Review for latest HW

  1. VR Headset Review

As my experience with VR is limited, I have not experience much with the VR headset. Hence, to analyse what would be best for me would be these criteria: affordable, does not cause dizziness, portability, compatibility. The best way for me to see if a headset fits these criteria would be looking at the specifications. As each specification comes with pros and cons, I would judge my “favourite” headset based on whichever specs that best matches my preference. Currently, the 4 most competitive headsets are Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index, PlayStation VR.

SpecsOculus QuestHTC ViveValve IndexPlayStation VR
Max Field of View100°110°130°110°
Max Resolution2560 x 14402160×1200 (1080×1200 per eye)2880 x 1600 (1440 x 1600)1920×1080
(960 × 1080 per eye)
Max Refresh Rate72Hz144Hz90Hz90Hz, 120Hz
ConnectionUSB Type-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi1x HDMI 1.4+
DisplayPort 1.2+
2x 3.0 (one usable for accessories)
Custom cableHDMI and USB
US$399 (64 GB)
US$499 (128 GB)
US$399$999 (headset, 2 tracking stations, 2 controllers)
$499 (headset)
US$299 (headset, camera, and a game)[16]
Move controllers sold separately for $99[

Favourite VR Headset: HTC Vive

Image result for HTC Vive people using

Looking from the perspective of a student who is rather new to VR and is looking for a device which is affordable and compatible with Macbook, I would think HTC Vive would be the best option for me. One of the biggest plus point with the HTC Vive would be its native macOS support, both in hardware and software. HTC Vive is also the only headset which requires a Intel core i5 or higher which most Macbook supports.

Furthermore, based on the table above, for its prices, I would think that it contains specifications that are relatively good compared to the rest. With the same price as the Oculus Quest, its Max Field of view is very close to our human field of view of 120 degrees and its refresh rate is double of that of Oculus Quest. Despite the max resolution being slightly lower that Oculus Quest, I think that the other points such as compatibility and other specifications makes up for it. As the refresh rate is high, I can imagine that experiencing VR on the HTC vive would be comfortable.

Another plus point would be that HTC Vive provides a far more game support through the steam than other headset. This is because gaming developers, specifically Steam was willing to support their games on MacOS. HTC Vive was developed to work specifically with SteamVR platforms. So this provides more use for the headset other than just doing a module on the Macbook. I can potentially use it for games and leisure.

I would not choose the Valve Index, mainly because because of the price. Although it provides the best specifications, I would not be willing to invest that amount for a new venture. Also, the Playstation VR’s specifications seem inferior to the rest despite its lower cost. Hence, I honestly think that I would choose either the HTC Vive or Oculus Quest. However, the main reason HTC Vive would be my selection would be because of its compatibility. Nonetheless, Oculus Quest would be a notable mention for my selection. One main plus point for Oculus Quest would be its portability, which can be convenient for me as I would trip over wires or I can move around more freely in the lab.

  1. MR Headset Review

Similar to the VR headset, my experience with MR headset is also limited. Again, I compiled a list of specifications for headsets which are competitive for the market at the moment. Similarly, I’m looking at specifications which best fulfil these criterias: affordability, does not cause dizziness, portability, immersion. I understand that not all criteria can be fulfilled, so I will weigh on the factors which are more important to me and the number of criteria it fulfils.

SpecsMicrosoft HoloLens 2Acer AH101Samsung Odyssey+Asus HC102
Max Field of View52°110º110º96°
Max Resolution2,560 x 1,4401440×14401440×16002880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye)
Max Refresh Rate120 Hz60Hz90 to 60Hz90Hz
ConnectionBluetooth LE 5.0, 802.11 2×2 WiFi1x USB 3.0
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.01X HDMI 2.0
Integrated Bluetooth 5.0 radio to communicate with controllers
1x HDMI 2.01x USB 3.0
$3500 USD, $125 USD per month Enterprise, $99 USD per month Developer
US$399.99 (controllers included)US$500US$399 (controllers included)

Favourite VR Headset: Microsoft HoloLens 2

Image result for Microsoft HoloLens 2 people using

Because I am looking from the perspective of which headset can best be integrated into reality, I’m foregoing the fact that Hololens cost a lot more than the rest. I prioritising factors such as comfort, portability and immersion which I believe Hololens fair way better than the rest.

