Not so long ago, a virtual world seemed as remote as a star. But with increasingly advanced virtual reality headsets, the boundaries around us continue to expand. Leaders in the VR field include Oculus, with its Quest 2 headset, the Valve Index, and the HTC Vive headset. Each of these three technologies allows people to go where they never thought possible - both at home and within professional environments.
Oculus Quest 2
Thanks to its crisp graphics and wireless headset, the Quest 2 is a force to be reckoned with. Its built-in speakers deliver 3D cinematic sound that plunges you into the world of your choosing. But you don't have to keep the fun to yourself. With headset casting, you can project directly onto a compatible TV or the OC app. This allows you to bring along friends as you journey to the top of a volcano or enter into battle.
Coming in at around a $300 price point, the Oculus boasts stand-alone capabilities that allow you to operate wirelessly without spending thousands of dollars on a gaming computer to run it. It improves upon the specs of the original design, with capabilities of up to 120 HZ refresh rate. Perhaps the only flaw? The obligatory facebook account - it's required to login for use.
The Index is Valve's first VR headset - despite the company's early pioneering of virtual reality. You can therefore understand why the Index was so highly anticipated - and it doesn't disappoint. The Index is the premium leader in headset units at the moment, boasting the highest quality speakers available in a headset right now. The comprehensive Index package rings in around $1000, but you get what you pay for.
You'll need a gaming PC to use it, but the visuals are among the best in the market. The high resolution screen offers clarity (and a 120 HZ refresh rate) without the screen door effect. It also delivers a trendsetting controller and thoughtful hardware design. And at the front of the headset is a small compartment with a USB port that allows you to plug in other devices.
HTC Vive Pro 2
In addition to its Cosmos consumer headset and original Pro and Pro Eye, HTC released just this year the new Vive Pro 2 and Vive Focus 3. The former is designed for both enthusiasts and enterprises, while the latter is a standalone device squarely developed for the enterprise market. Both offer 2448x2448 per-eye resolution and a 120-degree field of view.
This unmatched viewing experience comes at a price. At nearly $800 for the headset alone, accessories like controllers and base station satellites bring the cost up to nearly $1400. The improved display makes a case for the extra spending, but buyers will have to determine its value for themselves.
The Vive Pro 2 features a black and navy shell with built-in speakers and an adjustable headband. Two different variations are available: one for those who already have the essential SteamVR kit and one for those who need the full kit. It's also loaded with software, including access to the Vive Business AppStore.
Benefits and Uses
Other VR headsets are out there, and all carry their own benefits that appeal uniquely to everyone. The Vive delivers vibrant images and is extremely comfortable to wear, while the Index is sleek and modern. The Quest 2 is heralded because it's wireless, allowing you freedom of movement in your gaming and fitness journeys (but you do need a Facebook account for connection).
Likewise, VR headsets can be used for hundreds of applications - this technology is no longer limited to home gaming. As we mentioned a moment ago, it's an innovative way to increase your physical activity. Professionally, VR headsets are already used in automotive, retail, and tourism sectors. VR allows you to explore real estate options from the comfort of your own home and now transforms the delivery of healthcare, from pain relief to mental health issues.
VR headsets continue to evolve. As such, they offer more immersive experiences for gamers as well as new ways to exercise for those seeking a healthier lifestyle. These headsets also allow professionals in a number of industries to traverse new paths.
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