The Best New Virtual Reality Tech

Published On March 25, 2016 | Electronics

The virtual reality we were promised as kids in the ’90s is finally here! And thankfully, the new tech is lightyears better than the sadness that was 1995’s Nintendo Virtual Boy. The new generation of virtual reality tech is making it possible to enjoy games AND movies in a totally immersive, three-dimensional experience.

What will this mean for the future of technology? Are we all going to end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall, not knowing what’s real and what’s fake? Probably not, but the more advanced virtual reality tech gets, the more real it’s promising to feel, allowing users to forget they’re wearing a headset or using a VR device. On second thought, maybe it will be like Total Recall.

For now, virtual reality devices will allow people to explore the worlds of games and movies like never before. Here’s just a sampling of the best new virtual reality tech we can expect to see this year.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is one of the most, if not the most, anticipated virtual reality headset coming out this year. The Oculus Rift headset offers one of the most complete VR experiences thanks to its precision sensors, a display for each eye, and attached headphones. Simply plug the Rift into your computer’s DVI and USB ports and you’re ready to watch your favorite movie or play your favorite game in a way you never have before.

Sony PlayStation VR

The PlayStation VR will pair with the PlayStation 4 console but it won’t be available until October 2016. The PlayStation VR headset combines the Playstation Camera, internal sensors, nine LEDs, and the PlayStation 4 controller for improved tracking accuracy, creating a vivid virtual reality experience.  PlayStation fans can also expect a whole slew of games designed specifically for the new technology following the release of PlayStation VR.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard makes the list for being both convenient and inexpensive. It only costs about $30.00. Google Cardboard, which is actually cardboard, pairs with your smartphone, using your smartphone’s gyroscopic sensors to track your head movements.

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung’s Gear VR is powered by Oculus Rift but uses the Samsung Galaxy smartphone as both its processor and display. Users only need to place their Galaxy smartphone into a Micro USB dock within the headset to begin enjoying the wonders of three-dimensional gaming and movie watching. As another plus, there’s already a large library of games and videos (called Milk VR) available for the device.

HTC Vive

With 360 degree head-tracking, 70 sensors, and a 90Hz refresh rate, the HTC Vive is set to be one of the most advanced virtual reality devices available when it’s released in April. The Vive works in conjunction with your PC and even uses wall mounted lasers to track movement so you can move around the room for a richer virtual reality experience.

We’re only just beginning to experience this new world of virtual reality technology. It will be exciting to see where the advances in this technology end up taking us. Are virtually reality devices the next “must have” tech? Will you be taking the virtual reality plunge?

– By Layla Sundstrom, Contributor @layla_sundstrom

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