Hololen is portable unlike the rest because it is a self contained computer. Based on holographic technology, it allows you to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in mixed reality environments. Which allows a complete immersion of mixed reality. Furthermore, its high resolution and refresh rates allows for the best comfort which can minimise dizziness. Although the field of view is rather limited, I think it being integrated into reality makes that forgivable as you do not need a complete field of vision since you are also viewing reality.

Moreover, Hololens’ optical system has advanced sensor for Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) which process a large amount of data at a high rate. The advanced sensors which recognise maps, places, spaces, and things around the user are impressive. This all contributes greatly to the immersion, and I can imagine it being like how it is portrayed in Iron Man.

I have limited information about the rest of the headsets, but based on Youtube video, I do not see people using the other headset for MR. Instead, most use it for VR games. So this give hololens a convincing win, since I have received more information on its ability to immerse users in Mixed Reality.

One thing cool about the Hololens is its ability to flip the glasses. Users can toggle between the MR and reality. Its design is also user friendly as it allows for people with glasses to wear it with comfort. Furthermore, it is light weight at 566g which is arguable light and easy to wear around.

All these feature of hololens makes it very suitable for both commercial and personal use. I believe it can bring value to many industries, especially the medical field as it can save cost on training. It may even help doctors operate better.

Preferences for VR/AR HMD

For VR HMD I prefer to choose the Oculus Quest all-in-one VR gaming headset. This one sells $399 on Amazon.



Oculus Quest uses a monocular 1600 x 1400 OLED screen, although there is a sense of pixels, the pixel sense is not obvious, and it can be ignored when playing games because games are not required much for 3D graphics.


Oculus Quest uses a Fresnel lens which advantage is that it provides clear experience for surroundings and there is almost no dispersion in the center or the surroundings, while blur and distortion will appear around ordinary lenses.


There are two ways to use Oculus Quest. One is suitable for standing or sitting in place. It will let you set up a virtual wall with a diameter range of more than one meter. A blue grid will appear around you in the game. When you do not exceed this area It will not be displayed when it is exceeded, it will be warned after it is exceeded, and an external screen will be displayed, but the colors are processed. Another way is to use touch to mark a moving range. This range can be relatively large, such as two or three meters in diameter. You can draw a range around the wall around the room. As long as your body does not exceed this area, no warning will appear.

In some games, the touch controller will become its own hands. It is quite unexpected that the controller can almost represent various gestures of people, including raising the thumb can be perceived, and feedback in the game. Some picking movements can be done easily, even with a slight hallucination that which is your own hand.


Oculus Quest is the most suitable one for playing games, and can even be directly positioned as a game console. It has a perfect game experience for playing Rhythm Space that the music and lightsaber are perfectly matched with the vibration feedback. Some roller coasters and horror games are suitable for people to play when there are many people as they can activate the atmosphere and bring joy to relatives and friends.


The angle of view of Oculus Quest is about 100 degrees which is worse than Vive. Fresnel has a disadvantage that is its clear central area is small, and it is necessary to carefully adjust the interpupillary distance and up and down position so that the eye is located in the central area of the lens, otherwise, it will be very unclear. Therefore, VR devices with Fresnel lenses without interpupillary distance adjustment may not be suitable for some people. The battery is not durable and can last for only about two hours or more. The effect of the built-in headphones is average, with 3.5mm ports on both sides, but the cable is easy to interfere with after connecting the headphones. Due to the limitations of resolution and FOV, Oculus Quest is not very suitable for watching videoes.

In general, Quest is still the main game but not suitable for watching videoes. It is the main product of Oculus at present. Because PC VR is too expensive to get started, many people ’s home PCs have not been updated for many years. If the price of a complete set is too high, it will block mainstream users. Quest this all-in-one machine should be the main development direction, at least in the mainstream public domain. The wireless of VR is inevitable. After the popularization of 5G in the future, an all-in-one machine such as quest can put a lot of processing pressure on the cloud server. This wireless is also the most effective for resource utilization. And wireless like PC VR, just remove the cable, still need to set a high-performance PC at home, this PC is only working when you play VR games, the rest of the time this PC It is in a state of idleness and waste. This method has performance advantages in a certain period of time, but it is destined to be difficult to radiate to mainstream users. To make VR as popular as smartphones, Quest is taking an inevitable path.

