Oculus quest alternative

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Facebook's standalone VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, doesn't have any real competition if you're looking for a simple VR device at home. But HTC's newest Vive headset, the Focus 3, could provide major advantages for business users. It looks very much like an improved and more flexible version of the Quest 2, with better visuals and expandable storage... and a significantly higher price.

These headsets arrive five years after the original HTC Vive promised to reinvent VR. The original Vive was for everyday gamers as well as businesses, but HTC has since been increasingly business-focused for VR with standalone and PC hardware.

Read more: Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's VR future: New sensors on Quest Pro, fitness and a metaverse for work

HTC announced its newest business VR headset at a developer-focused ViveCon conference on Tuesday. In addition to the Focus 3, HTC is releasing a new PC-connected Vive Pro 2 headset that shares the same higher resolution and wider field of view of the Focus 3. Both the headsets have 120-degree FOV and combined 5K resolution over both eyes (4,896x2,448 pixels). That's better than either the HP Reverb G2 or the Oculus Quest 2. The interpupillary distance, or IPD, which ranges between eyes, can be adjusted between 57-72mm, which is also more accommodating than the Quest 2.


The standalone Focus 3 is the most interesting: It shares the same Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip as the Oculus Quest 2, but is pushing the chip to a higher resolution output at 90Hz. In many ways, it sounds very much like a professional-grade spin on the Oculus Quest 2. (Facebook is also promising a Pro version of the Quest in the future which may emphasize new sensors and increased performance.)

The Vive Focus 3 also has an extra USB-C port, which Dan O'Brien, HTC Vive's global head of enterprise, says can be used for expansion: adding extra custom-built accessories, or sensors. O'Brien also says the XR2 chip on the Focus 3 comes with extra RAM (8GB) and has a copper heat pipe and cooling fans to push chip performance.


A new set of controllers that come with the Focus 3 look similar to Facebook's Oculus Touch controllers, complete with the same dual triggers, analog sticks and buttons. The controllers charge over USB-C, with 15 hours of battery life promised.

Other notable differences (compared to the Quest 2) include expandable storage via microSD on the standalone Focus 3, and a removable rear battery in the head strap, so extra batteries could be charged up and swapped in. The headset's made of magnesium alloy, and the Focus 3's face piece magnetically snaps on and is designed to be easy to swap and clean. The headset lasts about two hours on a charge, but unlike the Oculus Quest 2 it has a quick charge feature via USB-C that gets to 50% charge in 30 minutes.

The Vive Focus 3 and Vive Pro 2 are available to order now, and are shipping June 24 and June 4. They're definitely not cheap, even if they're business-focused: the Focus 3 is $1,300, and the Pro 2 with controllers and external tracking base stations is $1,400.

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One notable absence in both headsets, however, is eye tracking. HTC used Tobii eye-tracking tech in a step-up version of the previous Vive Pro headset, but is leaving the feature out this time. According to O'Brien, the decision was partly price, partly what they see as business interest in the feature. Eye tracking could be added on by someone else, but HTC has yet to figure out any native privacy solutions for it in these new headsets. Also, there isn't any cellular or 5G option at the moment, but that's in the works, according to O'Brien. And, while these headsets could track hands using the external four cameras that are in the headsets, that feature won't be available at launch.

HTC had entered the consumer VR headset space again with the modular Vive Cosmos a few years ago, but it doesn't look like the Cosmos has much of a future as a product anymore. O'Brien says the Cosmos will keep being sold, but that "it didn't hit all the performance metrics we really wanted it to hit," and that HTC may revisit different ideas for that brand in the future.

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/the-vive-is-back-new-vr-headsets-want-to-be-the-professional-alternative-to-the-oculus-quest-2/

Virtual reality was supposed to be the next big thing back in 2016, when the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive launched. It was the tech whose time had finally arrived. Or so we thought. As it turned out, VR was still a little too expensive and perhaps too alienating to take over the gaming world like Oculus and HTC had hoped. But it is still a lot of fun. Nowadays, there are a lot more games to play and more headsets to choose from. Picking the right one is important, but you should keep in mind that almost all VR games are multiplatform, so your real choice isn't between Oculus or Vive, it's between tethered or wirefree.

Tethered or Wirefree VR?

