VR glasses: how to choose and use, what to look for and whether they harm your eyesight.
Become the hero of your favorite game, fly to Mars, descend to the bottom of the ocean, climb to the top of Everest, attend a rock concert, walk around your dream house, or simply try on shoes from an online store. without leaving home – today it is not a fantasy, but a reality. Virtual reality given by VR glasses.
Incredible, isn’t it? Would you like to try it? Then this guide is for you. We will tell you:
What are VR glasses.
VR glasses are a specialized device capable of simulating a variety of audiovisual 3D spaces. Consists of a plastic (less often cardboard) body, a screen with a partition and aspherical lenses that focus the image. The effect of presence is created due to the adaptive transmission of the image to each eye separately and the tracking of all head movements with a gyroscope sensor and an accelerometer.
For a full-fledged user interaction with elements of virtual reality, additional equipment is used:
a magnetometer is a kind of compass that improves orientation in 3D space; magnetic button – expands the user’s capabilities during the game (for example, it can serve as a trigger in strippers or a speed booster in auto racing); motion controller – allows the user to take direct part in the game and interact with objects; remote control – allows you to control the built-in video player and significantly expands the functionality of VR-glasses; headphones – provide complete “immersion” in virtual reality; microphone – allows you to enter information by voice and communicate with other users; external orientation sensors in space – placed in the corners of the room for better tracking of movements in virtual reality.
Where can you use virtual reality glasses.
Basically, VR glasses are used to watch 3D video and create the effect of being in games. But if you dig deeper, you will see that there are many areas of application. Consider the most promising.
To visit the most remote corners, lying on the couch, is the dream of many. Especially when there are not a lot of pockets in your pockets, but you want impressions. ☺ VR glasses will allow you to walk along the streets of famous cities, view masterpieces in museums or sit on the shore of the warm sea in a cold winter.
Thanks to virtual reality gadgets, the learning process can reach a new level. Agree, studying human anatomy, the movement of cosmic bodies, the construction of geometric shapes, the structure of atoms and molecules is much easier when you have the opportunity to touch everything with your own hands and examine objects from all sides. In addition, you will be able to experience the ups and downs of important historical events..
Google is successfully promoting the Cardboard project in educational and medical institutions. We think other companies will soon join the initiative.
VR glasses can greatly facilitate the work of doctors and help in the treatment of various phobias. There are already proven facts of virtual patient consultations and experimental treatment of mental disorders in the United States using Google Glass technology.
The implementation of virtual reality technologies in online sales can have several options: imitation of a store, demonstration of goods from a catalog, trying on clothes, and the like..
For example, home improvement chain Lowe has already launched the Holoroom project, where customers can see future bathroom or kitchen designs through Oculus VR glasses. Carmaker Volvo implements HoloLens technology to help select vehicle configuration.
Design and construction.
Even the most thoughtful project cannot demonstrate to the customer everything that the engineer, architect and designer wanted to show. VR glasses will allow you to create a house, a room’s interior in volume, providing an opportunity to see everything from all sides. You can go even further and invite the client to arrange furniture or paint the walls. We dare to assume that this approval of the project will appeal to both parties. ☺
Developers will be able to test products in the virtual space, make adjustments if necessary, and only after that start implementation in real life..
Virtual reality expands the horizons of communication, no matter how absurd it may sound. ☺ For example, you can hold a meeting in a virtual conference room, collaborate on architectural, engineering and any other projects, or remotely control probes, machines and robots. By the way, MasterpieceVR can already create 3D objects that can be worked on as a team..
Virtual reality glasses can also solve the problem of expensive tickets, conflict situations and restrictions on places for mass events. Because with their help, everyone will be able to feel the effect of being present at a sports match or a concert of their favorite performer, sitting at home..
For example, CNN has already broadcast the Democratic presidential debate in VR..
How to choose VR glasses.
There are approximately 1000 VR glasses on the market today, so there is plenty to choose from. By purpose, they are all divided into 4 types:
for smartphones; VR glasses for PCs and laptops; VR glasses for game consoles; standalone VR glasses.
Let’s consider their features in more detail.
VR glasses for smartphones.
