It is no doubt that the Occulus Rift inspired a whole industry to reboot. 2015 saw investment of $602m in VR (according to Pitchbook). The “head mounted display” (hmd) is where it starts. If you have ever tried one, you will know what a fantastic experience it is. VRLA suggested that the youth of today will be the last to experience life without virtual reality. We have been shooting in 360 since 2008, and the new technology is the best thing to happen since internet speeds went turbo. Here are a few headsets worth mentioning.
The easiest and cheapest way to get an HMD is with Google Cardboard. If you have a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android, you can simply pop it in, hold it up to your eyes and enjoy.
Satisfied with your smart phone as a VR device? Try Homido. It is a little more costly, however more comfortable, with a head band and has the ability to make adjustments like focus. You may also like to pair it with a bluetooth joystick. There are plenty of other similar devices out there! Zeiss have a very high end version too.
Samsung Gear was designed by Occulus and works with Samsung Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge. As it is custom designed, it fits perfectly and only costs $100. It has on-board electronics (sensors) that greatly reduce latency issues that you will experience with the “cardboard” type viewers. The integration from Samsung makes this worth buying a Samsung phone.
Sony Playstation VR otherwise known as “Project Morpheus” will be revitalizing Playstation later this year. This is for Playstation 4 only meaning their focus is with gaming. The Playstation and other devices have portals to other content, so it is likely that other content will be accessible.
Microsoft HoloLens is virtual and augmented reality. It blends the real world with virtual ‘holographic’ images. You could have a virtual 60inch television above the fireplace and have your emails displayed on the fridge. Using Kinect-style tech to recognise gestures and voice commands, the headset has a 120 degree field of vision on both axis, and is capable of ‘high definition’ visuals. There’s also no connection to a PC – a full Windows 10 system is built into the headset and runs off a battery. Hope for a release in 2016
Apple are often slow at releasing new tech (however maintain they were first). For example, FaceTime was released in 2010, Skype 2003. They have been making VR patents since 2010 and have been recruiting VR engineers. The only official message is the “View-Master” listed on their site. Apple are keeping stumm about their plans. Gene Munster claims VR will be coming to iOS in the next 2 yrs Apple purchased PrimeSense a 3D body scanning technology company for $345m and many other acquisitions to date. Will they announce a headset with the iPhone 7? Could it be a VR headset sold alongside the Apple TV or a Mac as a gaming accessory? Perhaps an accessory like Samsung’s? Easy to forget, Apple invented qtvr in 1995.
With a name that sounds like a Greek God’s porn name, Oculus Rift will be the standard for things to come. It is aimed largely at gamers and has high specifications such as 120fps and low latency for an eye opening experience. It is really for PC but may work on a mac and needs a really good graphics card. It also requires 4 usb ports meaning you have to be plugged in which means less portability.