There is no better way to bring in the new year by taking a retrospective look at the last, more importantly finding what we are going to be bringing forward with us, and what is left behind. This is no less important for our tech needs. Here at VRE we have created an overview to highlight some of the equipment available to you, with new additions and replacements for older models. These are our advancements for 2020!
Oculus Rift S
For all intents and purposes we will no longer be using the older Oculus Rift where-ever possible. This is due to the much more efficient and accurate tracking system of the new Oculus Rift-S, thanks to it having the best of both worlds in the case of Virtual Reality, PC Power and easy tracking. The Rift-S achieves this by eliminating the need for external sensors that are needed for the original Rift, instead opting for a system which includes the sensors integrated into the headset. Not only does this make the set up for the device a lot easier it also allows for full 360-degree gameplay as you are no longer limited to the direction that the sensors are facing. Alongside this you are also able to make increased use of the increased performance of the device, the Rift-S boasts improved resolution of the screens, which when they are so close to your eyes, makes a world of difference. As far as comfort is concerned, the Oculus Rift-S is much comfier than its predecessor, albeit slightly heavier. It now sports a much easier adjustable strap system with a wheel to tighten and loosen the headset, which is much less cumbersome than the primitive Velcro straps seen before. The controllers have also seen a design change and upgrade. With the controllers now being the same as those bundled with the also recently released Oculus Quest, I find these to be much more ergonomic as compared to those seen previously and also seem to track slightly better than the old ones when slightly out of view of the sensors, which is always a plus. Overall the improved comfort and performance of the Oculus Rift S make it stand head and shoulders above the rest of the PC powered headsets for ease and portability and we are more than proud to be able to provide services using this technology.
The Oculus GO fills a much-needed gap in the market between a smartphone ran headset and a PC experience. This headset is fantastic due to its lighter weight, completely wireless nature and therefore, extreme portability. The Oculus go does not require an expansive sensor set up nor a PC to power the device, and due to this makes it the perfect candidate for use within enterprise for both video viewing and more simple training exercise. Due to the untethered nature of the device it is not as powerful as the Rift-S and therefore the vast majority of the apps have been designed around the controller. This differs from those used with the Rift-S and Quest by mainly using the front trigger for all actions, as well as a touch directional pad also. This means that almost any person using the device, even without any experience of virtual reality, can use this headset with ease after a short time. It’s ideal for seated experiences and this includes the viewing of 360 degree video, excellent for showcasing new ideas and a fantastic way to engage and promote participation in the activity. The GO also has a decent battery life of around 2 hours, which can be boosted while playing with an external battery pack. In short, the GO is a great headset when used correctly and for the correct purposes, here at VRE we are more than happy to answer any questions regarding the best uses for the GO and how it can be applied to your needs.
Pico G2 and G2 4K
The Pico G2 and G2 4K are both new and worthy competitors to the Oculus GO, they are created by up and coming Chinese developer Pico. The aimed demographic for this headset is completely different to that of the Oculus line of headsets, as well as the offerings of HTC as well. This headset is set mainly for the corporate market; and in some ways this is evident with the setup of the operating system. As well as being easy to set up and use, the streamlined nature leans into the notion that this system is best suited not mainly towards the games, but to the applications in the workplace, such as training or showing off new projects to many people using video or user made applications. While using other standalone headsets such as the Oculus Quest or even the GO, for long periods of time, I often find it to be quite uncomfortable in the neck due to the front heavy nature of the device, with the battery being the main source of weight in these headsets, having them at the front leads to having to counter that by leaning the head back; after long periods of wear this leads to massive neck strain. However, in the Pico G2 4K as well as the G2 model, the battery is located at the back strap of the headset. This nicely balances the headset, leaving it extremely comfortable to wear, especially during long sessions. This lends once again into the business prospects of this device, comfort for both the eyes and the neck muscles. The 4K screens inside the headset are beautiful to look through, they show the true potential of 360-degree VR. As compared to the Oculus GO, they are much crisper, allowing the true detail of the images and video to shine through. I did not encounter any eye strain, even after watching a movie or two in the virtual cinema; nor though my tests of the 3D video either. This is a great headset for those not looking for a gaming headset but for all the other applications that they offer. Its bright and vibrant screens are fantastic to wow audiences for showcases and therefore I would absolutely recommend these headsets for use in enterprise for viewing of 360 video and some interactive training exercises that are not too power intensive.
