7 Virtual Reality Headsets | Behind the Scenes with 900lbs

Techweek is coming to Dallas for the very first time starting on October 31st, and Tech in Motion is hosting the official Kickoff Party. Tech in Motion will take you behind the scenes of immersive reality for the Kickoff Party (RSVP and see details here), but before the event, let’s take you backstage with the companies providing all the action. Meet the experts behind demo company 900lbs as they walk you through the VR headset options on the market – but first, check out this awesome Dallas Cowboys Jumbotron project they worked on recently…

 

VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU?

If we’re talking Chinese Zodiac, 2016 is the year of the Monkey, and if we’re talking wearable technology, 2016 is the year of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets. If you’re new to the game, check out our old blog post which explains the similarities and differences between virtual and augmented reality.

Because this wearable tech is still in the introduction stage of the product life cycle, there are a lot of options to choose from. So, which headset should you pick? At 900lbs, we’ve found creative uses for many of them. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest, mind-blowing headsets so you can decide for yourself how you can enter a new reality, from the most affordable to the swankiest.

Virtual Reality Headsets


google cardboard VRGoogle Cardboard – $16.99

Google Cardboard, at the low price of $16.99, styles itself as the every man’s virtual reality headset. All you need to do is fold the cardboard, insert your smartphone into the slot, and off you go into another dimension. On top of the low prices and tons of fun Cardboard designs, Google will soon be offering the Daydream platform. Daydream will allow users to bring the applications they already know and love into virtual reality, such as YouTube and Facebook, on top of hundreds of new exciting apps to come.

samsung vrSamsung Gear VR – $99

The Samsung Gear VR works in a similar fashion to the Google Cardboard, you only need to slide your Galaxy phone into the headset. Just like Google Cardboard, the visuals delivered from these two systems will be grainier than some of the options further down this list, because you are essentially just looking at your phone screen really, really close up. Samsung also offers a 360 degree camera for as low as $25, so you can film, edit, and upload your own 360 content all for under $200.

Samsung will be at the event giving you a first-hand look at this, get a ticket for the Kickoff Party here.

sony playstation vrSony Playstation VR – $399

Sony Playstation VR connects to your Playstation for a whole new gaming experience. The headset is designed so you forget you are wearing it, and the 5.7 inch OLED display has a 120 Hz refresh rate, so you definitely are in no danger of any queasiness. The Playstation VR is likely the easiest way for consumers to enter the VR market, as it hooks directly up to the most popular gaming console. This option was JUST released on October 13, 2016.

 

oculus riftOculus Rift – $599

Oculus Rift, developed by Palmer Luckey, funded by Kickstarter, and purchased by Facebook for $2 billion, is the technology that brought virtual reality back to the center stage of the gaming and technology world. The screen has a 2160×1200 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate, so again, no motion sickness. There are Oculus Touch hand controllers in the making, which will throw users even further into the action.

 

htc viveHTC Vive – $799

The Vive, a collaboration between HTC and Valve, the makers of the popular PC gaming platform Steam, offers a more immersive experience. Thanks to motion tracking stations and a chaperone guidance system, users can actually walk around while wearing the headset, instead of just chilling on the sofa. The Vive has also a 90Hz refresh rate, so there’s no reason to worry about contracting motion sickness. There are also two wireless hand controllers available, with 24 sensors each, which makes interacting with the virtual world extremely easy.

RSVP for the Kickoff Party and you’ll be able to experience the Vive yourself!

Mixed Reality Headsets

microsoft hololensMicrosoft Hololens – $3000

The Microsoft Hololens allows the wearer to manipulate digital content and the real world simultaneously. Instead of completely immersing the user in a new world, the Hololens presents a mixed reality with interactive “holographic” images (here’s why it’s not actually holograms) layered on top of reality. The Hololens stands out from the others because it is completely wireless. The tech is battery powered; there is a fully operational Windows 10 system in the headset. Sensors on the headset lend to simple control of the device through the direction of your gaze, hand gestures, and voice activation.

meta 2Meta 2 – $949

The Meta 2, while not currently on the market yet, is a huge step up from its predecessor. It offers a 90-degree field of view, and a 2560×1440 display with positional tracking for your hands. These glasses are not wireless like the Hololens, but they do offer a larger field of view.