Tethered VR gives you more graphical detail because you're hooked up to a PC. The disadvantage is that you're, well, hooked up to a PC. There's no getting around the fact that cables are awkward to deal with, especially when you can't really see them. You'll likely trip on them at some point, too. But if you're looking for absolutely top-of-the-line detail, and you already shelled out for a great gaming PC or laptop, then you'll want to go tethered.

For most people, myself included, wirefree VR is a much better option. It's more comfortable, you don't have to worry about getting tangled up in your own cables, and it's totally portable. You can bring this kind of VR headset to any room in the house without having to lug around your PC. Plus, in the case of the Oculus Quest 2, you can plug it into a PC if you want the extra graphical horsepower. Below, we feature both kinds of headsets. Take a look.

Updated for August 2021: Removed PlayStation VR for lack of support and in anticipation of anew version for PS5, updated information about Oculus Quest 2 availability.

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Sours: https://www.wired.com/gallery/best-vr-headsets-in-this-reality/
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Best VR and AR headset 2021

Always on the doorstep of adoption, never quite there. 

That's pretty much described the consumer virtual reality and augmented reality landscape over the last half-decade. But consumer mixed reality is now officially worth a look thanks to increasing competition and new headsets from a variety of legacy and first-time players. As the business case for AR/VR technologies outpaces consumer adoption, pressure from the enterprise, which widely employs consumer mixed reality hardware, has helped move the technology in the right direction across the board.

While there are purpose-built machines for the enterprise, the lines are increasingly blurred between consumer and commercial mixed reality. To compile this list, we took a broad survey of available devices and spoke to independent industry experts not affiliated with the brands listed. Nothing beats the hands-on trial, and we also had fun putting these through headsets through their paces.

What follows are our picks for the best VR and AR headsets available.

Oculus Quest 2

All-in-one VR experience


From the company that pioneered wireless VR, Oculus Quest 2 is an evolution of the popular Quest headset. With Quest 2, Oculus makes a multi-generational leap in processing power with the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform offering higher AI capability and 6GB of RAM. The new display features 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye -- the company's highest resolution display yet. With 50% more pixels than the original Quest, everything from multiplayer games and productivity apps to 360-degree videos look better than ever.

There are rumors of a Quest 3 in the works, but that unit likely won't arrive before 2022, and we're not in any big rush for a newer version of this incredible platform. With excellent hand tracking via very comfortable controls, the Quest 2 is easy to set up and use. Users draw their own perimeter area, like a private arena for excellent gameplay. And games are the Quest's specialty. Oculus has a great app store, and 50% more pixels than the previous version, the Quest 2 renders phenomenal virtual worlds for exquisite gameplay. You'll want the 256GB version, which retails for $399.

$299 at Adorama

HTC Vive Cosmos Elite

High-res with room tracking


If you want to level up your experience to 2880 x 1700 combined Pixel resolution, and if you want full-room playability with best-in-class room tracking, the Vive Cosmos is worth a look. It's an upgrade to the original Cosmos, and because the system is designed with interoperability in mind, you can create your own VR gaming experience with other HTC components.

All of that, of course, comes at a price, although that price has come down a fair bit in the last year and you can currently nab a unit for about $850. You'll get best-in-class tracking (a complaint with the entry-level version) and a VR unit that's primed to make the most of PC-based gaming. We also noticed the sound quality of this unit is a step above the competition, which helps create a truly immersive playing experience.

$850 at Amazon $899 at Lenovo $669 at Adorama

Sony PlayStation VR

VR for PS4 fans


So much of VR is geared toward gamers, it makes sense that the experience should integrate into your favorite gaming console. At the risk of starting a war, PS4 and PS5 currently reign supreme in the console-based gaming world, and if you have either unit and think a VR spin on gaming could be cool, this one is for you. 

Even though it's now a few years old, Sony's VR headset capably upgrades the PlayStation experience with capable VR gaming and a great cinema experience. It's also a cheap option these days, with units available from retailers like Amazon for less than $250.

$350 at Amazon

Epson Moverio BT-300

Light and comfortable


Not in the mood to play games? Great, let's get down to business (especially if your business is design). These AR glasses are created with design in mind, and they're exceptionally well-suited to designing AR apps, immersing the user in an augmented landscape full of objects rendered at phenomenal 1280x720 fidelity.

These highly transparent glasses have a remarkably sharp Si-OLED display that can produce a screen size equivalent of 320 degrees at 20m. Superior transparency, plus a high-resolution camera, ensures seamless integration of digital content with the outside world. The BT-300 features a binocular display, making it ideal for side-by-side 3D content for work or play. This is a developer tool, and it's priced as such, coming in at just under $700 retail. 

