Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality or (VR) is becoming more and more popular with people of all ages, while simultaneously becoming more accessible both in price and ease of use. Virtual Reality is changing the landscape of the at-home gaming experience and it is easy to see why. With ever-improving graphics and playability, people are flocking to this new style of gaming and entertainment experience.
woman sitting wearing Virtual Reality headset in front of computer screen
photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality or (VR) is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. (Oxford Dictionary).

Simply put, Virtual Reality is an alternate (usually gaming) experience in which the user wears a headset to enter into the field-of-play of whatever game or visual experience he or she chooses.

What gear do you need if you are just starting with virtual reality?

Currently there is a great variety of gear, programs and headsets to choose from to get involved in Virtual Reality at home. Investing in the gear necessary to get involved in Virtual Reality can seem like an expensive endeavor, but currently there are a great deal of affordable introductory headset options to choose from.

If you are just starting with virtual reality, we recommend these following virtual reality headsets at various price points:

Oculus Go:

Oculus Go Virtual Reality Headset, floating with white background

Oculus Go ($199.00) – Standalone Virtual Reality Headset. Portable, All-in-One VR system with no Phone, PC or Television system required.

Oculus Quest:

Oculus Quest Virtual Reality Headset and controllers floating against white background

Oculus Quest ($499.00) A higher end version similar to the Go, Standalone All-in-One Virtual Reality Headset.

HTC Vive Pro:

HTC Vive Pro Virtual Reality Headset, against white background

HTC Vive Pro Virtual Reality Headset, Steam VR Tracking.

Pimax 5K:

Pimax 5k Virtual Reality Headset against white background

Pimax 5K XR Virtual Reality Headset ($799.00) with Wide 200°FOV, Dual 2560x1440p OLED Panels & 6 DOF Tracking.

What else do I need for virtual reality?

Besides owning a headset, some other requirements to get started with virtual reality include an open room to move around, in some instances a computer or PC, and for certain VR headsets, a smartphone.

Two popular smartphone virtual reality headsets are the Google Daydream or the Samsung Gear VR headsets shown here:

Google Daydream:

Samsung Gear VR:

What can you do with Virtual Reality?

In its current form Virtual Reality is largely used for at-home entertainment, mostly gaming. Games largely consist of 1st person game play or activities such as boxing, shooting, combat etc…

Along with gaming, in the last several years many sports organizations have started live streaming games on various Virtual Reality platforms.

More importantly, virtual reality has even been used as a means of psychological treatment through “exposure therapy” for people with varying anxiety disorders including PTSD.

Check out the following video to learn about more ways to enjoy virtual reality:

video credit: Cas and Chary VR

What does virtual reality look like?

As the years go by and technology continues to improve, the graphics of virtual reality continue to look better and better.

Lastly, to get some idea of what game play can look like, check out this video below. This video from SteamVR (a virtual reality platform for programs and games) gives us an idea of what the set-up process can look like when first formatting your VR system.

For more information and resources regarding virtual reality, please see our recommend links section below. Don’t forget to check out our blog to explore more hobbies!

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