For AR/MR I prefer HoloLens 2.

Compared with the parameters of the first generation, it can be seen that the field of view of the Hololens 2 has more than doubled compared to the first generation, and the resolution has increased from 720p to 2k, and the sharpness has been greatly improved. The holographic scene brought to users is more vivid, more realistic, and more immersive.

And Hololens 2 has a better understanding of the environment and support for gesture interaction. This means that when we use it, it will be more convenient to operate.

Prior to this, the Hololens generation has always been criticized that the device is heavy, and it will compress the bridge of the nose when used, and it cannot be worn for a long time. The second generation has added a new function-a sunshade can be lifted up, and cushions are designed on the front and back of the head, which greatly improves the wearing comfort, which is not only very convenient to wear but also solves the problem of pressing the bridge of the nose.

Hololens2 enjoys a two-year commitment to quality assurance and obviously has improved in after-sales service.

In summary, the second generation has comprehensively improved in terms of performance, comfort, and cost performance.

A woman wearing hololens glass and feels it experience

VR/MR review

Mixed Reality

The Hololens 2 allows user to experience what it is like to live in a space where reality and virtuality amalgamate. The Hololens is designed to fit over the user’s spectacle which is something conventional VR/MR headset do not really cater to. The design of the Hololens, in my opinion, is extremely well-done. It looks sleek and expensive, it’s aesthetic is something that one would associate with futuristic technology. It is designed to feel light and comfortable such that it can be worn over long period of time. This feature is essential as it is targeted at enterprises and businesses would look for tools that provide such wearability. One that attracts me the most about the Hololens is the use of the eye tracking and hand tracking. The Hololens does not use controllers to track the movements of the user’s hand. But rather the movement of both the user’s eyes and hands is tracked by the special lens. This feature is extremely unique in the VR/MR market and can serve many functions. As well as provide more user freedom when using it. It makes the navigation more intuitive and the experience more immersive as the user explores the world created by the Hololens. The user can use his hands to interact with virtual 3D objects. This provides the perfect way of teaching someone through an immersive experience. The Hololens aspires to render more complicated 3D objects in the future. I do see this tool being employed in the near-future by businesses in their practices

Virtual reality

7 years ago, Oculus VR is a pioneer in consumer grade virtual reality. They introduced to the world the Oculus Rift which revolutionised many domains in the world. They then introduced their improved version of the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Quest. This is the first wireless VR headset that could fully manipulate the virtual world and provide three degree of freedom (or as commonly known as 3 DOF). The user could fully move in the virtual world as he would in reality. He could crotch, walk or spin in the VR world. And this provides a fully immersive experience for the user. However, instead of a powerful graphic card, the Oculus quest uses a SnapDragon 835 processor which is merely a cellphone CPU. This limits severely the graphic quality provided by this headset. However, the wireless ability of this headset more than makes up for it. 

VR/MR Review

VR – I think my most preferred device is the Oculus Quest. Similar to what the others have mentioned, I like how it is not connected to a PC. I feel this is important as the user will not be able to see anything in the physical world when wearing the headset, and tripping over wires is a likely accident that might happen if one is not careful. However, I have to add that it might be a little bit uncomfortable when it came to wearing it. I tried it once and it felt like it was drooping forwards despite adjusting the straps a number of times. Despite that, I still quite like this headset as it is easy to learn how to use it and the hand controllers are intuitive to use.

MR – I think my most preferred device is Microsoft’s Hololens 2. First of all, it has a very sleek look and seems less bulky compared to other devices in the market. Additionally, I also quite like how the design allows the user to be able to “flip up” the headset. It makes it very convenient to switch between seeing in mixed reality and the real physical world. It is also clear that users can wear spectacles when using this headset. During my internship last summer at a VR company, I helped out in a number of outreach events and I realised there is a common misconception that one has to remove their spectacles whenever they have to put on such headsets. Besides the technical specs, I feel that the design of the headset is also integral in attracting one to want to buy it, as well as ensuring the user is comfortable and enjoys using it.