View now at Epson

Vuzix Blade

Education and work


Designed for the enterprise, the Vuzix Blade headset is top of the line and intended for remote access to multimedia content on the job site, whether that's distributed field techs or workers on the line. With greater connectivity and the ability to project instructional content, schematics, and live help, workers using the Vuzix are empowered to finish the job on a single service call and do it right the first time, a massive time and money saver. 

The headset also has great promise for collaboration in more traditional work environments and in fact were designed with remote collaboration in mind—a hallmark of the new era of work, education, and play. They feature an autofocus HD camera, integrated stereo speakers in the temples, and noise-canceling mics. They render objects in the field of view in full color, and they can be used as FPV glasses for drone users, both commercial and consumer. It's a durable piece of kit for the connected worker.

$899 at Vuzix

How to choose

The biggest consideration is the use-case. Will you be using a headset for gaming only for interactive uses like design or FPV? Do you already own a powerful PC and need a headset that interfaces seamlessly?

The gulf between commercial and consumer mixed reality has always been small, with plenty of enterprises utilizing Oculus headsets and savvy consumers looking into enterprise headsets for powerful collaboration potential. The reality is it's still very much the Wild West for a technology class that's been puffed up by years of hype but is still searching for a knockout case for adoption. The use cases for mixed reality remain niche: Gamers game, designers design, and athletes track their activity. Within each pool of utilizations, there are a small number of serviceable, if quirky headsets, meaning budget tends to be the deciding factor after use case. One thing we've noticed is that the technology hasn't advanced as much in the past few years as it might have, so don't shy away from older tech, which is cheaper and represents a great value in what's still the first blush of our mixed reality future.

Other options to consider

Most of the headsets on this list cater to VR and target gamers. But what about the growing world of action-sports AR headsets, a newer category of wearable designed to help athletes and weekend warriors stay fit, push their limits, and track their progress.

Cycling is a prime example, and if you're a cyclist we highly recommend checking out the Raptor, a combination of a cycling computer and an AR system. The display projects an unobtrusive AR layer of information out in front of the cyclist's eyes, displaying information on performance, body posture, and accomplishments in a way that enables eyes to stay on the road. It's the perfect tool for the serious or advanced hobbyist cycler with a tech bent, the gadget-based antidote to Peloton.

Related Topics:

Hardware Innovation Artificial Intelligence Developer Tech Industry Sours: https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-vr-headset/

Top 5 VR Headset Alternatives To The Oculus Quest For 2021

As exciting as planning a VR program may be, you need to make sure that you’re making a wise investment and choosing the right modality that meets your learners’ needs. It’s important to evaluate all of your options and determine if VR is the right fit.

We speak with dozens of clients every week who are interested in VR training, but want to learn more about VR equipment before they commit to planning a program. For over 2 years, we’ve been helping organizations plan, design, and implement VR training programs, so we’ve been around the block with everything VR-related.  

This article will overview VR training, differentiate between the three types of VR headsets, explore different cost factors for VR headsets, and provide five headset alternatives to the Oculus. 


What Is VR Training?

Virtual reality (VR) training extends learning beyond the traditional classroom setting. VR training simulates any world you can imagine and gives learners the ability to encounter true-to-life scenarios without facing real-world risk. 

By putting on a VR headset, learners are transported to a new location where they can look around themselves, walk up close to computer-generated objects, and interact with items and people.

When it comes to VR technology, there are two main options: 360° VR and Full VR. 

  • 360° VR — Creates an environment made of recorded video shot with an omnidirectional camera. Learners are in a fixed location where they can interact with their environment via gaze control or a laser pointer controller. 
  • Full VR — Uses a fully simulated environment where learners can physically move around the simulated space. Learners can observe and interact with objects placed in the environment, just like they would if those objects were real. 

Read More: When to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF VR


What Are The 3 Types Of VR Headsets?

Tethered Headset

Tethered VR headsets have a connection cable linking the headset to a PC or console, depending on the system. This connection allows for VR signals to be transmitted from the system to the headset itself via cables. 

Tethered headsets are considered to be the most powerful given their secure connection to the source. This connection lends to a better all-around performance and ability to handle more intense graphics, but has limitations regarding user mobility because users must stay connected. 