In virtual reality glasses for smartphones, the screen is played by the display of the mobile device, which is inserted into the body. They are great for watching 3D movies, mobile VR games (e.g. Minecraft, Real Recing 3, Need For Speed Shift, GTA Vice City) and 3D computer applications.
work only with a smartphone (there are universal models – for example, VR BOX 2.0, which support most modern smartphones, and branded ones – for example, Samsung Gear VR, which are suitable for the manufacturer’s flagship models); the image quality depends on the expansion and matrix of the smartphone display (accordingly: the better the screen of the mobile device, the brighter the stay in virtual reality); suitable for computer games via USB connection to PC.
mobile (you can take it with you on a trip or to your friends to a party); do not require a powerful personal computer; affordable.
a small number of mobile games and applications that support virtual reality technologies; graphics of mobile games with VR are inferior to those on consoles and PC.
What to look for when choosing:
compatible with the operating system of the smartphone (Android, IOS, Windows Phone); allowable display diagonal (from 4 to 6 inches); viewing angle (preferably from 70 to 110 degrees).
VR glasses for PCs and laptops.
Virtual reality glasses for personal computers and laptops provide a deeper “immersion” in the imaginary world than gadgets for smartphones. They are equipped with a full-fledged display (there are two of them in top models), additional sensors, controllers and accessories.
work only with a PC to which they are connected using cables; have built-in sensors for tracking the user’s position in space (the famous Oculus Rift has base stations that can monitor all the player’s movements).
the presence of a large number of games and applications with VR technology; support ordinary 3D games (although the image quality will be slightly worse); suitable for viewing 3D photos and videos; open up new opportunities for conferences, meetings, training and virtual travel.
require a powerful computer; stationary (for example, you can watch movies only on a PC); are expensive.
What to look for when choosing:
functionality (the more built-in sensors and options, the better you can immerse yourself in virtual reality); viewing angle (from 100 degrees and above); PC compatibility (it must be modern and powerful, otherwise the image will slow down); availability of additional accessories (gamepads, external sensors).
VR glasses for game consoles.
Virtual reality glasses for game consoles (consoles) are similar in technical characteristics to gadgets for PCs, but “sharpened” specifically for games. A prime example – Sony PlayStation VR.
work only with a game console; have a built-in headset and sensors for tracking the user’s movements in the virtual space.
support games with powerful graphics; in the future, it is possible to use in conjunction with a PC using special programs.
stationary (you can play games only near the console); expensive, although half the price of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
What to look for when choosing:
game console compatibility; viewing angle (from 100 degrees and above); availability of additional equipment (PS camera, PlayStation Move controllers).
Standalone VR / AR glasses.
Autonomous virtual reality glasses are the most functional and most expensive in the segment of VR gadgets.
equipped with a powerful processor, RAM and flash memory, battery and their own operating system, which allows you to install games and applications directly into the helmet; additionally create augmented reality, designing volumetric objects in the real world.
mobile (can be used anywhere); do not require tethering to a smartphone, PC or console.
very high price (e.g. Microsoft HoloLens model costs $ 3000).
To make your stay in the virtual universe as comfortable as possible, choose a helmet with two straps for fastening. Then the load will be evenly distributed over the entire head and you will be less tired. If you have myopia, look for lens adjustments. This will allow you to adjust the distance between the glasses and your eyes. Often manufacturers indicate the expansion of the display to two eyes. Accordingly, to calculate the number of pixels per image, divide the indicator by two.
How much do VR glasses cost and what does the price depend on?.
As you may have guessed, the price of VR glasses depends on their purpose and functionality. The brand also plays a significant role..
Virtual reality glasses for smartphones are the most affordable option on the market. It is from them that we propose to start acquaintance with VR technologies. The cost ranges from $ 10 to $ 160.
Virtual reality glasses for PCs, laptops can be afforded by wealthy people or large companies. Price within 460 $ -1000 $.
VR glasses for game consoles will have to shell out from $ 300 to $ 400.
But autonomous devices are still an unattainable dream for ordinary people. As mentioned above, the price of top models can go up to $ 3000.