Credits: Pictures obtained from Google Images

Latest VR/MR Technologies

The field of virtual, augmented and mixed reality has seen various novelty and hype cycles over the past few decades. As the price of hardware devices decreases and research into improving the user experience grows, adoption in multiple industries and use cases is becoming increasingly exciting. 2019 was a huge year for XR headsets and applications. With much hype for next-generation devices like HoloLens 2 and Google Glass EE 2, 2019 saw major developments in enterprise adoption and was a significant year in proving the XR industry is well past its early adoption phase. Let’s take a look at some of the best XR technologies that came out in the past few years.

Latest VR Hardware

VR headsets can be categorised into Standalone, Wireless/Mobile and Tethered.

Tethered headsets are devices that need to be connected to a PC / console / external device usually via cables. By connecting to an external device which hosts the video processing, tethered devices allow for higher computational power to provide better image fidelity and more complex functions. The downside of tethered headsets is the requirement of having to set up the external device in order for your VR device to work. The connection to the external device using cables also limits mobility and portability, although some newer devices tried to resolve this drawback with the option to connect to the external device via bluetooth / WiFi in place of cables.

Mobile headsets are designed usually for use with a smartphone, such as the Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream View. By simply placing your smartphone screen into the mobile device, the lenses in the device separate your smartphone screen into two images for each of your eyes, and therefore converts the smartphone screen into virtual reality. This way, mobile headsets do not need to connect to any costly external device via wires, and are relatively much cheaper especially if you already own a smartphone. However, mobile headsets tend to have a limited 3 degrees-of-freedom (DOF), where only direction, and not position, can be detected. As more advanced headsets are developed, mobile headsets have become increasingly obsolete.

Standalone headsets require only the headset itself to get started, removing the need for complex setups. Devices like the Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo are some examples of standalone headsets. While the minimum setup requirement is much simpler now, standalone devices tend to be heavier and more limited in controls as all the computational processing is now done on the headset instead of an external device.

The table below lists a few of the latest VR devices in the industry along with some key parameters:

Device Field of View (FOV) Resolution (pixels) Refresh Rate (Hz) Headset Type Connections Price (USD) Remarks
HTC Vive 110° 1080 x 1200 per eye 90 Tethered HDMI, USB 3.0 $499 6 DOF
HTC Vive Pro 110° 1440 x 1600 per eye 90 Tethered Bluetooth, USB-C port,
DisplayPort, USB 3.0
$799 6 DOF
AMOLED screens
HTC Vive Cosmos 110° 1440 x 1700 per eye 90 Tethered DisplayPort, USB 3.0 $899 6 DOF
Oculus Quest 100° 1440 x 1600 per eye
2560 x 1440 in total
72Standalone None $399 (64 GB)
$499 (128 GB)
2 OLED Panels
Oculus Rift S 95° 1280 x 1440 per eye 80Tethered DisplayPort, USB 3.0 $399 6 DOF
Oculus Go 101° 1280 x 1440 per eye 72Standalone None $149 3 DOF
Valve Index 130° 1440 x 1600 per eye 120 (up to 144 in experimental tests) Tethered Custom cable,
DisplayPort, USB 3.0
$999 (for headset, 2 tracking stations, 2 controllers)
$499 (headset alone)
Sony PlayStation VR 110° 960 x 1080 per eye 120Tethered HDMI, USB 2.0 $299  6 DOF
Requires PlayStation 4

Preferred VR Device

My preferred VR device would be the Oculus Quest.

Each of the VR devices have their different specifications which are best suited for different purposes. As a newbie to VR, the Oculus Quest seems like the best choice due to its good blend of performance, ease of usage and affordability.

One of the distinguishing features for the Oculus Quest is that it is a standalone device. Its setup requirements are simple and there is high portability. As a newbie exploring VR development, the ease of setting up and using the device is a huge drawing factor as it reduces my barriers to learning. The wealth of online information/tutorials makes the Oculus an easier tool to learn as well. There is also high versatility as the Oculus is built on Android hardware, and users can share their VR experience with others via smartphone or TV easily. The lack of cables will also give users more maneuverability and built-in sensors to recognize the user’s environment also help to map out the VR space for the user to move in safely.

As a standalone device, the Oculus Quest has relatively competitive performance as well, using a Snapdragon 835 processor, OLED screens and providing 6 DOF motion tracking along with built in speakers to create one of the best user immersions among standalone headsets. While its Snapdragon 835 chipset may not be able to compete with PC systems like the Vive Pro or Rift S, the value in compacting all processing systems into a single headset to remove the need for external setups is still a commendable step in the right direction. The touch controllers are lightweight and intuitive, while the headset is designed to allow for some adjustments to cater to different users.