The brand new Pimax 8K is by far one of the most immersive VR experiences on the market today. It manages to achieve this never before seen level of immersion by having a very large interior display. The main draw is the very big USP, a USP of 200 degrees field of view. This is a first in the marketplace and makes the Pimax an interesting proposition, this latest headset has a stunning 4K screens per eye and provides an amazing 200 degrees field of view and the tried-and-tested outside-in tracking provides a reliable and extremely accurate 6 degrees of freedom tracking. This VR headset presents a no-compromise experience from gaming to media consumption. The headset can also maintain a 90HZ refresh rate on its panels, which ensures smooth motion while moving around in VR. In addition, the headset can operate at 65, 72 and 90Hz refresh rate if required. This allows less powerful machines to render VR content to the headset and reduce tearing if the machine cannot keep up with the refresh rate of the headset. The headset can also maintain a 90HZ refresh rate on its panels, which ensures smooth motion while moving around in VR. In addition, the headset can operate at 65, 72 and 90Hz refresh rate if required. This allows less powerful machines to render VR content to the headset and reduce tearing if the machine cannot keep up with the refresh rate of the headset. Like most PC-Based VR Headsets, the Pimax comes with integrated headphones or you may use your earphones/headphones. In addition, Pimax have redesigned their head strap to include a modular audio strap and large facial interface named. This allows for better comfort and swappable audio solutions to suit your needs.Unlike most major VR Headsets, the Pimax offers an optional eye-tracking feature. This is used to produce an extremely focused and high-fidelity image in areas the viewer’s eyes are gazed at while decreasing the graphics load in the other areas of the display where the user is not looking. This allows for an extremely detailed image where the viewer’s eyes are focused. We have experienced developers who can design, develop and showcase a range of experiences for your Pimax Vision 8K Plus hire. Whether you’re about to launch a new product, advertisement or even a specialised training experience, our experts can guide you through the process and offer a streamlined service. Get in touch today about your Pimax Vision 8K Plus hire along with our other services.
The Pimax Vision 8K Plus is excellent for VR events. If you’re looking for the most immersive experience with the wow factor for your clients, the Pimax Vision 8K Plus is the perfect VR Hire for your event. Call VRE today to enquire about your Pimax Vision 8K Plus hire.
While the HTC Vive has been a worthy addition to our arsenal for the past year and prior, we have decided that it is time for us to say goodbye and move on from this tech for use in our events. Instead using the Oculus Rift-S for its superior power, visual clarity and also the ease of set up and take down. The HTC Vive is still available to hire alongside on of our capable laptops for job however, if the device is what you are after.
HTC Vive Pro Wireless
The new Vive Pro with Wireless adaptor allows for use of the fantastic Vive Pro, but in a wireless setting. The technology here is undeniably cool. HTC teamed up with Intel to use its WiGig zero-latency wireless communication protocol. This sends data across a 60 GHz band at up to 7 Gbps per second. Intel wants to use this in a variety of products, but it turns out that it is ideal for something like VR. Latency kills virtual reality. It doesn’t just ruin the immersion, it can make people sick. But the Wireless Adapter doesn’t suffer from any of that. I can’t really test the experiences side-by-side, but I didn’t notice a difference going from wired to wireless. HTC made a big promise with the Wireless Adapter, and it has kept it. This means you now need to run the entire thing off of a battery. That introduces some new annoyances, but I don’t think that playtime is one of them. Sure, it’s a battery, and it’s not going to last you for a six-hour session. But I found that it can go for a solid two hours without issue. A second battery is always available should it be needed. This is a great way to experience the Vive Pro.
