July 30, 2016
This is our Best VR Headsets Part 3 of 2016. Enjoy and leave your thoughts.
Thes first in our Best VR Headsets Part 3 post is Homido. Homido falls into the category of devices, like the Zeiss VR One, that give you a more substantial piece of hardware, but work in the same way as Google Cardboard. In this case there’s a sprung section on the front into which you can slide your phone, and you can then strap the thing to your head to view your VR content.
In this case there’s a sprung section on the front into which you can slide your phone, and you can then strap the thing to your head to view your VR content.In this case it’s a little cheaper, so if you’re a little more of a VR fan and think that Cardboard will get too annoying with the constant handholding, then Homido might be a solution for you. It’s cheap, easy and widely available now.
Related to Google Cardboard is Daydream, the next-generation of VR from Google. Where Cardboard was about accessibility and laying the foundations for VR content via your smartphone, Daydream is the future for Google and Android virtual reality.
Daydream was announced at Google I/O and will be arriving later in 2016, with Google saying that Daydream was to be an integrated part of Android N – the next version of Google’s mobile operating system.
Daydream will make some fundamental changes to the Android VR world, outlining a minimum spec for Daydream devices and producing a reference design for the hardware, introducing, for the first time, a spec for a separate controller.
We’ve seen previews of a lobby system to make it easier to navigate around VR content and it’s been promised that a whole range of Daydream certified devices and accessories will launch later in the year.
The LG 360 VR is a headset that you have to connect to your LG G5 via the USB Type-C cable, rather than slipping your phone into the front as you do with Cardboard. It takes the form of a pair of glasses, which you wear rather more conventionally than others. It’s better than Cardboard and other basic systems because you don’t have to hold it to your face all the time.
The headset itself has two 1.8-inch IPS displays inside, one for each eye. Each with a resolution of 960 x 720 pixels, resulting in 639 ppi. Those displays sit behind lenses that can be independently focused (you can’t wear glasses and 360 VR at the same time), as well as being able to adjust the width to get the best fit to your face and ensure stereoscopic vision.
The headset also carries the controls for your VR environment, with an ok and back button for basic click navigation. Otherwise, it has motion sensors, to allow you to look around the virtual world you’re in. There’s also a sensor between your eyes. This detects when the headset is being worn.
When it comes to audio, there’s a 3.5mm headphone socket on the underside of the 360 VR headset. If you don’t use this, the sound comes out of your smartphone, which may be some distance away, or perhaps in your pocket.
Android smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has a similar headset to the Gear VR in the shape of the Loop VR. It looks similar but is capable of working with “most handsets between 5 and 6-inches”. In addition, it differs from Samsung’s model because it doesn’t have any onboard hardware.
You slot the smartphone in the front of the device. It is padded and comes with a head strap for comfort. Also, in many ways it works like a posh version of Google Cardboard, except it has no button. In that perspective it’s not completely Cardboard compatible.
What’s significantly different about the OnePlus Loop VR is that it is free, or was free. OnePlus made 30,000 headsets and they were available on a first come first served basis, but sold out almost straight away. The only cost was the price of shipping.
As a piece of technology, there’s not too much to the Loop VR. It has orthoscopic lenses and 100-degree field of view, but the experience – including motion sensing – is all done by your phone. Naturally, the better the phone the better the experience. The manufacturer would clearly like that to be the OnePlus 3 when it is available. This happens because this headset is pitched as the partner for the virtual launch of OnePlus’ next handset.
The last of our Best VR Headsets Part 3 of 2016 is Razer’s OSVR. Razer’s OSVR isn’t a rival to the likes of Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear VR. Instead, it’s intended to make life easier for developers to make applications for VR hardware, without technical (software and hardware) limitations getting in their way.
There’s even a newer headset out aptly called the OSVR Hacker Developer Kit 2. It’s got better hardware specs this time around with 2160 x 1200 dual OLED display putting it right up against the big names. However, there’s still some comfort issues to work through. As the name says, the headset still remains open source, allowing third parties to do whatever they want with it.
We have already seen plenty of third parties getting involved to help develop new features. This includes gesture tracking with a Leap Motion faceplate in the past.
Previously on sale to developers, the general public can now order the first dev kit direct through Razer. Although the company is keen to stress that it’s still not a consumer product and, as such, only has a 30 day warranty. The second headset is available July this summer.
This was our Best VR Headsets Part 3 of 2016. Stay tuned for more amazing news and high tech products.
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