What are the different VR products out there?
Facebook-owned Oculus Rift is priced at $599 with the release date set at March 28th, 2016. The Rift will be connect to a Windows PC running the required software. The hardware require is a GPU equivalent to at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, or an AMD R9 290, as well as a CPU equivalent to the Intel i5-4590. It is planned for Rift to be release for OS x and Linux. The Rift consists of two OLED – Organic Light Emitting Diode – screens at 1080×1200 resolution with a refresh rate of 90 Hz – many developers believe a refresh rate lower than 60 Hz could cause nausea. Integrated Headphones provide a 3D audio effect, developed from Visisonics’ RealSpace 3D Audio. The Oculus Rift will be shipped with an Xbox One wireless controller and pre-orders come with Eve Valkyrie included.
HTC Vive – SteamVR:
HTC’s Vive is set for pre-order on February 29th 2016. Vive will have a refresh rate of 90 Hz with two OLED screens at 1080×1200. Vive has a front facing camera, revealed at CES 2016, which allows the software to notice any objects in the room to avoid users hitting any obstacles, and to map out the room where it’s used. Taiwan Focus claims Vive will be priced at $1500 but this claim has not been verified as far as I’m aware.
PS VR is set for release in Q1/2 2016. PS VR will have two OLED screen at 960×1080 resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The refresh rate may come as a surprise, since the PlayStation console only renders games at 60 Hz, but Shuhei Yoshida, a PlayStation executive said an update to the software would allow the console to double its maximum frame rate with an “in-between frame”.
Samsung Gear VR:
Released on November 17th 2015, the Gear VR is priced at $99. Produced in collaboration with Oculus VR, the Gear VR is an Android Mobile VR platform. To run, a user is require to have the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge + or the Galaxy Note 5 coupled with the Oculus VR app and connects via micro-USB.
Google is building a VR team and delving into the possibility of Virtual Reality.
Other VR to keep an eye out for:
Open-source Virtual Reality, sponsored by Razer and Sensics, is “a movement founded to unify VR & AR technologies in order to transcend the boundaries and challenges faced by any one, company or individual, to ultimately, drive their success and the overall success of the VR industry.”
CastAR is an augmented reality and virtual reality project crowd-funded from Kickstarter.
Microsoft HoloLens is a “mixed reality” smart glasses product designed for apps such as Minecraft, Skype, 3D modelling software and more.