VR/MR Headsets

VR Devices

In a VR Headset, I usually look out for the common factors that make a headset distinguish itself from others, like higher DOF, FOV, refresh rate and more importantly for me, an non-tethered headset, which brings a feeling of freedom.

It is of course, difficult to find a good device that does all of the above and still remains affordable. A common few headsets that receive much popularity are the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive.

As such, it is a surprise even to myself, that one of my personal favorites for VR is the Nintendo Labo VR.

Image result for nintendo labo vr
1,280 by 720 Resolution, 60Hz Refresh, 3 DOF. Not the most amazing specs you’ll see.

While it can be coined as “VR but not exactly” by many people, the main reason as to why it catches my attention is the idea of learning and creativity.

Not many people have the opportunity to experience VR, especially kids. With a Google Cardboard-like experience, many people can get their first VR experience, beginning from “building” their own VR headset.

From there on, they can shape their own VR experiences by building a variety of different extensions through the many Toy-Con projects available (elephant, camera, blaster…), or simply experience compatible Nintendo games through the lens of VR. Players also have the option to make their own mini VR games.

Looking at its specs, it is clear that this is not the most outstanding VR device and it definitely can’t compete with other specific sets like the Playstation VR (though Labo is more affordable than many). However its main selling point lies not in its tech, but how it makes VR more understandable through its play experience.

From building to basic programming, the Nintendo Labo makes VR more accessible to people and the idea of VR more tangible. Rather than letting VR seem like something futuristic and daunting, it gently introduces people into the VR space. Especially for kids, this helps with the learning experience and is a great first introduction to VR, which can hopefully ignite an interest in them.

Everyone has different thoughts on what is the best system, and a cool extensive list of VR devices and their specs can be found here.

MR Devices

While I’m not exactly familiar with MR tech (affordability being an issue of course), upon research, one of the headsets that catches my eye is the Microsoft Hololens 2, a popular pick for many.

Image result for microsoft hololens 2
A pricey piece with 52 FOV, about 3h battery life, and more power than its predecessor.

With a stylish design including a flip-up visor and improved fit, it’s cool to see how the device has been advanced for user comfort and experience. Tracking (gesture, gaze, hand) and various sensors increase the possibilities that the HMD can bring, and I’m interested in seeing how the experience is as compared to the Hololens 1.