 

 

Just recently announced, the Intel Project Alloy aims to create a headset that works with merged reality. Similar to augmented reality, but instead of blending virtual objects into reality like the Hololens, Project Alloy mixes real objects into virtual reality. The headset will be cordless, and Intel plans to use an open source model with the hardware in the future, so any third-party can develop headsets of their own. This new take on headsets could change the virtual reality industry completely.

Fove VR, another company taking the technology even further, is creating a headset with super accurate eye tracking. The headset can read the movement of your eyes to an accuracy of 1 degree, which means while wearing this headset, characters in virtual reality will actually react and respond to your eye contact and head movements. Eye tracking could potentially increase the viability of other platforms rendering capability as well. Since we can track where the eye is looking the headset would only have to dedicate resources to a specific portion of the screen, rendering the rest of the screen at a lower resolution while maintaining visual fidelity in the user’s field of view.

This article was originally posted on 900lbs.com and can be seen here.

Come join Tech in Motion on October 31st at the Techweek Kickoff Party: Behind the Scenes With Immersive Reality to meet the 900lbs team and experience some of these headsets for yourself.

Grab a free ticket for both Techweek and the Kickoff Party – see all the information here.

invite 2 VR

The Next Major Tech Convergence: Virtual, Augmented Reality

Written By Captain Philippe Lewicki of HTMLFusion

With so many developments in virtual reality this year, many of us are excited about a coming boom in 2016. I am too — but I am less focused on VR mobile apps or the endless cool hardware and gadgets appearing daily on my screen (though I admit to finding them very enticing.) I am most excited about what these advancements mean for us when everything comes together.

I believe we are on the verge of a major new technical convergence where augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will change our world as dramatically as the emergence of smartphones did.

Hear more about the Future of Virtual Reality from the CTO of Juant here.

Phillipe Lewicki talks at the Tech in Motion 50K Celebration in Los Angeles, above.

The last time we saw this happen was in 2007.  A well-timed merging of cellular technology, capacitive screens and UI design — mixed by the legendary Steve Jobs — set the stage for a world craving things like mobile apps and image sharing.

We love all this technology, but it stresses us out. These machines are here to increase our productivity, entertain us and improve our social connections; however, our laptops and phones are cumbersome and not designed for our human bodies. Relying heavily on these physical machines dampens our capacity to connect with others and discourages us from participating in activities where we move around.

This can be resolved. We are in the process of better integrating the machines in our lives. With this next major conflux, we will be connected to our devices in an intuitive way. These physical limitations will begin to disappear.

A combination of factors makes this possible. First, after enduring decades of false promises, we are finally seeing AI deliver results, thanks to new learning machines and neural network technologies. Programs like Siri and Google Now show how our voice can command actions on our screen, and the last few years have proven that they only get smarter.

Add to this the Internet of Things, which emphasizes how the Internet is beginning to transcend our phones and laptops to operate within our watches, glasses, audio speakers and thermostats. These devices are connected and responsive.

Integrate the concept of mixed realities and you can begin to see the possibilities.

In our weekly labs at HTML Fusion, we focus on how this future will look and feel. Our visit to Microsoft’s HoloLens Academy gave us a peek into what was possible. We continue to learn more and more about manipulating augmented reality spaces as we spend our weeks teaching machines to respond to our movements and desires.

We call this work the Holo UI. It is our platform for exploring how we control augmented reality, and it’s a small window into the converging future. You can consider it a seed.

This is a tool for a much more immersive experience. Our machines are integrating into our physical world, learning to interact with us naturally. Our cell phones, laptop, and desktop computers will slowly disappear and be replaced by more human-like interactions. We can still be productive and connected without staring at the screen.

Humans were designed to be moving, not stuck behind a screen and keyboard. This convergence will let us move again.

I am excited to work with my team, and a growing community of inspired entrepreneurs, to actively create this future and the way we use these machines — and make the impossible possible. This convergence is happening now, so the time has come for us to define how we will interact with technology, the Internet and each other. Now is our a chance to make this technology more human.

