Leading VR Hardware Considerations Category: Business
Samsung Gear VR 2
Samsung Gear VR is a mobile virtual reality device developed by Samsung Electronics in collaboration with Oculus VR. A compatible Samsung Galaxy device (Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6/S6 Edge), sold separately, acts as the headset’s display and processing, while the Gear VR unit itself contains the high field of view lenses as well as a custom IMU for rotational tracking which connects to the smartphone via micro-USB. This IMU is more accurate and well calibrated with lower latency than internal smartphone IMUs such as used for Google Cardboard.
The Gear VR headset also includes a touchpad and back button on the side, as well as a proximity sensor to detect when the headset is on. The touchpad and button allow for a standard minimum input capability for users to interact with the virtual environments, whereas Google Cardboard devices only feature a button.
The Gear VR was first announced in September 2014. To allow developers to create content for the Gear VR and to allow VR/technology enthusiasts to get early access to the technology, Samsung has released two innovator editions of the Gear VR before the consumer version.
In March 2015, the second innovator edition was released. This is almost identical to the first, except is for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and now includes a small fan inside in order to prevent lense fogging. Due to the slightly smaller displays used in these devices compared to the Note 4, this version has a slightly improved visual quality but slightly lowered field of view.
In November 2015, Samsung will release the consumer version of Gear VR for $99. It will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5. The trackpad near the temple of the headset now has a tactile directional pad on it so users can tell where their finger is touching it.
Color: Frost White Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor
Dimension (HxWxD): 82.8 x 196.1 x 98.5 mm Weight (g) 420.4
HTC officially unveiled its device, Vive, during its Mobile World Congress keynote on March 1, 2015. Subsequent updates on Steam have indicated a potential release date of November 2015. Valve and HTC have since announced that the headset will be free for select developers. HTC states that Vive has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, requiring content to be rendered at 90 frames-per-second. The device uses two screens, one per eye, each having a resolution of 1080×1200. The device uses more than 70 sensors including a MEMSgyroscope, accelerometer and laser position sensors, and is said to operate in a 15 feet by 15 feet (4.5 by 4.5 meters) tracking space if used with the “Lighthouse” base station.Lighthouse system was designed by Alan Yates and use simple photosensors on any object that needs to be captured, this is combined with two, to avoid occlusion problems, lighthouse stations that sweep structured light lasers within a space. The front-facing cameras allow the software to identify any moving or static objects in a room. It’s part of the Chaperone safety system to prevent and warn users of hitting an obstacle (an object, or a wall). Thanks to the cameras, SteamVR will map, modelize your room and the room configuration can be saved.
Valve has released its OpenVR software development kit (SDK), an updated version of its Steamworks VR API with documentation and examples of how to build software that supports SteamVR hardware. It provides support for the HTC Vive Developer Edition, including the SteamVR controller and Lighthouse.
On April 30, 2015, Epic Games announced support for Valve’s SteamVR technology, allowing developers to create VR projects with Unreal Engine 4 for the HTC Vive. Epic said that SteamVR is completely integrated into Unreal Engine 4 across Blueprint visual scripting and native code, meaning projects can be built without being dependent on programmer support if needed. Epic’s own Showdown tech demo can already be experienced on SteamVR using the Vive headset.
jMonkeyEngine, a free cross-platform 3D engine, is also getting support for OpenVR & the HTC Vive.
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality head-mounted display developed by Oculus VR and will be released in the first quarter of 2016, making it one of the first consumer-targeted virtual reality headsets. Oculus has described it as “the first really professional PC-based VR headset”. It has a resolution of 1080×1200 per eye, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a wide field of view. It has integrated headphones which provide spatialised audio. The Rift has full 6 degrees of freedom, rotational and positional tracking. The positional tracking is performed by a separate tracking unit, which is included with each Rift and normally sits on the user’s desk. This system allows for using the Rift while sitting, standing, or walking around the same room.
The Rift is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re stepping into your favorite game, watching an immersive VR movie, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world, or just spending time with friends in VR, you’ll feel like you’re really there. The Rift uses state of the art displays and optics designed specifically for VR. Its high refresh rate and low-persistence display work together with its custom optics system to provide incredible visual fidelity and an immersive, wide field of view. The Rift’s advanced display technology combined with its precise, low-latency constellation tracking system enables the sensation of presence – the feeling as though you’re actually there. The magic of presence changes everything. You’ve never experienced immersion like this.
We include an official Xbox One wireless gamepad with the Rift. It’s one of the best controllers in the world, and it’s perfect for a wide range of games and experiences. We’ve created Oculus Touch, a new pair of tracked controllers that let you take your VR games and experiences further than ever before.
The 2015 PS4 VR is a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, recently increased from 5.0 inches to 5.7-inches, giving it a 100-degree field of vision. It also features RGB subpixels, which considerably help smooth out the image.
The refresh rate was just upgraded, which now runs at a 120Hz instead of 60Hz – higher than both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive’s 90Hz. Despite the fact that early games won’t natively run at 120 FPS – the PlayStation4’s reprojection software will insert digitally created inbetween frames “tweens” between every frame to make it feel like they are, an adding an even deeper sense of reality with this headset.
The head-tracking LEDs on the unit have increased from six to nine, combined with the halving of latency times, which eliminate lag.
It is reportedly comfortable, given that a majority of the unit’s weight rests on the top of your head, and it’s even usable when you’re wearing glasses, which is rare in VR headsets. The quick-release button makes it easy to get on and off, and the aesthete of the design is very nice.