However, due to the long set up times required for the use of this device, we will not be using it for use in events. Its wires for the sensors bring more wires than other headsets and can look messy for exhibition stands. Therefore we will be moving from this set-up, however it is still available to rent for private use, which is more than worthwhile for the untethered and powerful performance that the Vive Pro offers.
While the HoloLens 2 looks strikingly similar to the HoloLens, most of the design tweaks made have been saved for what the eyes can’t see. The headset, while compact, feels extremely well built, with matte black metal encasing the electronics and an adjustable band that fits around the head of the user, very smart. The new version has made valiant efforts to improve by moving the weight and distributing more evenly across the band; for example, having the battery pack at the back of the head, reducing strain on the neck. This makes it much more inviting for work place use as it can now be used for a much longer period, as compared to the recommended 1-2 hours. As far as using the headset goes, it’s a very easy and streamlined experience. The interactions with the holograms produced are interesting and satisfying. The integrated eye tracking technology is also a neat feature, with the programs allowing room to learn from your reading patterns and adjust accordingly. The field of view that these holograms can be seen has also been increased dramatically, this much improves the immersion factor for the headset. As well as this the pre-determined gestures that had to be pre learned before using the device have been scrapped for being way too confusing and inconsistent to be useful at a moment’s notice; these have instead been replaced with much more intuitive gestures more akin to day to day moments, some of these include pinches, drags and pulls. While this is a massive improvement in the tech, the restrictions put in place are still clear to see.
Overall I can safely say that the HoloLens 2 is leaps and bound above the original, and for sure the best MR headset on the market. For enterprise users it holds almost limitless use with the possibilities for applications in a variety of workplaces. It will be very interesting to see how Microsoft and partners are able to utilise this technology.
There is currently nothing that competes with the Oculus Quest. Delivering on its promise of unmatched freedom, what is truly surprising how few compromises have been made to get there. It may not have the longest battery life, nor display graphics at the refresh rates of PC-powered VR kits, but overall these differences are imperceptible to most. The Quest offers a solid gaming experience that rarely falters and is made all the more immersive by no longer constricting your movement. For those previously put-off by the cost and time-consuming set-up of other models, the Quest may finally be the thing to entice them into VR gaming. Committing to a beautifully minimalist style, the headset is sleek, smooth and simple in its design. Buttons and ports kept to an absolute minimum and there’s not a cable to be seen. The Quest sports three easily-adjustable Velcro straps, which serve the dual benefit of feeling light and comfortable, as well as making the device compact enough to be easily portable. The external sensors of previous generations of VR find themselves replaced with four in-built cameras, positioned in the corners of the headset, capable of tracking the controllers over six degrees of freedom. Also included is the ability to manually adjust the focal distance for fine-tuning vision, a great benefit when switching between users. A standalone device that no longer carries with it the necessity of owning a high-end PC, it offers convenience and affordability never seen before. Able to easily fit into a back pack, the Quest is portable as long as you can locate a suitable play-space. Overall, the Oculus Quest is a new landmark in the ever forward march of VR, making it more accessible, and helping to usher in a new era of virtual entertainment. It is fantastic to be used in a VR showcase environment as many can use the headset in a shorter period of time without the need for cumbersome wires or a PC. It can truly bring people into another world and show the sheer beauty that unhindered movement can bring in a virtual space.
We are extremely excited for what 2020 is going to bring in the world of VR, we aim to not only offer sleek VR events aimed at team building or recreation, but also are looking forwards to the advancements that will surely be made in the VR space. Whether this be more powerful processors, better hand tracking, eye tracking or improvements to battery life. The possibilities are always endless and we will aim to be at the very forefront to give any consumer the best possible experience for VR Hire or Events.