Throughout all the posts on this site, we’ve mentioned a wide variety of products with which you can access virtual reality experiences. From the basics with Google Cardboard, to HTC Vive’s photorealistic experience. But what’s the best product? Let’s learn about each feature briefly so you can make the best choice for your VR activities.
Cardboard is a product with which the Mountain View company was given the task of making VR accessible for everyone. Its low cost and ease of use make it the “entry” experience for all interested in virtual reality.
Pros: Low cost, simplicity of operation, only requires a compatible cell phone.
Cons: The graphics are limited to the definition of the cell phone, it has no additional controls.
Gear VR / Google Daydream
Samsung and Google created their own products using mobile technology: Gear VR from the South Korean company, and Google Daydream. These 2 VR viewers increase the capacity of mobile VR experiences by adding high-end cell phones for processing, a dedicated store of immersive apps and videos, visible motion controls the experience and touch controls.
Pros: They don’t require a PC to run, wireless controls, they can stream what you see in the viewer to a Chromecast device.
Cons: VR experiences drain the battery of phones quickly, only some cell phones are supported.
Oculus VR is one of the pioneers of consumer VR companies. It was bought by Mark Zuckerberg in 2014 and has since made successful releases for this market (in fact, Samsung’s Gear VR was co-created with Oculus technology). Oculus’ Quest model has a substantial improvement over the previous two products: it is a 100% dedicated VR equipment. It doesn’t require a phone to operate (just use the Oculus Store app to download the apps to your viewer).
Pros: Completely independent of cell phone, good image clarity.
Cons: Not all Gear VR apps are on this platform, you can’t expand storage with SD cards.
Oculus Rift S
We level up once again and come up with better experiences. Rift, unlike its “little brother” (Oculus Go), uses the power of a powerful PC to create higher-resolution experiences that would not be possible with today’s cellular technology. Also, the on-screen image rate is higher (more Hz), so it attenuates the feeling of dizziness experienced by some users.
Pros: Improved graphics, compatibility with PC controls, more frames per second, the possibility to add space sensors.
Cons: Requires a high-level PC, space sensors are purchased separately; the headset is wired.
But there are other consumer VR companies: HTC Vive is born from a partnership between HTC (Taiwan Electronics Company) and Valve Software (Creators of the Steam store of PC video games and developers of successful PC titles). Vive offers 6 degrees of freedom per default (in the case of Oculus, space sensors are sold separately): not only do you see in 360 degrees but you can move within a frame that you delimit yourself. Sensors come with the equipment.
Pros: Charts and frames per second of the same level as Oculus, includes space sensors.
Cons: It also requires a high-end PC, the most expensive of all VR equipment.
No matter which product you choose, Inmersys has extensive experience in developing VR experiences for any of these platforms.
However, there are three common essential points when choosing virtual reality glasses for smartphones:
- The operating system and the features of the terminal, something marked in the requirements of the applications that we want to enjoy.
- Make our smartphone compatible with the model of glasses in question. Take Samsung gear VR, compatible with phones with a 5.1 to 5.7″ display, as an example.
- Some of the important factors when choosing glasses are their connectivity, design or weight. Also, the field of view is decisive since it will mark what we want to do with them: movies, interactive experiences, games…
We have to keep in mind that this option consists of integrating the smartphone into the glasses, which has certain limitations in terms of playability and viewing. In that sense, if we are looking for a more immersive, complete virtual reality experience with a more rich content catalog, we will have to turn our attention to the proposals for PC and console.