One downside of the Oculus Quest is the limited battery life, lasting between 2 to 3 hours, but there is still the option to connect the device to a PC for longer periods of usage. The device might also be heavy given that it has to house all the processing units in the headset. Nonetheless, while it may not have the best individual specs in the industry, the relatively cheap Oculus Quest is one of the most value for money VR devices. From a developer and user perspective, the Oculus Quest therefore seems like the best option to begin my VR journey with.

Oculus Quest

Latest MR Hardware

The field of MR devices is still relatively new compared to VR headsets. Many MR headsets are a combination of VR and MR capabilities. Similar to VR devices, MR devices are built usually with specific use cases in mind, whether it is for business and enterprise level corporate training or for improving the user experience while driving. Below is a list of some of the more prominent MR devices in the market currently.

Device Field of View (FOV) Resolution (pixels) Refresh Rate (Hz) Price (USD)
Microsoft HoloLens 2 52° 2560 x 1440 120 $3500
Magic Leap 1 40° 1.3M pixels per eye 120

Varjo XR- 1 87º Two 1920 x 1080 low persistence micro-OLEDs and two 1440 x 1600 low persistence AMOLEDs 60/90 $5995
Samsung Odyssey 110º 1440×1600 per eye 60 to 90 $499
Asus HC102 95° 1440 x 1440 per eye Up to 90 $429

Preferred MR Device

My preferred MR device would be the Microsoft Hololens 2.

Microsoft Hololens 2

Personally, what excites me about the XR industry is exploring the possible and unexpected use cases the technologies can be applied to. The Hololens 2 was created for factory workers, in places that can spend thousands on a work tool. Its clear and purposeful use case attracted my attention right from the get go. 

Designed with a flip-up visor, the Hololens 2 allows users to transition between the real world and mixed reality world effortlessly. Personally, I like the choice to design MR devices as wearable glasses like the Hololens 2 as opposed to the traditional bulky designs of VR devices, as in the case of the Varjo XR-1. This is crucial to increasing the uptake of MR devices in industries. Users should have as little friction as possible when using MR devices in order to effectively use MR in their daily work/lives. To this end, the Hololens 2 has taken considerable efforts to design a user-friendly device. The device has some of the best specs in the industry which help to provide a comfortable user experience. It is compatible with glasses, offers light, gaze and eye tracking functions, and has voice recognition for commands and control. The breadth of control options enables the user to use the device more efficiently in the real world. The portable device also includes built-in speakers and options for spatial collaboration, helping to revolutionize workplace interactions. 

In terms of performance, the Hololens 2 also boasts some of the best features in the industry. The device has one of the best hand-tracking technologies as compared to other devices, contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850, and provides high-resolution graphics through its high frame rate and resolutions. These specifications help push the frontier of the MR industry and its applications. From a developer perspective, the Hololens 2 also has no lack of support from Microsoft. The device also taps on cloud processing power to provide remote rendering for Microsoft azure cloud subscribers, giving it great potential to be a leader in processing power among the MR devices.

While the use case of the Hololens 2 is mainly at the workplace, the leading specs of the device make it an impressive MR headset. While the field of vision is not the largest, the compact design and high ease of uptake make it a leader in the industry. Assuming I had the money, this would be a device I would be excited to try. Nonetheless, between the Varjo XR-1 and Hololens 2, the Hololens is still more affordable and sufficient for most use cases right now. With some of the best specs in the industry which help to provide a comfortable user experience, I believe the Hololen’s technology can be extended to other use cases with further developments, and it would be exciting to see how its other applications continue to push the barriers of the MR industry. This is definitely one example of an MR device developed right and I hope to see more competitive products being rolled out in the industry to help drive the costs down in the long run.

VR/MR Review

Regarding VR headsets, Oculus and VIVE are the more well-known headsets out there. While the idea of VR dates back as early as the 1860s and that the first head-mounted display being made in 1968, it was not till 2010 that VR truly starts to gain widespread public attention.

While VR has its application in fields such as medical and military, it was in the gaming sector, where it truly stands out. Based on this train of thought, it made sense to create VR devices that caters to gaming instead of other fields.

