The promise of a new technological dawn is finally upon us and this might simply be the year when you can go scuba diving in the reefs, fight aliens or simply play 18 rounds, all without having to lose the comfort of your house or your mate’s thanks of the best VR sets to buy in 2016.
Virtual reality has been there, floating around on the fringes of technological developments for the past few years now but with the advent of big names in the game, 2016 seems to be the year where it finally takes off. And more than that, the focus is completely driven towards the amazing range of possibilities it possesses.
There are a host of VR sets introducing themselves in the market and today, we can have a look at some of the players that are comparatively new.
OnePlus Loop VR
First up is the OnePlus Loop VR. This is developed by the android smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. It has a shape similar to the Gear VR but differs on the front that it can work with most devices which are between 5-6 inches. It also doesn’t have any onboard hardware which makes it convincingly different from the Gear. This VR set was sold on a first-come-first-serve basis and the only charges were the shipping costs and sold out quickly. There is a 100 degree field of view but since there is no hardware, all the motion sensing is done by the phone. Hence, better the phone, better the experience. Though OnePlus has allowed the usage of any phone of a particular size, it is pitching the OnePlus 3 as the perfect device for the VR set.
LG 360 VR
Next up is the LG 360 VR which is significantly different from most other VR sets. It is more like a conventional set of glasses and doesn’t require the user to hold it up constantly. It needs to be connected via the USB Type-C cable to the LG G5 rather than fitting it inside the set. It has two displays inside, one for each eye, which delivers an output of 639ppi. One downside is that you can’t use glasses and the VR headset at the same time. The audio is delivered by a 3.5mm audio socket from the underside of the VR headset, otherwise the sound is delivered by the smartphone which might be a bit far away for clarity. It is not widely available in VR stores in London but some retailers are selling it at a price of £200.
Microsoft Hololens Headset
Finally we get to the Microsoft Hololens headset. Microsoft surprised everyone when they entered the VR and AR market with the introduction of the Hololens. It works on the system of Windows Holographic which uses 3D images all around us. Technically, one might argue that is augmented reality but it is pretty much in the same ballpark as some of the other VR systems around. Hololens aims to interject augmented reality images around us, overlaid onto real objects. The user needs to wear the Hololens for this but its a battery operated system which makes it untethered and easy to use. It projects and displays digital images onto real-life objects which makes it possible for the user to interact and connect with them as if they were physically present. Though the technology is out there, it is still being used in the developmental stage which makes it one for the future, rather than the present.
The VR tech market has taken off in a big way in the European landscape and there’s no better place than London for developers to showcase their devices. The London VR scene is developing at a rapid pace and it was one of the first cities to successfully realize the usage of VR and AR on a public scale. It seems to be a paradise for fledgling VR app developers as well with the presence of big name players paving the road for them. In fact, London just opened it’s first VR speciality store up on Old Street in East London. The future does indeed, seem bright for VR here!