Virtual reality (VR) has seen a boom in just the past few years | Source: META

Virtual Reality: High Tech VR Headsets to Try in 2022

Virtual and Augmented Reality headset technology has undergone major developments since its invention in 1968. And, if you have been lucky enough to try VR, you will have encountered dinosaurs in the jungle or performed hair-raising parkour at the top of a skyscraper, all from the comfort of your living room.

VR experiences are ambitious and impressive to first-time users. However, with more tech-savvy buyers around it’s not unusual for the avid VR lover to demand a wider field of view, better sound and a prolonger battery life.

The Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality industries are set to be worth A$39 billion around the world today. That number is set to increase to A$350 billion by 2028 – one of the biggest potential markets for this technology is the healthcare industry. Globally, it was worth A$10.81 trillion in 2018 and would benefit greatly from the applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality in surgery or diagnosis.

Newer headsets have a higher resolution, are less bulky and can be worn while wearing glasses. Some are not headsets at all, but actually place you in the metaverse, using augmented reality technology to take you on a sensory journey into a virtual world.

These are the most exciting VR headsets on the market to date.

XTAL VR Headset

A$11,800

Aimed at the professional use of VR technology by architects, helicopter pilot trainees and sim racers, this headset has a very high resolution, supporting an 8K Ultra High Definition display.

The XTAL VR Headset has a 180-degree field of view and a special 3D sound provided by an onboard sound card, the immersion felt when wearing the headset is perfect for intricate designing or immersive experiences.

Another outstanding feature of this headset is the embedded leap motion sensor, which can track the movements of your hands and represent them in virtual reality, eliminating the need for handheld controllers.

VR headset
Source: Road to VR

It is a PC connected VR headset running SteamVR, popular game titles on the platform appeal to a wide range of players such as Skyrim and Ultimate Fishing Simulator, the headset has all the high-end specifications to immerse you in another world and provide hours of entertainment.

HTC Vive Pro 2

A$2,199

This SteamVR-enabled headset has the highest resolution on the market, managing 2,488 by 2,488 pixels to each eye, making it excellent for gaming. The huge range of games and experiences that are available on the platform are expanded even further through access to HTC’s own VR software store, Viveport, you get a two-month membership upon purchase.

The headset connects to your computer via a 4.87-meter cable and link box, it has a field of view of 120 degrees and a refresh rate of 90Hz or 120Hz. It requires a computer with high-end graphics and sound card to use and needs a DisplayPort 1.4 interface for full resolution.

Audio is taken care of well by powerful amplifiers and 3D spatial sound integration, Hi-Res certified headphones deliver immersive soundscapes that help when you are listening out for zombies. A 120-degree field of view and refresh rates from 90/120 Hz make for smooth and responsive gaming.

You need to mount two SteamVR base stations close to ceiling height and although this setup is a little bit of a hassle, you get the best possible tracking of your movements for replication within the VR play space. Major titles such as Half-Life Alyx look absolutely beautiful with this headset, the amazingly detailed textures and environments are spectacular and the other character’s movements are fluid and always in sharp focus.

VR Headsets
Source: Gadget Guy

The only problem lies in the handheld controls that are required to use the VR, they are archaic. The very same controllers were used by HTC with their original vive release back in 2016, but the headset is compatible with other controllers including those of the Valve Index.

Vuzix M4000 Smart Glasses

A$3,509

With practical applications in industries such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Warehousing and Field Services, Augmented Reality is the dark horse of virtual technologies and Vuzix’s range of six wearable augmented reality glasses allow you to see your lap time and coaches instructions when swimming or safely grind a metal part to customise it as per virtual instructions.

The Vizix M4000 is basically a wearable computer with the addition of a camera and screen, it allows you to merge on-screen instructions with real-world applications in real-time, greatly increasing productivity and precisely relaying instructions.

Source: Vuzix

64Gb of memory and 6Gb of Ram are more than enough to use the Augmented Reality device for its industrial applications and it weighs only 222 grams. As the M4000 was designed for professional applications, the resolution of 854×480 pixels in the right eye is sufficient.

The battery life is 2-3 hours which would be more of an issue if Vuzix had not made the batteries able to “hot swap” and be replaced while the glasses stay turned on, retaining any information which may have been on the screen.

Meta Quest 2

A$479

This successor to the legendary Oculus Rift is now made by Meta, formerly known as Facebook, who paid a whopping A$2.81 billion to own the rights to the technology featured in the Rift and looked at the specifications, it is easy to see why.

A resolution of 1832 x 1920 per eye makes even tiny details visible and a battery life of 2-3 hours means the Meta Quest 2 is one of the best VR headsets you can buy if you want to play for longer periods, storage is as much as 256Gb and the 6Gb of RAM eliminates any lag.

The only drawbacks of buying this headset are the fact that you need to have a Facebook account in order to play it and the controllers that come with the headset are not rechargeable. The huge variety of quality games, good quality audio and sleek design makeup for this and it is lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 498 grams.

Source: Tech Radar

Resident Evil and Microsoft Flight Simulator are some of the awesome titles on the list of games available on the Meta Quest 2 headset, it uses the reliable Android 10 operating system which means there are fewer bugs and fixes.

Sony Playstation VR

A$470

Sony has put a lot of effort into providing a unique Virtual experience with the Playstation VR, while the huge variety of games that come standard on the Sony VR platform is impressive, their ageing hardware has some shortcomings.

Firstly it is a heavy piece of equipment with fiddly cables attaching it to your Playstation, secondly, there is reportedly a Playstation 5 VR2 headset being developed, begging the question of whether to buy a piece of technology that will soon be redundant.

It also does not have the greatest resolution, 960 x 1080 in each eye, but the quality and an enormous variety of VR games playable with the headset more than makeup for the Sony Playstation VR’s limitations.

It has a good quality microphone which comes in very handy when playing online or you can use it to chat with friends while playing multiplayer. Use it to play Astro Bot Rescue Mission, a futuristic space adventure where audio input is required.

Source: Segment Next

Although the headset is heavy, its weight is distributed very evenly and the thick padding is comfortable when the headset is worn for long periods, you can also wear glasses while using it.

The Audio is also advanced, 3D sound is used to great effect in adventure games where suspense is created through the use of this technology, you might have to listen out for a teammate or clue that will lead you to the next stage of the game.

Sony says their Playstation VR2 is coming in early 2023, its price will probably be reflective of the wider industry, most VR headsets cost around A$700 plus additional equipment such as a good computer, with the Sony VR costing just over A$400. The tech giant may decide to focus on the lower end of the market or they may provide a higher spec offering that costs a little more.

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