Oculus being one of the frontrunner in the VR gaming sector meant that there is a lot of support available for it be it game titles or profits from selling its device. Additional revenue meant that there is a better ability to come up with better versions of VR headsets.

Oculus Quest VR Headset

While I do not have a specific favorite VR Headset to say, Oculus Quest is likely to be the head set I will be purchasing if I decided to get start with VR now. Asides from the wide plethora of gaming titles available for Oculus products and being wide priced relative to its capabilities and utilities, there are certain specifications that made Oculus Quest stands out from the rest of the headsets.

The first and foremost would be that it is a standalone VR headset. This meant that it is wireless and users do not have to risk tripping over the wires while using the device.

The second standout function it having 6 Degrees of Freedom and that is a pretty big plus. The problem with 3 Degrees of Freedom headsets is that it can only track your head orientation and does not track the position of the headset. Having 6 Degrees of Freedom, Occulus Quest can provide a more immersive experience by giving the feeling that you are actively in the VR world rather than being stuck to a fixed spot only being able to rotate your head and limited to the movements of the controllers.

However, what the Oculus Quest lacks is built in earphones. This meant that there is a need for a additional earpiece or headphone to be plugged in the Oculus Quest itself.

In this aspect based purely on technical specs alone, HTC VIVE FOCUS would be a better device given that it has built in microphone and speakers and also have the functions mentioned above. The downer to this device is that it has a relative high price. Since earpieces are pretty common nowadays, not having built in headphones is not necessarily a negative.

Image result for hololens 2
Person wearing Microsoft HoloLens 2

Mixed Reality is a relatively new concept, where the first time I have heard of it was in the 1st lecture itself. While there are a number of MR headsets out there, HoloLens 2 stands out compared to the rest of the crowd.

One of the more standout features is the futuristic feel to the headset. In Sci-Fi shows, movies and stories, we have heard from time to time that people can just interact with holograms out of thin air and the HoloLens 2 is basically that except for the need of having the headset of course.

The headset is proclaimed to be pretty comfortable even for people wearing spectacles. It would be pretty hard to be immersed in the experience if you are constantly being annoyed with the headset itself.

Favourite VR and MR headsets

Favourite VR headset: Valve Index

Valve Index (full kit)

My favourite VR headset is the Valve Index. Priced at $1000, it costs more than twice as much as an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive, but it does come with some pretty cool specs. It has a resolution of 1440×1600 per eye with a 120Hz refresh rate (higher than the average 90Hz in many headsets). It also features an estimated 130 degree field of view.

While the display specs are good, I am most excited about its unique controllers! They are able to track even individual finger movements! With these controllers, it’s fully possible to reach out and grab an object in virtual reality instead of relying on abstractions that do the grabbing for you. You can watch the finger tracking in action in this YouTube video.

The second thing that I quite like about the Valve Index is the audio system. Instead of headphones that rest over the ears, there is a pair of speakers that sit some distance from the ears. I personally prefer listening to music and game audio on speakers because it’s more comfortable for me, so this is another feature of the Valve Index that would compel me to buy it.

The speakers on the Valve Index rest a distance from the ears. No direct contact is made.

Favourite MR headset: HoloLens 2

HoloLens 2

The HoloLens 2 is one of the most advanced Mixed Reality headsets available now. It is also a rather expensive device, with each unit costing $3,500! At that price tag, it is clear that the HoloLens 2 is targeted at companies and professionals.

Based on reviews written by people who have actually tried out the HoloLens 2, it provides an immersive experience in mixed reality for the wearer. Interaction with virtual objects is seamless, and the objects respond as if they are real objects.

The HoloLens 2 has a visor that can be flipped up when the wearer wants to exit from the mixed reality. The visor has an ergonomic design aimed to promote comfort when wearing the device. It even slides over prescription eyeglasses, making it possible for myopic people to use the HoloLens 2 without having to be blind as a bat. As someone who wears eyeglasses, I appreciate Microsoft’s effort in designing the headset to allow us to comfortably keep our eyeglasses on.

The HoloLens 2 visor can go over prescription eyeglasses comfortably.

VR/MR Headset Review

The Oculus Quest headset is my preferred VR headset in the market currently as it includes many desirable features. Firstly, It is a standalone product which allows ease of movement and no need for connecting wires. It has the ability to rival PC powered VR experience but is less expensive because of the lack of additional gadgets and wireds needed to be connect to the equipment.