Untethered Headset

Unlike tethered headsets, untethered headsets are completely wireless and don’t require a wired connection to operate. Untethered headsets typically receive data from a WiFi connection or preloaded software. 

Untethered headsets are truly immersive because learners can move around and have total freedom without needing to be plugged into a source. Despite this major benefit, there are limitations in terms of power, as this headset may struggle to handle more graphically-demanding VR content. 

Read More: 5 Hurdles to Scaling Virtual Reality Training & How to Overcome Them

Smartphone Headset

Smartphone headsets sound exactly like what they are. Typically made of cardboard or hard plastic, learners use these headsets by placing their mobile device inside. Then, the VR content is displayed on the device itself.

Smartphone headsets are often regarded as the most affordable, convenient, and user-friendly headset option. Compared to tethered and untethered headsets, though, a smartphone headset provides more limited virtual experiences. These headsets lack the capabilities that the other two types offer, like advanced motion detection, high-quality graphics, and stereo sound. 


What Factors Influence The Cost Of A VR Headset?

There are several factors that influence the cost of a VR headset, including:

  • Screen resolution — Screen resolution is the number of pixels arranged in a grid horizontally and vertically. Screen resolution determines how sharp images look.
  • Processing power — Processing power is essentially the performance of a VR device. Processing power is measured by accuracy, efficiency, and speed when it comes to executing program instructions. 
  • Memory — Memory is the amount of space on a VR headset that stores programs, data, and other information. VR headset memory is measured in gigabytes (GB). 
  • Manufacturing quality — Manufacturing quality is the device’s design, maintenance, and overall operations that affect customer satisfaction.  

Read More: Cost of Virtual Reality Training: 360º VR [2020]


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Five VR Headset Alternatives To The Oculus Quest

1. Pico Neo 2

Key Features: 6DoF, 4K display, 101° field of view (FOV), built-in spacial stereo speakers

Price: $699

Type: Untethered, with a wireless streaming assistant option available.

Pico is known for producing devices rich in features and customizable options. Released in May of 2020, the Pico Neo 2 has a 4k resolution with a unique counterbalanced design that makes long wear comfortable. 


2. Pico Neo 2 Eye

Key Features: The same features of the Pico Neo 2 with additional built-in eye tracking.

Price: $899

Type: Untethered

The Pico Neo 2 Eye is an upgrade from the Pico Neo 2 with integrated eye tracking technology, enhanced mechanics, and data gathering. This way, organizations can collect key metrics and gain detailed insights into their learners’ behaviors. 

Read More: Training Metrics and ROI: Formulas and Descriptions


3. HTC Vive

Key Features: Single front-facing camera, adjustable velcro straps, uses an HDMI to connect to your machine, 2160 x 1200 resolution

Price: $899

Type: Tethered, but can be made untethered with upgrades.

Released in April of 2016, the HTC Vive is an older tethered VR device that has since been discontinued and replaced by the HTC Vive Cosmos. This device is known for its single exterior camera, chords that come out of the top of the device, and slow set up time. 


4. HTC Vive Cosmos

Key Features: Six camera sensors, 110° FOV, 6DoF, 2880 x 1700 resolution

Price: $699

Type: Tethered, but you can purchase a wireless adapter for cord-free access to PC content. The adapter costs $349.

The HTC Cosmos has refined inside-out tracking with six external cameras, high-quality graphics, and a flip-up headset design built for comfort. The Vive Cosmos offers a quick set up process with more ease of use than its predecessor. Vive devices are known for quality performance, but require powerful computers to get the most out of them. 


5. Valve Index

Key Features: 130° FOV, 6DoF, externalized audio, 2880 x 1660 resolution, canted lens design

Price: $999

Type: Tethered

Released in June of 2019, the Valve Index is known for its crisp display and audio that sounds like it’s coming from the environment around you. The Valve Index has a wider FOV than the HTC Vive and unique remotes that utilize individual finger tracking.  


Which VR Headset Is Right For You?

We’ve covered all there is to know about the three types of VR headsets, cost factors, and alternative options to Oculus headsets. 

Are you curious about more VR headset options or want to get started planning your VR training program? Reach out to our expert team today to learn more. 


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Sours: https://roundtablelearning.com/top-5-vr-headset-alternatives-to-the-oculus-quest/

Quest alternative oculus

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The Oculus Quest 2 Competitors are Finally COMING!

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