IMMERSIVE: Samsung Gear VR

VR headsets are blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Marchelle Abrahams takes a look at some of the gear available on the market.

The power of technology is all encompassing. It’s pushed our virtual horizons to new heights, and now thanks to VR (virtual reality) technology, it enables you to explore new worlds without even leaving the comfort of your home.

VR has expanded to such an extent, that gaming and apps are taking users beyond the realms of reality - all you need is a headset with motion tracker - and you’re good to go.

If you’re tech junkie looking for the latest VR fix, we’ve gone in search of the best VR headsets available on the market, from the most expensive to the best buys.

Oculus Rift

You can’t mention VR without the word Oculus in the same sentence. One of the pioneers of virtual reality technology, Oculus VR was founded in 2012 by Palmer Luckey. Today, it’s a division of Facebook Inc.

So, what Rift does is blur the lines between reality and fantasy. Most probably the best VR headset out there, its advanced display technology combined with its precise, low-latency constellation tracking system enables the sensation of presence, making it feel as if you’re really there. Whether you are stepping into a game or watching an immersive VR film, you’ll feel that sense of presence.

Price: R18 993

Shop it: www.takealot.com

The Oculus Rift is most probably the best VR headset out there.

Sony PlayStation VR

The latest member of the PS4 family, the headset connects directly into the gaming console, along with PlayStation camera.

The 5.7inch OLED screen enables hyper-real 3D environments to come to life, and the 360 degree immersion allows for seamless field of view. But it’s the 120 frames per second that makes gaming with this baby an experience. The cutting-edge 3D audio also lets you accurately perceive the direction and distance of sounds that are coming from all angles.

The PlayStation VR connects directly into the gaming console, along with PlayStation camera.

Price: R6 000, including camera

Shop it: http://btgames.co.za

Samsung Gear VR

Powered by Oculus, the Gear VR was designed to feel lighter, while the cushioned foam helps prevent light from seeping in. Unlike other bulky products, its slimline design puts the wearer’s comfort first, so you can spend hours immersed in VR heaven. 

The Gear VR controller can be used as a remote control to navigate your VR environment, or use it as a gamepad. Like Sony, Samsung developed the headset with gamers in mind, and currently there are over 800 games and apps to choose from. And, the wide 101 degree field of view is just the thing for avid gamers.

Price: R889

Shop it: www.takealot.com

Google Cardboard

The most basic headset, Google Cardboard is a good option for anyone just starting out in VR. It’s great for kids because it allows them to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun way, without you having to break the bank.

Google Cardboard is a good option for anyone just starting out in VR.

Google also has some funky viewers to choose from instead of the brown, drab cardboard box that’s often associated with it. But, the more outlandish the design, the more expensive it is.

The Play Store is packed to the brim with interactive apps to choose from, and the best part is that most of them are free!

Price: From R120

Shop it: www.itoys.co.za

Forecast alert!

Google Daydream

Built in collaboration with HTC VIVE and Lenovo, this standalone headset is the first of its kind.
Still in the production stages, Daydream allows you to enjoy high quality VR with no cables, phone or PC. Google has also integrated new technology called WorldSense, that understands your movements in space without the use of external sensors.

Price: N/A

Shop it: Visit vr.google.com/daydream/standalonevr/ for further updates

Still in the production stages, Daydream allows you to enjoy high quality VR with no cables, phone or PC. Picture: YouTube.com