that will allow you to use voice control or communicate with others in the game.
The resolution, the update set, and the visual field of a VR headset are fundamental to a decent VR experience. For the resolution part, it’s pretty simple: the higher the resolution, the better quality you’ll experience. This translates into an exceptional VR experience – high-quality images, easy-to-read text, and more precise edges.
The resolution and the refresh rate go together. A suitable resolution would not mean much if the refresh rate is terrible. For fast-paced VR, 90Hz is the minimum requirement. If the game you play is not very intense, you can manage 70Hz. When the VR headset takes too long to refresh, you will begin to notice motion sickness.
The best virtual reality headsets to buy
There are numerous variations in the technology used and experienced with each headset, including the applications you can play and the platforms that support them, so it’s worth doing the research beforehand.
Here are some things you should know about the best VR headsets you can buy this year:
Fiyapoo VR Headset
Instead of experiencing flat screen entertainment, the Fiyapoo VR headset puts you in the action in an incredible way. You can wear a Fiyapoo VR headset, and you will be transported to another world.
The Fiyapoo VR headset encourages an incredibly immersive experience that you can safely enjoy and simulate something real. Using this device, you can enter into particular simulations. The viewer controls the environment and has the power to look around any scene, as well as interact with the objects in the scene.
- View VR Headset 3D – 3D visual field makes you feel like this is real! It balances the immersion and clarity of the viewing while giving you the most excellent VR viewing to watch videos at 360 degrees video.
- Light HD anti-blue lenses – Protected lenses for eyes with unmatched clarity give VR films a quality visual presentation. VR lenses will protect your eyes, and ensure that you have the best experience in this VR glasses.
- Ergonomic design – VR goggles with T-shaped ergonomic straps reduce some pressure around the eyes, face, and head when using this VR glasses without dizziness and fatigue. These black belts can be adjusted and can be adapted to different sizes of ends. I found that they were very comfortable to wear and they fit to the face very easily.
- Wide compatibility – supports 4.5-6 inch screen smartphones.
The Fiyapoo VR headset completely immerses the user in a new simulation environment. This means filling their peripheral vision with the help of the visor, which can stage them and give them control over the scene with their head movements. At least introducing different levels of control can create an immersive experience.
In many movies and games, app creators work on creating more immersive experiences. Using a Fiyapoo VR headset helps users interact with the scene and control elements. Having the ability to pick up objects on stage or interact with the characters can improve the immersion even more and add to the value of VR simulations.
Final thoughts on the Fiyapoo Virtual Reality Headset
Tis is a very cheap, entry level device for use with a smartphone. It works with all modern smartphones – both iOS and Android. Stronger and tougher than Google Cardboard I would certainly recommend this as a good device.
HTC VIVE Cosmos Kit
Vive Cosmos is designed for the new age of space computing, VIVE Reality System allows you to navigate between seamless virtual experiences. Discover new content, launch titles in your library, play a video, or browse the web.
This is at the top end of domestic virtual reality kits.
- Flip-up design
- Quick and easy setup
- Large range of room sensors
- Crystalline graphics
- Precision joysticks
- Wireless adapter
- External tracking mode
Vive Cosmos is an eye catching at first sight. It is a bold, blue helmet with an exciting mesh face and a multi-chamber configuration that really makes it stand out. It is very much a Vive headset, and you can see the inspiration in its design from the previous head-mounted screens of the company.
The video blow in a excellent review by Nathie, explaining 10 things you need to know about the Vive Cosmos
Aside from better images, another useful feature of the Vive Cosmos is the tracking system inside. The new in-house tracking system means that the headset does all the work.
On the original Vive and other versions, you needed at least two external tracking stations connected somewhere in the room to track and monitor your headphones, controllers, and movement in the play area. Not any more.
The result of this interior system is a much easier configuration process. It also means that theoretically, you can connect and use it in several places.
Like the other HTC headphones before, Vive Cosmos first connects to the Link Box and then to your gaming machine. But otherwise, it’s a simple setup, plug, and play process – though you’ll obviously have to go through the VR camera setup first.
Another design aspect for Vive Cosmos is the modular board configuration. The front of this headset can be removed and will be capable of being replaced with other models coming in the future. This idea of future proofing the product is good for a consumer.
The first of the modes is set to an External Tracking Mode, which will allow you to combine Vive Cosmos with HTC Headlights for even better tracking.
The soft cushioning on the respective plate is very well designed and soft around the face. It is also removable, because it is held only with a velcro-like material, which means you can easily clean it if things become a little sweaty. The top and back of the tape are also padded and covered in a wipe material, which should make cleaning more practical. This is an extremely comfortable device to wear.
The controllers have had a design change that is for more than aesthetic reasons. Like the Oculus Touch controllers, the Vive Cosmos controllers now have loops on top. They also have a bright, radiant light, which facilitates tracking of the headset.
Vive Cosmos is comfortable to wear, capable of high-end specifications, more straightforward to configure than ever. It is certainly an excellent alternative to the Oculus Rift headsets.
