A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Reality

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Reality

Even though the first buzz around VR came in with the launch of the Oculus Rift in 2015, the adoption of immersive technology has been rather sluggish. Nevertheless, there is plenty of reason now to be optimistic about its future, thanks to the ambition shown by Mark Zuckerberg in the introduction of Metaverse. The overall impact on the audiences is creating a tipping point between the physical and digital spaces.

So, if you’ve missed the past couple of years in catching up with VR, then don’t worry about it. The tech has only gotten simpler over time.

What is virtual reality?

When discussing virtual reality, we talk about images, videos, games or software that offer a 180-degree or 360-degree field of view. Similar to the first thoughts of 3D, virtual reality propagates realism within the content but doesn’t stop where your screen does. Everywhere that you can see is filled with an image or environment ready for interaction.

This is usually delivered through head-mounted hardware that tracks a user’s movements. VR headsets contain two display panels housed in a frame that can be strapped to your head. A pair of lenses are fixed between the panels to block the outside world view.

Types of VR

Standalone VR: As the name suggests, a VR headset that works completely by itself without the need for any other tech is known as standalone VR.

PC VR: The hardware requires a constant connection to a high-specifications PC, thus providing greater graphical fidelity than a standalone VR.

Console VR: This can either be tethered to the main console (PlayStation VR) or require you to slip the device into the hardware (Nintendo Labo VR). A headset VR shell to use with mobile phones is also gaining popularity these days.

What are the different headsets available in the market?

  • Valve Index (PC VR): Full valve kit with the headset, two controllers and two lighthouse sensors costs $1,000.
  • Oculus Quest 2 (Standalone + PC VR): For $300, you get a full standalone headset with some of the best experiences. It also connects to a VR-ready PC through a USB-C port.
  • Oculus Rift S (PC VR): The Rift S is hailed as the more comfortable version from Oculus, using a popular halo strap design for $400.
  • PlayStation VR (Console VR): For about $350, the Playstation VR supports the entire PSVR library, housing some fantastic exclusives.
  • HP Reverb G2 (PC VR): The HP model sets right between the entire price range with a $600 price tag that offers better resolutions than the Quest 2 and Index.

Conclusion: VR is for the Future

Virtual reality has arrived a bit early than planned. The current tech ecosystems not only make it super expensive to invest in but also deliver erratic content, not worthy of the pricing at times. But, if you like to be on the cutting edge of tech then, VR is here, and it’s here to stay.

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