Follow HTML Fusion’s blog and @htmlfusion on Twitter for a weekly window into their latest tech discoveries.

You can also see innovative speakers in Virtual Reality and beyond at Tech in Motion Events across North America. Check out the event calendar.

team_philippeAbout the Author

Philippe Lewicki, Captain at HTMLFusion

HTMLFusion is a Culver City-based team of veteran developers working with mixed reality environments and creating successful businesses with entrepreneurs who have great ideas. Most recently, they were invited to the HoloLens Academy to share and explore their augmented reality work.

Their current project is a user-friendly virtual reality platform for real estate called OpenHouse VR.

The Future of Virtual Reality

1097723620Written by Arthur van Hoff, CTO at Jaunt

Virtual reality is something many people have heard of, but few have experienced. Yet trying to put it into words is, as one blogger stated, “like trying to take a picture of your favorite song.” Poised to disrupt the way we see, live and engage with the world, the fully immersing experience of VR has the potential to change the face not just of gaming or entertainment, but has implications for education, travel, healthcare, real estate, and more.

Today, you can put on VR goggles and have an immersive experience beyond your imagination – with high-definition 360-degree, 3D video and binaural audio, you can feel as though you’re in the world’s most spectacular places, on stage next to your favorite musician, or on the field cheering on your home team, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

Picture1

The truly exciting part about virtual reality is that this is just the beginning. The potential applications for this technology is something that excites us tremendously and we are continuously exploring.

Much of the content that is currently being developed for virtual reality goggles is simulated or digitally produced, along the lines of video games. At Jaunt, we’re building the full-stack technology to create cinematic VR. This includes the camera, software editing, and content production. Instead of exploring a simulated world, you can be transported to other places in the real world.

jaunt-vr-founders

This also means exploring new means of storytelling beyond the current capabilities of traditional film-making. We’re discovering new ways to use the technology, and it’s opening up huge new doors for writers, directors, actors, artists, and other content creators.

We shared some of what we’ve discovered and created at the Tech In Motion event this week. We enjoyed sharing the experience of cinematic VR with you and you’ll see some action photos in an event recap posted later in the month.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is also proud to announce their September event, Security & Technology: BYOD, Home, & Mobile {Sponsored By Microsoft & Appvance}. You can RSVP here.

arthurAbout the author: Arthur van Hoff is serial entrepreneur and was most recently CTO at Flipboard. He started his career in Silicon Valley at Sun Microsystems where he was an early developer of the Java programming language. Since then he has started several successful companies. Arthur has expertise in machine learning, big data, mobile applications, 3D printing, and computational photography. He is originally from the Netherlands and has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Recap: Tech in Motion LA’s Demos & Drinks

Last Tuesday, Tech in Motion LA hosted a Demos & Drinks event featuring three unique companies and their products. Total immersion, cyPOP, and Slim Surveys were the featured companies! The event had a laid back feel, allowing guests to mingle and check out the demos at their leisure. Each company presented their product simultaneously at their designated stations.

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Tech in Motion guests were offered a wide variety of beers, and the dessert tray was a sweet success! The event not only gave the companies a chance to show off their applications, but also allowed guests to network and get inspiration for whatever projects they may be working on.

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Total Immersion provides the world’s most widely used commercial augmented reality platform. Through its patented D’Fusion® software solution, Total Immersion blurs the line between the virtual world and the real world by integrating real time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream. They had a popular demo station, seeing as how their product is very interactive. Their app allowed users to virtually “try on” Ray Bans® and project animated images of themselves on a projector screen!

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CyPOP is a uniquely designed online destination where meaningful content, engaging conversation, and vibrant images are all centered on like-minded people with similar interests. The co-founder and CEO were on-hand to show guests their site and walk them through how one would utilize it.

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Slim Surveys is a micro survey tool that allows users to quickly take a survey in 30 seconds or less. Mobile optimized and perfect for anyone that needs an effective survey tool. They explained how their surveys work, why they work and why their product is a better option than their current competitors. They showed test surveys so guests could experience it firsthand.

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The LA Demos & Drinks event was great fun and a huge success! If you missed out, check back soon for our next one. And of course, join to stay up-to-date on all the cool events happening in YOUR city!