For this week’s CS4240 homework, we are to research on latest hardware in VR/AR/MR and then discuss about our favorite device for VR and MR.
In terms of MR, there are currently 3 on the market, the 2 more well known ones are the HoloLens and Magic Leap. For the 3rd device, it is known as the Nreal Light MR smart glasses and it is my personal favorite.
Below is how the Nreal Light MR glasses look when worn.
The first thing you would notice about the Light is that it looks like a fashionable sunglasses as compared to the HoloLens and Magic Leap which both looks bulky and are probably things you would not wear outdoors. Also, below you can see the entire hardware loadout for the light, which includes toast – the external processor, light – the MR glasses, oreo – the touchpad controller.
From ces reviews, the processing power is comparable to the other two MR glasses and the light has higher field of view compared to magic leap. The only arguing point is that the light glasses has to be wired to the toast but I prefer such a setup over wearing a bulky visor like the hololens or weird looking glasses in the Magic Leap.
For VR hardware, I think the latest advancements are trending towards untethered headsets which allow for more freedom in movement and is definitely welcome. In terms of computation power, while such HMD are not capable of tapping on the processing power of a PC as compared to tethered headsets as a trade off for freedom from tethering.
Why I chose the Oculus Quest – pictured below, as my favorite VR headset is that I value the freedom of movement a lot especially with the trend towards room-scale VR applications.
As for why Oculus Quest over other untethered headsets, I personally believe that how good a hardware is also depends on the ecosystem surrounding the headset itself. While google daydream was the first to come up with commercial standalone headset in the google daydream standalone by Lenovo, there just wasn’t much application nor games to try out on the google daydream playstore. Out of the various VR headset, oculus and HTC vive has the strongest developer ecosystem which allows for developers to get help easier and finish their product. This advantage means there will naturally be more things for you to try out with the HTC and oculus headsets.
As to why Oculus Quest over HTC Vive Focus (HTC’s standalone headset), I personally prefer the flagship controller on the Oculus. In terms of computational power, I think both are quite similar and offer 6 DOF tracking and same resolution. In terms of controller design, Oculus’s touch controllers feels more ergonomic and the ring allows for natural pointing gestures. The HTC controller on the other hand utilizes touchpad rather than analog stick. The issue I have with touchpad is using it as a button compared to analog stick doesn’t seem to give as good a feedback and can lead it the touchpad press being hard to utilize. Also, you do not feel directional movements through your fingers as naturally since you don’t feel any feedback as compared to having an analog stick being offset in a certain direction.
While Oculus Quest is my preferred headset for VR, I do feel that HTC and Oculus are both pretty competitive and it is probably down to preference since their specs are overall pretty close.