Before reading this article, if you are unsure about what VR is, make sure to check out our explanation here.
Since the Oculus Rift’s release in 2016, VR has gone from a gimmick to a rapidly developing technology. In 2019 especially, many companies have been pushing advanced VR hardware into the spotlight. So, what’s out there? Let’s take a look at some of the newest additions to the VR scene, and their potential for portable training in VR.
Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S released in late March 2019. A brand new iteration of the original, it boasts different controllers and the ability to track your room without sensors. Despite having to be plugged into a computer, the Oculus Rift S is a great headset if you are looking for power, as it can handle larger and more complex simulations.
Non-portable headsets are the way to go if you are looking for the best VR experience possible; they run off of your computer’s processor. It is a great option, provided you have the necessary space for a VR compatible computer and play area. As far as pricing goes, it is also rather affordable for a headset, with a price of around USD$400; compared to competitor’s prices, which can reach over USD$1000.
After previously working with HTC to present the widely popular HTC Vive, Valve has finally decided to announce their own VR headset – the Valve Index. The Index is looking extremely promising, with a better display and refresh rate than anything currently on the market, creating more visually impressive experiences. Much like the Oculus Rift S, it also is non-portable, requiring to be plugged into a computer via cords.
The new controllers, referred to by many as ‘knuckles’, also feature a design that allows for more natural hand control. They allow you to pick things up in virtual reality the same way you would try and grab them in real life. With this extra feature, it will be especially useful for programs that require precise hand movements and gestures.
Although it’s top of the line, it may not be the best option for VR training just yet – it sits at a hefty price tag of USD$1,100, and isn’t available in many countries as of writing this article. You can check if it’s available in yours here.
Training often takes place on-site, and with portable headsets, this is now a reality for VR training, too. The Oculus Quest is the younger brother to the Oculus Rift, promising the ability to take VR experiences wherever you want. With no cables attached, and running its own processor, the Quest is able to support use for up to two hours on its own.
What really makes the Quest revolutionary, however, is the fact that it is the first portable VR headset to offer the same experience as its non-portable cousins. In exchange for less processing power, it uses controllers that are extremely similar to higher end headsets, and has its own built-in tracking. It requires less equipment, making it the perfect headset to use in situations where setting up a computer just isn’t an option.
Overall, the Quest is definitely a great addition to the VR scene, especially for training. It’s also affordable, sitting at around USD$400 – the same price as the Oculus Rift S. For those that find themselves constantly data hungry, there is also a slightly more expensive option featuring twice the storage space. It released alongside the Oculus Rift S earlier this year.
So, which headsets are you most excited about in 2019? What ones would you be most interested in purchasing, and why? Leave a comment below to let us know!