Friday, January 27, 2017
Virtual Reality Headsets: 3 Options to Experience VR on Your Phone for Under $30
Virtual reality headsets work by showing a separate image to each eye, making things look 3D. The image is displayed on a cell phone which is placed in the headset.
One difference between the cell phone based VR headsets and those that use a computer is motion tracking. Headset VR systems rely solely on the motion tracking capabilities of the phone. Computer systems have more complex tracking to detect the headset position. Also, cell phones don’t have as much graphics power as a computer, so the virtual reality environment is usually not dynamic. Changing your head position changes the location that the images are rendered from. This requires more processing power.
Though many high end VR systems provide great results to gamers, they are expensive and require powerful computers. Luckily, there are a few cheaper options available that only require a smartphone running iOS or Android. Though mobile VR headsets aren't made for intense gaming, they're a great way for anyone to experience virtual reality.
There are a few different options available for mobile virtual reality, but we’ll be sticking to those that are under $30. These headsets have different features and quality, so we’ll do our best to cover which ones are a good deal. It’s important to keep in mind that though there are many headsets available, not all are a good choice. Lots of companies write fake reviews to increase their sales.
Google Cardboard. This low cost option consists of a folded piece of cardboard that holds the phone and two lenses. The current Google Cardboard has cut out for the nose and face and there's no padding. This system isn't exactly the most comfortable option available. The Google Cardboard supports many Android or iOS phones with a screen size of 4 to 6 inches. The headset holds the phone in with a piece of Velcro, so it's unlikely to fall out. The Google Cardboard has no way to adjust the lens position; this is a problem that may cause vision issues for some users.
One of the main drawbacks of Google Cardboard is that it doesn’t have a strap. This means that you’ll need to be holding it against your face the entire time you use it.
View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack is a more durable mobile VR headset. This headset is made out of a plastic, and will be much tougher than Google Cardboard. This headset is also more comfortable. The View-Master headset supports many different iOS and Android apps, so it can be used with almost any phone. There’s also a lever to make changes within an app without taking the phone out of the headset. Keep in mind this feature doesn't work with all phones. Similar to the Google Cardboard, there's no way to adjust the lenses, so it won’t be right for everyone.
Leelbox 3D VR is one of better options for cheap virtual reality. This headset is made out of plastic and appears to be fairly durable. Unlike the other options, it features a strap, so there's no need to hold it. There’s also soft padding where the headset comes into contact with the face, making using this headset a comfortable experience.
This headset has adjustable lenses for pupil distance and focal distance for distortion-free viewing by people with different eyes. This product is compatible with just about any smartphone front 4.7-6.0”. It also supports many VR apps such as Google Cardboard and Google Streetview. The VersionTech headset also has holes in the side, allowing the phone to remain cool. In addition, the holes allow you to plug in headphones while using the headset.
Virtual reality is a great experience, and we definitely recommend a mobile VR headset. These allow anyone to experience virtual reality with their cell phone, without an expensive computer.