While escaping to alternative realities was previously an activity only possible in our imaginations, these fantasies have become more literally experienced through the use of VR headsets. Using a VR headset literally brings another dimension into your entertainment experience—from 2D to 3D. Best of all, this can be achieved in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
VC headset users can choose their particular headset and interface according to their preferences and budget. While some simply connect to smartphones, others connect to computers and use handheld controllers. Some VR headsets such as Oculus Quest do not need to be plugged into anything at all. VR headset technology provides a range of options to immerse the user in various depths of virtual reality.
The Basics of How VR Headsets Operate
VR headsets use various forms of input to provide experiences for the user. Aside from providing visual experiences, they use head tracking technology and voice commands, often in conjunction with handheld controllers. Some VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and Playstation VR use what is referred to as head-mounted displays (HMDs).
VR headsets aim to essentially trick our brains into perceiving digital outputs as a reality that is felt on the level of actual experience (3D). Video comes through various sources depending on the VR headset chosen, including via smartphone or HDMI cable connected from your computer. They may also come directly (natively) through the headset’s processor itself.
The 3D image is achieved by converting a 2D image stereoscopically into a 3D image. It splits the video feed into two parts, one for each eye. Specific angles and types of lenses are used to create the experience of a life-like image. The lenses automatically focus according to eye movements. The user’s movement is sometimes also tracked via the use of sensors or cameras placed within the room.
In addition to simply seeing in 3D, the headsets create the experience of being able to turn your head in all directions (360 degrees) and generate responses according to the movement of your head (including forward, backward, side to side, yaw, and roll) which are referred to as six degrees of freedom (6DOF). This is facilitated through the use of sensors (gyroscopes, accelerometers, and even magnetometers) and advanced software design applications.
Different Types of VR Headsets
There is a large range of types of VR headsets. The scope varies from VR headsets made from cardboard (for example: Google Cardboard) to advanced sets that use LCD screens and advanced sensors. As previously mentioned, some are designed for use with PCs (Oculus Rift, Playstation VR) while others work with smartphones, for example, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard.
In general, VR headsets that operate with gaming PCs are tethered (plugged in) while those that are used with smartphones are wireless. There are, however, wireless options available for both. Some headsets use screens that are built-in and pair with your computer or gaming console while others use the screen on your smartphone.
If affordability is a primary concern, smartphone compatible VR headsets are usually the best choice. Among the best-selling of these types are Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. If you opt for a choice that maximizes comfort and quality and can spend a little more, all-in-one headsets or tethered headsets are the way to go.
Wireless Vs Wired VR Headsets
Wireless VR smartphone headsets are basically goggles that use your smartphone screen as a lens where a huge landscape including a wide variety of digitally enabled environments awaits your enthusiastic exploration. When purchasing wireless headsets, keep in mind that your smartphone model should be checked for compatibility. Popular models of wireless VR headsets include Oculus Quest 2, which also may be used with wires.
Wired VR headsets (also referred to as tethered or all-in-one) are powered through a game console or PC. If you rank superior image quality highly, choose these, but keep in mind that they are more expensive than wireless VR headsets. They typically contain their own screens that are located inside goggles. Some of the best-selling and most positively reviewed models include: Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive Cosmos.
Oculus Rift S and certain HTC Vive models use a cable connected to a gaming console but use wireless connections to controllers. They use lighthouse sensors that are stationed within a certain parameter around the room.
Examples of Virtual Activities Experienced with VR Headsets
You may browse various app stores to find the content that best relates to the types of experiences and activities you enjoy. Some VR manufacturers have a customized app store related to their products such as PlayStation Store. For those who wish to spend less, there are also VR activity apps available at no cost.
Playing games is probably the most popular motivation for people who seek to acquire VR headsets. Genres of VR games encompass a gigantic range from cartoon-like children’s games to violent shooting games. Of course, many classic games such as Minecraft and Tetris are also available in VR. Simulation games are also available. Some of the most positively reviewed simulation games to date include Keep Talking, And Nobody Explodes, Vacation Simulator, and Project Cars 2.
Love exercise but don’t like leaving the house to go to the gym? Complete your workout in virtual reality. Most VR fitness apps are available by subscription. Some are realistic while others immerse you in a fantasy realm. Ninja Legend is one such example that provides you with a workout while yielding combat moves and engaging in archery.
You can also attend concerts in VR that mix live music with virtual reality. Melody VR sells tickets to a wide variety of exclusive VR concerts and top-notch interactive worlds. The number of artists who are experimenting with 360 VR music videos is increasing steadily now due to increasing popularity and music lovers who wish to avoid crowds during pandemic times.
How To Choose the Best VR Headset
First of all, if you choose a VR headset that works with your smartphone, make sure it’s compatible. Every PC VR game console has its own set of features related to hardware requirements. Therefore, make sure your CPU is capable of operating the program.
Determine your budget and consider what your values are in relation to your VR experience. For some players, detailed graphics may be a priority. For others, it may be sound. You may prefer wireless over tethered for freedom of movement, but consider how feasible it will be to set up any sensors required around the room.
If you value privacy, you may choose a VR headset that doesn’t require logging into Facebook to use it. If you like to play multiplayer games with friends, consider 3D positional audio. Another thing to consider is how comfortable the headset is for you, including the fit and weight.