Virtual Reality

The electronic fair IFA 2017 is still happening right now and brought a lot of new toys and announcements, but one word really stuck: VR (virtual reality)

There are several complete systems on the market such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Microsoft just announced there VR-glasses in cooperation with companies like Lenovo and Asus for example which will be available next month.

Other than that there is the second kind of VR system that are powered by your smartphone like Zeiss VR one, Google daydream and uncountable more.

I am becoming quite excited about all this updating versions and hearing about more and more VR apps. I would love to have VR glasses and using just my smartphone to watch Netflix and YouTube videos at home, so maybe i can get rid of my big tv screen.

But is it time to jump on VR already or will it be worth waiting a while and see which system is leading the race? What’s your opinion about VR?

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The best advice I can give you before jumping into VR is to consider your hardware and intended uses first. If you intend to get something like to Google Daydream, then make sure you have a phone compatible with it. Sure, there are ways to force the app and setup on a phone not designed to be compatible, but you will suffer due to resolution and latency issues.

As for full on headsets (those that use computers to run), make sure you have enough graphics and processing power to handle the full resolution and framerate. If your system can’t handle the requirements, then VR will become a very uncomfortable experience.

If you haven’t tried VR gaming before, it’s a lot more fun than you might think. Realize though that having a screen pressed up against your eyes has been the nightmare of parents for decades now, ever since video game consoles came out. Intense lights and shifting motion in VR causes ‘simulation sickness’ in a lot of people. If you have problems with motion sickness, then you will likely notice the same symptoms. Personally, I get a mild headache after about an hour of VR, but these symptoms get delayed or removed entirely the more familiar you are with the experience.

For hardware choices:
If you want to try a phone-based headset, first order a Google Cardboard and see how well your phone works with its resolution. With the lenses in place, a lot of normally high-resolution screens have the ‘screen door effect’ where you can see the grid lines between pixels on the display. Some phones have more problems with this than others, which is why Google only has a small list of Daydream-ready phones that have the response time, sensors, and resolution to handle it without any problems.

For full headsets, it depends largely on your application. If you only intend to use it for videos and the like, then look around for a high-resolution system like the ones Pimax makes (google 4K VR Headset and check out some reviews). These systems will do great for entertainment, but they don’t have any game-ready hand controllers and most computers can’t run 360 degree environments in 4K anyway.

If you want to try it out for gaming, your best bets are the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The Vive has better room-scale tracking and easier setup (for now), but I honestly can’t think of anything beating the touch controls on the Oculus. Even with the new Mixed Reality headsets coming from Microsoft and partners, gaming in my experience comes down to how the game feels. Touch controls on the Oculus give really nice tactile feedback that does wonders to increase immersion. Having digital hands that react to your finger movements makes you feel like you are much more a part of the game.

A side note about tracking with the Microsoft systems: Since the tracking cameras are housed in the headset, your controllers are only truly tracked when in view of the cameras. Otherwise it has to go on accelerometer data to guess where they are. This should work fine for most cases, but action-based games will have problems with your arms jumping around you until the system is perfected.


@Jan You beat me to the punch!!! I was just about to upload an eve vr thread but I ran out of threads!!! But like @dunkeroni said. You really need to consider the hardware the eve v is packing. Since intel integrated graphics can only run at about 30 fps at low settings in AAA gaming titles, I don’t think it can sustain the necessary [[60 FPS]] to be VR CERTIFIED. But if there was a vr kit you could offer, for about $200-300 USD That contained a sort of google cardboard comboned with a sort of Razer Core type thing, VR enthusiasts as well as gamers would definitely be ready to buy!!!:wink::wink::wink:

An app could also be used to connect with the eve v and phones like with virtual videos instead of gaming. But either way. VR is hard to implement on a bugdget oriented laptop like the eve v. The future is bright for EVR But right now I personally don’t think the platform is ready for it yet

Have to say that Elite Dangerous on an Oculus Rift really takes the biscuit, playing it in a wing with your son who is 40 miles away who uses a HTC VIVE is even better, but to top it add a friend in Texas playing in wing at the same time.

For the phone hardware considerations, I only meant that you need to have good screen resolution and tilt sensors (Such as in the Google Pixel). I wasn’t considering the Eve V as part of that. But if someone did plan to stream to the phone from a computer it’s important to check your data connector type as well. For instance, my nexus 5x uses USB-c connector, but it’s NOT USB 3.1 speed, so it isn’t fit for Google Daydream streaming.

I don’t know if you guys checked existing threads, but there’s a pretty lengthy one: Will VR be the next big thing? - #9 by anon99772972

I think despite of some new developments, these topics could possibly be merged as the overall VR idea has not considerably changed.

It’s cool and all, but I wouldn’t trust my eyes on it. Use it too much and you’ll be as blind as a mole…

At least in short term, it’s been found to be more healthy for your eyes than staring at computer screens and phones on a regular basis. The virtual image through the lenses causes your eyes to focus several meters away in most games. I mostly worry about fatigue from high contrast/brightness and the possibility of becoming cross-eyed if the lenses aren’t the right shape and distance apart.

That’s what I’m worried about, yes. At east with a screen you get the opportunity to look away from it, you don’t need to stare at it all the time. With VR, you would have to remove the whole headset to do so…