Visible benchmarks include in-house tracking, new and improved controllers, including aerial firmware updates, and the modular faceplate, which means a potential future upgrade.
All of these – and let’s not forget the built-in speakers, flip-up visor design, and enhanced pixel display – make Vive Cosmos very appealing.
Oculus Rift and Touch Controllers Bundle
The Oculus Rift headphones, sensors, and two controllers promise a total immersion in virtual reality and an experience you’ll never forget. Whether you dive into your favourite games, watch an engaging RV movie, teleport to a place on the other side of the world, or just spend time with friends, everything will be as if you were there.
- Smart design
- Intuitive control
- Integrated quality audio system
- Touch Controllers
Have a look at this excellent video from SIM UK below. It gives a very helpful and detailed unboxing and review of the Oculus Rift and will answer many of your questions.
Oculus Touch controllers detect movements of your hands. These allow you to point your hands towards virtual reality with accuracy and immersion, as if you were really there. The movement of the hands and the interaction with the virtual reality environment becomes extremely intuitive: the raising of toys, blocks, sticks, and laser weapons becomes very natural and simple.
Sensors allow you to make gestures of social interaction, which significantly enhances your multiplayer experience. The Oculus Rift headphones use the latest display and optical technologies for VR technology: a high refresh rate and low persistence display mode, combined with the appropriate optical system. It offers incredible optical authenticity and an extensive and realistic field of view.
What’s in the box?
- Headphones – soft, comfortable headset, with state-of-the-art displays and custom optics ensure incredible visual fidelity and a wide field of view.
- Touch controllers – Touch is a pair of tracked controllers that ensure the intuitive presence of hands in VR – the feeling that your virtual hands are actually yours.
- Two Sensors – Rift sensors track the constellations of IR LEDs to transfer your movement to VR, whether you’re sitting down or standing
From the moment you raise the Occulus Rift, you will feel and see the attention to detail that went into its design and construction. Customizable, comfortable, adaptable, and beautiful, the Rift is a technology and design as outstanding as the experiences it allows.
Advanced ergonomic design improves overall headphone balance and stability. The belt architecture discharges the total weight, allowing the headset to remain secure and comfortable. The adjustable straps also help you get the perfect fit and the cantilever weight of the sliders minimize pressure.
The headphones are tracked by the IR transmitter constellation tracking system for precise orientation and 360-degree position tracking. The tracking system is designed to track you whether you are sitting or standing. It was very accurate and made use of the device easy and rewarding.
Rift’s advanced display technology, coupled with its precise low latency constellation tracking system, allows for the feeling of “presence” – the feeling that you were actually there. The magic of presence changes everything. I have never experienced immersion like this with any other device.
Integrated Vr Audio
The Rift features an integrated VR audio system specifically designed to make you feel like you really are somewhere else – giving you a sense of space and depth. Alternatively, you can remove the integrated headphones and us your preferred ones. There is also a high-quality internal microphone for social experiences and chatting with other users.
Motion Transition With Feedback Force
The arrangement of the controller buttons is similar to that of the Xbox One controller, the difference being in this case that it is split between two hands. Located on each controller are a trigger for the index or middle finger, a grip button (which you press when you punch), an analog stick, two action buttons, and a small menu button. Next to the analog sticks located on each controller, you will find a giant finger support with a light, delicate rubber surface.
The thumb rests, as well as the buttons, are also able to record the user’s touch, even if the buttons themselves are not pressed. When combined with a degree of gesture recognition, this allows controllers to simulate a series of individual and independent finger movements. Last but not least, the regulators come with vibration feedback motors, e.g., collisions between objects in the virtual world.
The first of the high-power virtual reality headsets, Oculus Rift offers jaw-dropping VR experiences with a comfortable design and intuitive interface. This really is an amazing device which will provide lots of fun.
Virtual Reality Headset – should I get one?
VR headsets are fun – they improve the way you play, share photos and expand the way you experience the world, whether you’re an adult or a child.
Today, teachers use VR for educational applications, and people use VR to take a look at travel locations before booking tickets. Fitness fans use VR training apps – and some colleges are turn to VR to improve access to education.
One thing we are sure of – most people will have VR experience in the future. If you want to try the technology now rather than later, our guide should at least help you choose the right headset.
- Complete Guide to Virtual Reality – an excellent and detailed post from Virtual Speech with some great ideas about where VR is going
- This is a great article from VR Sync, explaining how virtual reality headset can be used in schools
- Read this post from Yalantis if you are interested in actually creating your own virtual reality content.
- This post from One Bonsai gives some fascinating insights into the use of virtual reality to help therapy for mental disorders.
Do you need a lot of room for Virtual Reality?
In practice, I would say that you need a minimum of 2m x 1.5m to enjoy VR without getting into difficulties!
How do I know if my computer is Virtual Reality Ready?
You can download the Oculus Rift Compatibility Checker Tool. This will take a matter of a minute or so to tell you if your computer has the spec needed to run any VR equipment.
How much RAM do I need for virtual reality?
About 8GB as a minimum is really what you need