Virtual reality is viewed in different ways by different people, but it definitely showcases the power that technology has gained and advances of the same. VR combines features such as motion tracking and headset, which help people to gain surreal experiences, akin to travelling without having to leave their home.
The technology is yet to become affordable and mainstream; there are constant changes and different products have been introduced as well. Today most of the big electronics brands are into providing headsets and related gear.
Oculus and Other Brands
Oculus is one of the pioneers in this field, and they provide headsets that are standalone as well as tethered. There are different models that are popular such as Go, Quest and Rift S. HTC introduced Vive and the Cosmos version of Vive that is Steam compatible.
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Sony is not far behind as well. PS4 of the company has a version for virtual reality content; it would also work with Play Station 5 as and when the version comes out. Microsoft would be supporting the same on a platform that is called Windows Mixed Reality. This would be offered along with compatible headsets that would be available with different manufacturers.
Samsung and Google have already launched their VR headsets that work with phones. The popular ones are Gear VR and Daydream View. Nintendo also has a similar venture. They are designing Labo VR Kit that would work for Nintendo Switch. They would be headsets designed as shells which would work with phones and other devices. They would look and feel novel compared to the other bulky headsets that are around.
Rating the VR Experience
Modern headsets are part of one of three divisions, tethered, mobiles and standalone. The mobile versions are shells that have lenses where one needs to place their smartphone. Lenses then separate the screen into images for the eyes and transform smartphones into VR devices. The existing models, Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR are designed without wires needed to be connected to the headsets and are priced moderate, about $100.
The experience with mobile versions is not completely immersive as per viewer feedback. They do offer freedom, of three degrees and motion tracking. But the direction of the user is followed and not their position. They also come with a motion controller of a single kind. The immersive experience is more with a stationary desktop device or console. Till today, most people enjoy VR gaming and related content at their home, using broadband Wi-Fi as well as with software on gaming consoles. Dedicated gamers are able to get the most out of gaming desktops.
Promises of 5G
This is yet another aspect that promises to make this technology more enjoyable and easy. Most people can expect to see higher connectivity and smooth streaming via 5G. One would be able to stream 8K resolution fast and smooth. Already similar plans are being executed by Snapdragon XR2.
Qualcomm is unveiling new hardware that would be able to harness the power of devices that can work with AR, VR as well as a mixture of both. That is what Snapdragon XR2 would be about. Qualcomm would use their hardware to power such devices across a wide range. They would also offer standalone headgear that would work with other applications. The company claims to offer such power and enhancements before other companies. The power would also lie in the hands of consumers, and they would be able to harness the full power of 5G. The new platform would be able to support several cameras, about seven that allows pass-through. This will allow one to combine the content of the real world with that of the virtual world. The seven cameras that would be built into such hardware would track the face, head, eyes, the controller and other aspects.
So what would 5G mean? Its addition would provide access to the low latency of data that would make gaming or streaming experiences seamless, and one would also have mobile freedom. It would not require users to stay connected to home Wi-Fi. They can be on the road and even then be able to stream video of high quality. Technology with such promises was showcased in 2019 technology conferences, and there would be a special focus on this emerging sphere at the upcoming World Congress of the mobile sector, 2020.
To sum up, there is much to look forward to as advances in technology will lead to VR software and hardware become more accessible, easy to use and streaming would be fast, even when content includes high definition video.