Whether you’ve read about it on the Internet, or can’t get your kids to stop asking you about it because of movies like Ready Player One, chances are you’ve heard a lot about technology’s newest sensation—virtual reality. Virtual reality devices and transport its users into a different world, allowing them to explore different lands—like space! While virtual reality is a very vague concept to some people, there’s a wide fan base that can’t get enough of its different forms. If you’re ready to stop talking and start playing, here’s everything you need to know.
Virtual Reality Viewers
Compared to other types of VR devices, viewers are typically the least expensive choice. To use the viewer, you insert your cell phone and connect to the virtual reality app or game of your choice. Unlike headsets, viewers are held up to your face for the whole experience. Users will be able to feel like they’re in a different place by looking at their surroundings but are unable to interact with them. Viewers are a great choice if your family will be using the tool together.
• Google Cardboard– Yes, actually made of cardboard! This viewer comes in different styles, so you’ll be able to find one that fits your family’s taste. The Google Cardboard fits most phones inside its cardboard cut-out, which allows you to join in on the VR experience easily.
• View-Master Deluxe– With a sturdier frame than the Google Cardboard, View-Master Deluxe is nearly the same price. This viewer comes with a reel that can be clicked through using the headset frame, in addition to inserting a cell phone to access VR games and apps.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Most virtual reality headsets allow their users to fully experience their reality of choice by interacting with their surroundings. While more expensive than viewers, headsets have built-in features that make the experience feel more real, like a bigger screen that accounts for peripheral vision. Some headsets even include headphone ports and hand controls. Similar to viewers, headsets require you to insert your cell phone and choose the app of your choice.
• Merge VR– For its price, the Merge VR offers an excellent experience, especially for teens and tweens. Insert your phone and enjoy your virtual reality experience, made especially enjoyable by the soft exterior that makes it comfortable to wear. The Merge VR is available in many different colors and is compatible with most phones.
• Google Daydream View– Slightly more expensive than the Merge VR, the Google Daydream View is specifically designed for Android users. Known for its incredible imagery and viewing system, you won’t want to put down the Daydream View.
• Oculus Rift– This headset takes the virtual reality experience to a whole new level. If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on your device, this one will give you what you’re looking for. The Oculus Rift has built-in earphones, a high-resolution screen system, controllers, and movement sensors.
What’s your favorite virtual reality device?
Erin Navaro, an Ohio native, is a young professional who works with older adults, supporting them in every stage of their care. Curious about the world, Erin has lived and worked in Tanzania and India, finding inspiration from the people and cultures that have hosted her along the way. To see what’s next, connect with her on LinkedIn.