Since there are two motion controllers, the Quest offers six degrees of freedom tracking. This implies that the user is able to walk around, crouch or bend comfortably in the VR environment. The user comfort has also been rated to be extremely high for this device as it is quite light on the head and has foam inner lining around the goggles. In terms of resolution, it is also superior to many other headsets (1,440 by 1,600 per eye).

My favorite MR headset would be the Magic Leap One headset. The main selling point of this device is that it uses Light Field technology. This makes it extremely usable and comfortable which also means that it may be more useful in integrating the technology into commercial and real life usage ( incorporating the real world is one of the aspects of MR that is very important to me). The device uses advanced eye tracking and even uses blinks as a control function for the user. Magic Leap One uses Interchangable components which allows greater user comfort experience. There is a lot of funding, around 2 billion, for this product which my allow it to develop faster than other products on the market.

One Magic Leap - VR/AR


Review of VR/AR/MR Headsets

VR/AR/MR is still in its relative infancy. While significant strides have been made in terms of technological improvements and availability of content, it is still seen as a niche.

I’ve only tried two VR/AR/MR headsets, namely Microsoft Hololens 1 and Google Cardboard (doesn’t really count, I don’t think but works well enough for a small introduction to VR, if you can’t afford a full-scale headset.)

But enough about me, here are my thoughts on the VR/AR/MR scene.

Latest Devices on the Market (not exhaustive)

HTC Vive Pro
Steam Index
Oculus Rift S
Oculus Quest
Sony Playstation VR
Microsoft Hololens 2
Samsung Odyssey+
HP Reverb Pro
Pimax 5K Plus

Preferred Devices

For VR: Oculus Rift S

Image result for oculus rift s

This is a subjective opinion, but I personally prefer the Oculus Rift S. I haven’t actually tried any VR headset, so my opinion might be invalid, and is based on research and watching others use the headsets on YouTube. I feel that to have an informed opinion, you got to try them out yourself in person. The Oculus Rift S is affordable, which is big if you want to mass market it to consumers and bring it out of the niche it’s currently in. It is a well-rounded headset, in terms of having better lenses, better controllers and better tracking for the price point. It also doesn’t rely on base stations, which dramatically increases portability.

Having cutting edge features is not going to help the scene if no one’s buying headsets, and so I believe lower cost headsets with features that are just good enough for immersion is the gateway for VR to become more popular. So while other headsets might feature higher FoV/framerates or better displays, it’s wise to be price conscious because VR is a fast moving field and the devices of today might be obsolete really quick because of rapid innovations in VR tech, and so that is why I elected to go with the Oculus Rift S.

For AR/MR: Microsoft Hololens 2

Image result for microsoft hololens 2

I consider Hololens 2 to be the world’s most pre-eminent MR headset. The problem with AR/MR today, similar to VR — is the ubiquity and accessibility of devices to the masses. Make no mistake, the Hololens 2 is not a consumer-grade device, but targeted towards developers instead, priced accordingly.

Since I’ve only personally ever used the Hololens 1, I cannot accurately say how the experience of Hololens 2 would be. One of my issues with Hololens 1 was it’s fairly limited field of view, which is addressed by Hololens 2 with its larger field of view.

The headset is accurate in tracking the real world. The virtual objects placed in the environment seems like they’re really there, and there’s no drifts or deviations in placement. I remember playing a game (a tech demo really) and they had robot drones flying all around the mapped room, and clinging onto the walls, firing at you. I thought that was pretty cool. You can also do random things like putting up YouTube videos on a wall in your office, or open a browser.

MR has a ton of potential use cases, for consumers and enterprises alike and Microsoft is well-placed to be the driving force and catalyst to propel innovation and generate interest in the field with its Hololens 2 offerings.


It’s an exciting time for VR/MR/AR, and maybe 2020 will be the year it all breaks out and becomes the next big thing, and maybe we’ll see VR/MR/AR be common place just like the smartphone revolution, and to a smaller extent — the smartwatch revolution.

The future is nigh.

My idealisation of VR and XR

Admittedly, my experience with VR, AR, and XR is rather limited – I have only tried VR and AR once or twice, and I have not had the opportunity to experience XR yet. Therefore, it is really difficult to dictate any device as a ‘favourite’ without having experienced them all. That said, I still have my own ideas and perceptions of what I desire with these devices. Hence what I write here will be a subjective analysis of the products based on my understanding of the devices and the ideas/technologies they represent.

