Virtual reality (VR) is not a new technology. The VR headset was first introduced to the general public for gaming and entertainment purposes back in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, the technology didn’t really stick and was thrown on the back burner until just recently. VR technology has been vastly improved since then and in 2016 we have seen a plethora of new VR headsets ranging from the modest Google Cardboard to highly popular Oculus Rift. Here are a few of the best VR headsets you can get in 2016 for every budget.
This system was released in April and includes a headset, two motion controllers, and two base stations. It is a tethered headset, which means that it will need to be plugged into a PC to work. What takes the HTC Vive to the next level is that it uses IR sensors that you mount onto your walls, which integrates your location in the room into the virtual space. It also boasts 360-degree head tracking as well as a 90Hz refresh rate. Be prepared to shell out the cash though, as this system costs $800 and requires a high-end computer for it to run smoothly.
Sulon Q is an up and coming VR headset, but what makes it unique is that it’s completely untethered, which means you don’t have to plug it into a beefy computer for it to work. This AMD powered headset also includes an augmented reality setting, which overlays graphics onto objects in the real world. Unfortunately, the Sulon Q does not have a release date, although the company had initially said it would be released in late Spring of 2016. Considering the specs of this completely untethered device, the expected cost will most likely be very pricey.
Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear mobile VR system is powered by Oculus and just requires a Samsung Galaxy phone and Samsung handset. All you have to do is slide your smartphone into the VR case and the lenses inside the headset split the display between your eyes. Although some have complained that the visuals are a little grainy, you can’t beat the accessibility. Not only are there a ton of games and apps to explore in the Oculus Store, but you can get the system for less than $100.
For those of us who don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on VR systems, but still want to experience it in a basic form, look no further than Google Cardboard. Its design may seem like a joke, but it gets the job done. This is another Android smartphone platform which relies completely on the phone’s sensors to work. Unfortunately, there is no head strap for this system so you will have to hold it up to your face to experience it. On the bright side, there are a lot of apps you can use with this system including 360 environments like Google Street View or watching 360 content on YouTube. If you want to try out simple VR this is a great place to start, as the Google Cardboard system costs less than $20.
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