How to choose the right VR headset

Posted By: Vishnu Sasidharan

Navigating a synthetic world that mimics the world we inhabit or a better yet, a world which someone or something else inhabits, is something which you can fully immerse yourself into, with the all the innovations that have been happening in the field of VR, a number of headsets in the market can give you exactly what you are looking for.

How to choose the right VR headset

But being bogged down by every option out there can be frustrating. A quick look at the types of headsets available out there should make the choice easier.

Standalone VS Tethered

The difference between the two are self-explanatory but the experience when using the two is a little subtler.

A standalone headset allows much more movement because you guessed it, it is not tethered to another device. This opens up a wider area for you to explore and you are not limited by the radius of a string or wire.

But the fact that it is not tethered also accounts for the latency in the system. The latency is the delay which exits between the signal from the source to the headset, this seriously dampens the immersive experience. These kinds of VR headsets also tend to be very heavy and uncomfortable.

The fully immersive foray in a VR world does not remain that way when there are delays in the signal, the additional power, and computing capabilities is a good enough reason to settle for a limited radius as the quality is much better when you are using a headset of this kind. If you intend to use your headset to primarily watch movies, the radius is not an issue.

The Design

When we talk design, we won't be talking about the looks because the aesthetics are more about personal taste, we will focus on how comfortable the VR headset is. A good form factor is essential to the experience as you will be using the device for several hours and a badly designed headset doesn't just throw a wrench in your VR experience but also your health.

Display

You cannot convincingly convince yourself you are actually inside another world if the world keeps blurring and is hounded by static, so in simple words, better the display, better the experience. There are headsets which come equipped with an integrated display which you go for or there are other headsets which allow you to insert a smartphone into them.

Field of view

The human eye has a field of view which is about 180-240 degrees. The headset's FOV has to give a convincing rendering of the world which it is trying to recreate. The human eye is capable of finding the imperfections in the way that the virtual environment is recreated. They call it the "snorkel mask effect."

Adjustable lens

There are three factors to keep in mind when figuring out the right lens for you

a) The focus

b) Interpupillary distance (IPD)

c) Lens-to-eye distance

Tracking and controllers

The parameters to consider while evaluating tracking and controllers are:

a) Tracking area: The dimensions of the area that can be utilized for the simulation is referred to as the tracking area.

b) Positional tracking: The position of an object or person that the trackers deem it to be at is essential for an enriching VR experience.

A case of less-than-perfect positioning can mean an object placed in the wrong place or even a stubbed toe or two, so this isn't something to be negligent about.

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