Favourite VR Device

To me, the outstanding feature of a VR device is not necessarily how well the virtual world can be presented to the user – truth to be told, I think a good monitor(s) can really help with immersion. Instead, when I think of innovation in VR, I think of the controller. VR allows users the capabilities of 3-Dimensional inputs, with movements no longer restricted to just 2 dimensions. So what is the next step?

Image result for valve index controllers

Presenting the Valve Index and its unique controllers! Unlike most of the controllers on the market right now, these controllers do not just track your movements, but they track your fingers too! This allows for much more sophisticated controls – you can now pick up a ball just like in real life, instead of just pressing down on a button. With the controller straps, you could also go hands-free allowing actions users to ‘throw’ objects around naturally. While there has definitely been progress in hand-tracking technologies (such as with the Oculus Quest), I feel that the controller coupled with the hand tracking would allow for seamless transitions in gameplay/interactions between moving a character and performing hand gestures. Lest you end up with weird control schemes like in the Xbox Kinect, where users could use arm gestures naturally, but had to resort to doing weird actions with their bodies to move around (see: Star Wars Kinect).

While I have many thoughts about the other VR devices in the market, I think a short and concise summary of the product and my thoughts should suffice. Ranking from my favourite (after the Valve Index) to least favourite, they are:

Oculus Quest: A standalone VR headset with a relatively cheap price can go a long way in making VR very accessible. Even its short battery life has a silver lining – it is important to rest your eyes once in a while! Also, hand tracking!

PlayStation VR: Another accessible VR headset, that is if you already own a PlayStation 4 console. As the power of the hardware is limited by the PS4, it means that all the software that you buy can be played without any performance issues from having a weak CPU. With the support of Sony, the PlayStation VR also feature an extensive collection of high-quality games to play.

Oculus Rift S: The ‘OG’ VR headset is still quite decent, but the other options either have something unique, or are just more accessible. It also features a cable that helps to provide more power to the headset, but I can see that being a hinderance when users are trying to use the device.

Nintendo Switch VR Kit: While I am a big fan of the creative approach that Nintendo used to enter the VR market, the fact that you have to physically hold the ‘headset’ to your face the entire time looks really, really tiring. It also doesn’t help that it has a very limited library of games. Despite the ability to play older games with a new perspective (ie. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey), it is hard to really judge how influential the new perspective can be without trying it out myself.

Favourite XR Device

On to XR, however, I am much less uninformed about the technology here. I wish I have had a chance to try out one of these products at least once, but I haven’t had the luck. To me, I think XR should be a device that one can use to enhance their daily lives, and I think the demo for Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 really sold it for me. Featuring hand-tracking (which I have already mentioned how much of a gamechanger it could be above), eye-tracking and voice-commands, it seems as though there are many different ways to control and enhance whatever the user is doing. Best of all (not really, but still pretty significant), it features a flip-visor, so that users can easily switch between the mixed reality and… reality without the hassle of removing the headset. Of course, the price is pretty steep, but if we’re looking at my favourite XR headset, this is pretty much what I want XR to be and more.

Image result for hololens 2

Once again, here are the other noteworthy XR devices ranked (after the Microsoft HoloLens 2) as follows:

Oculus Quest: I like it because it can do both VR AND XR, which really gives the user a lot of flexibility on how they want to use the device. Once again, my bias of hand-tracking is still present and swaying my opinions, especially for XR devices, since the user’s own body should be part of the mixed reality.

Magic Leap 1: Despite the lack of hand-tracking, the Magic Leap 1 does feature eye-tracking and voice commands, which still goes a long way in helping users interact with the virtual elements around them. Moreover, the Magic Leap 1 is also available with prescription lenses, which can prove to be helpful to someone like myself. However, the lower field of view compared to the HoloLens 2 seems to play a big part in ruining one’s immersion.

RealWear HMT-1: The RealWear HMT-1 is clearly designed for industrial workers, and while I can definitely see its use and impact, it is simply not what I am looking for in a XR headset. That said, I have to say that aesthetics and functionality wise, I love how the headset is part of a safety helmet, further emphasising what it is for.