Virtual reality glasses are the most popular devices for immersion in virtual reality. This is a specialized device for simulating audiovisual three-dimensional spaces. The device consists of a plastic (sometimes cardboard) case, a screen with a partition and aspherical lenses that focus the image.
There are two lenses in the device case, and behind them there is a screen divided into two parts. The image displayed on the left and right half of the screen is almost the same. The 3D image is achieved due to the fact that each eye sees the image separately. The illusion of presence in virtual reality is created by a special gyroscope sensor that tracks the user’s head turns.
There are several types of virtual reality glasses:
- designed for a smartphone,
- working with a PC or console.
VR glasses for a smartphone
The device consists of a housing with built-in lenses. The image source is a smartphone that is installed inside the device. The image is transmitted through the lenses, enlarged and transformed from a flat image to a stereoscopic one.
Smartphone glasses usually work with devices with a screen diagonal of 4.7-6.5 inches running on iOS, Android or Windows Phone operating systems. Virtual reality glasses for a smartphone are equipped with gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, which are responsible for synchronizing head movements with the image. The viewing angle directly depends on the screen size, so it is recommended to use a smartphone with a large screen. The screen resolution must be at least FULL HD (1920×1080), otherwise a pixel grid may be observed.
Navigation through the virtual menu and control in VR games takes place using head movements. Small VR controllers for smartphones are also widely used, especially on Android phones. On the iPhone, such remotes are practically not used in VR applications.
Some manufacturers produce glasses focused on smartphones of their own production, for example, such as Samsung Gear VR and Xiaomi Mi VR. These headsets interact only with certain smartphones of their brand and work on the Oculus Store and MIUI VR platforms using their own controller. They don’t have access to VR content from Google Play.
Autonomous VR glasses
Such 3D glasses have a built-in screen and sensors that allow you to track head movements. They do not need a smartphone or a PC connection to work. Most of the autonomous virtual reality glasses operate on the Nibiru operating system, which is an Android adapted for VR. There are also instances running on their own platforms, for example, Oculus GO glasses. This VR device comes with its own controller and uses VR content from Oculus Home.
VR glasses for PCs and consoles
This type of VR glasses is the most complicated. Sensors located on the glasses and controllers allow you to more accurately track the movements of your head and hands. The glasses work together with the computer. Since all computing activities take place on the PC side, it should be quite powerful. The most popular VR glasses for PCs work on their own platforms. Each manufacturer of a VR device develops its own platform with certain games. However, there is still an opportunity to play games from another manufacturer’s platform.
- Oculus Rift works with Oculus Home, but with the help of certain settings, it can connect to Steam VR.
- HTC Vive works with Steam VR and interacts with Oculus Home using someone else’s software.
- VR glasses for Windows Mixed Reality interact with the Windows Store and are simultaneously compatible with Steam VR.
To interact with virtual reality, manufacturers produce both standard controllers and separate special sensors that track the movements of hands and fingers, as well as suits, gloves that simulate tactile sensations. Bracelets, shoes, treadmills and devices that reproduce smells enrich the experience of interacting with virtual reality.
Below we list the most popular models of virtual glasses in 2020:
- HTC Vive
HTC Vive, released in 2016, has become one of the most popular headsets. Two displays with a resolution of 1200 by 1800 pixels, with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, are responsible for the image in the HTC Vive. The full resolution that a person perceives, according to the manufacturer, is 2160×1200. VR glasses are equipped with a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer and laser positioning sensor, allowing you to accurately track the position of the head. HTC Vive is able to work with many operating systems from Windows to Android smartphones and the PS4 console. HTC Vive is equipped with controllers, headphones and an external position sensor in space.
2. Xiaomi Mi VR 2
Xiaomi Mi VR 2 is suitable for working with smartphones with a screen up to 5.7 inches. Due to their simplicity, the glasses are affordable. The device has its own motion sensor and a multi-touch Bluetooth remote control. The image quality is maintained due to hardware acceleration. VR glasses have an independent motion sensor, which ensures smooth image transmission. The viewing angle of the glasses is 103 degrees. The advantage of the glasses is the presence of lens focus adjustment, which is very convenient for users with vision problems. And the built-in optical sensor automatically turns off the helmet after removal.
3. Oculus Go — 64GB
VR glasses work as an independent device, without requiring a wire, connection to a computer or smartphone. Oculus Go is equipped with precision optics with a viewing angle of 100 degrees. The total display resolution is 2560×1440 or 1280×1440 for each eye. The device runs on the Snapdragon 821 chipset and the Android 7.1 operating system. The glasses have two versions of the model — with 64 and 32 GB.
4. BOBOVR Z6
VR glasses work with smartphones with Android or iOS operating systems, the display diagonal of which is 4.7-6.2 inches. When placing the phone in the holder, you need to connect it via Bluetooth to the headset to expand the functionality of the device and get wireless sound. Lenses with a diameter of 52 mm give an overview of 110 degrees, meanwhile, most users still note the limited visual coverage.
5. Samsung HMD Odyssey
The glasses are designed to work with personal computers. For each eye, the device has an AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1440×1600, and a total resolution of 2880×1600. The viewing angle covers 110 degrees. You can adjust almost everything in glasses from the focus to the interpupillary distance. The kit includes an advanced headset from AKG and a motion controller.
6. Sony PlayStation VR
VR glasses are created for the PS4 console. Even if the OLED display does not impress with its resolution (960×1080 for each eye, the total is 1920×1080), but it has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is more than that of competitors. Another feature is the futuristic design, which is very user-friendly. Thanks to it, the head will not experience discomfort in hot weather. By the way, Sony PlayStation VR is one of the few VR devices that can work simultaneously with ordinary glasses.
7. Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality Headset
These VR glasses are designed specifically for working with personal computers running Windows. They have everything you need for highly detailed VR. The total resolution is 2880×1440, the screen for each eye is 1440×1440. The viewing angle is 110 degrees. A complete set of sensors — accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, magnetometer. The motion controller is complemented by front-facing cameras for registering the user’s movement. But for all this splendor to work as the manufacturer intended, the computer for it must be powerful.
8. Oculus Rift CV1 + Touch
The glasses work with computers and powerful gaming stations. The resolution of the screens for each eye is 1200×1080, and the viewing angle is 110 degrees. The delivery package for Oculus includes built-in headphones, a gamepad, a remote control and an external position sensor in space.