How to set up and connect VR glasses to a smartphone, PC, laptop, game console.
So, you decided to plunge into the virtual world to the fullest and purchased VR glasses. It’s time to configure them correctly and connect to the required device.
We advise you not to act intuitively, but first read the manufacturer’s instructions. We will describe the sequence of actions for each type of virtual reality glasses..
Connecting and configuring VR glasses to a smartphone.
Go to PlayMarket and download the VR app for your smartphone model. If you don’t have a controller, run the app. If so, you can open applications, videos and games after installing the smartphone in the case of the glasses. Place your mobile device in glasses and put them on. Fit the helmet firmly on your head. Adjust the images by adjusting the focal length (if your gadget has such a function, of course). Check the functionality. Move your smartphone up and down, left and right. If the app reacts to movement, then you are good. Congratulations. ☺
Applications can be controlled using a controller or by turning the head if your smartphone has a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer.
Connecting and configuring VR glasses to a PC.
Connect the VR glasses to your PC using an HDMI cable. You will find the connection diagram in the user manual. Install user position tracking stations (if provided in your model). Launch the helmet customization application. Follow the recommendations of the setup wizard step by step. It will be a lot of fun: you will have to raise your hands and shake your head. ☺ Adjust the image by adjusting the position of the lenses. Download games, videos and check if everything is ok.
All actions can be performed with a mouse or remote control.
Connecting and configuring VR glasses to a game console.
Connecting and setting up virtual reality glasses to the game console is similar to the previous paragraph. Follow the instructions and you will succeed.
Connecting and setting up standalone VR glasses.
Turn on the device. Adjust the glasses following the system prompts. Correct the image by adjusting the position of the screens and lenses. Check the reaction of the glasses to your movements. Download dedicated apps and enjoy your virtual world.
You can control the gadget using a wireless eye movement controller (if your model has the function of reading the pupil position).
How to use virtual reality glasses.
Using VR glasses is pretty simple. One has only to download and install special applications on your device, which will become a guide between you and the interactive imaginary world. Exist:
Universal catalogs of VR content on Google Play, Play Market and Fulldive VR. The apps fit most eyeglass models. Dedicated content services from manufacturers such as Steam VR, Google Cardboard, Oculus VR. They are designed for glasses of the respective brand.
There you will find everything your heart desires. ☺ The Google Arts and Culture app will help you take virtual tours of the cities of the world. It contains nearly 100 interesting sights and cultural sites. You can enjoy the natural corners of our planet with the help of Expeditions. And the Titans of Space app will take you to the solar galaxy.
You can watch the video directly from YouTube. Type in the search “3D sbs video”, “stereo video”, “stereo pair” or “VR-video” and you will see a list of short videos and films that are available for viewing in a helmet. There are also free applications VaR’s VR Video Player and AAA VR Cinema, which allow you to watch not only films with 3D effect, but also panoramic videos with viewing angles of 180 and 360 degrees..
Apps for games are probably the most. Gamers will have a place to roam. ☺ Most Popular – Eagle Flight, Elite: Dangerous, Minecraft VR, EVE Valkyrie and Resident Evil 7.
Are VR glasses safe for eyes and health?.
Now let’s move on to the most important thing: do VR glasses affect the user’s eyes and health? The answer to this question is ambiguous..
Virtual reality glasses are considered safe for eyesight and human health, provided that they are used for about 30 minutes in one session..
Continuous use of the device can lead to eye strain and the appearance of neurological, mental illnesses (especially in children and people with an unstable psyche).
Some users complain of blurred vision, headache, dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. But these symptoms are more likely associated with the characteristics of the body of each individual person than with virtual reality technologies..
Doctors recommend that people with vision problems and laser vision correction consult with specialists before using VR glasses. In the presence of serious eye diseases, for example, astigmatism, the use of such gadgets is prohibited..
Most manufacturers indicate age restrictions, so we advise you not to wear glasses for children under 12 years old.
Be vigilant, adhere to the recommendations of manufacturers and doctors – and nothing will prevent you from plunging into the virtual world.
And in order to understand what it really is, we suggest you come to one of the KTS stores and test VR glasses.