Virtual Reality is a technology that uses a headset to fully immerse a user into a computer-generated environment. It can allow you to walk the bottom of the ocean, visit the Smithsonian, or play your favorite game in a very realistic way, all from the comfort of home. Virtual Reality is quickly growing in popularity among gamers, educators, scientists, doctors, and even the industrial fields. It can give you a surreal feeling as you move around your virtual world so completely that you actually feel as though you might run into things or trip over things even if your body isn’t moving. The feeling is so realistic that some people even experience motion sickness while using VR headsets.
Some of the biggest trends in VR, according to Forbes, are just starting to take off. You’re going to see more VR used in educational settings as well as industries that need to simulate sometimes dangerous working conditions to find solutions to problems. As for gaming, developers are always looking for ways to make a more unique and immersive gaming experience using VR and augmented reality technologies. Headsets are also going to start getting smaller and lighter to make a more seamless experience. According to Statista, the VR market size is projected to grow from 6.2 billion US dollars to more than 16 billion dollars by 2022. That’s super-sonic growth and we’ve barely touched the surface of what VR can do.
If you know someone that is totally into the whole VR experience, we have some great gift suggestions for you. These headsets and accessories make great gifts for your family and friends who see themselves as ahead of the curve when it comes to brand new technology. Gamer nerds will especially love the higher-end headsets.
#1. Oculus Headset
We previously talked about this on our list of best tech gifts, and it’s still one of the best VR headsets you can buy. Oculus has been one of the early adopters since the beginning. The best thing is there is virtually no setup required. It works pretty much straight out of the box, making it the perfect choice for anyone new to VR. It comes with two touch-sensitive controllers to help you interact with the virtual world. The Oculus Quest works with your physical environment so that you can play sitting or standing in any room of the house. When Oculus first game out there were long lines at gaming stores that had VR on display to test out. Gamers were very excited to finally make science-fiction into reality.
#2. Google Cardboard
Don’t have hundreds of dollars to try out VR? Google has you covered! Using a super cheap (around $15) cardboard headset and your smartphone, you can have an immersive experience on the cheap. There is tons of content to explore with lots of travel and educational virtual trips to take. There are plenty of fun games as well. Explore landmarks, natural wonders, and more. It assembles in three easy steps. They are also available in bulk for classrooms and larger families. It’s amazing that a company has come forward to make mind blowing technology accessible to so many people. You don’t get all the high-quality sights and sounds but you get a true taste of what VR is like. This is a great way to get young children involved with VR and see what all the possibilities are.
#3. HTC Vive Cosmos Elite VR System
Meet the newest kid on the block, released March 18th of 2020. This high-end VR headset will set you back almost $900 but has the latest and greatest VR technology. It comes with unlimited access to hundreds of VR games and apps through their own Vive Port. It boasts precision movements from any angle and seamless menu loading with stellar graphics. You’ll also get a base station, two controllers, and power cables with your headset. HTC makes equipment with modular options so you can build your dream VR set piece by piece.
#4. Merge VR Headset
Another low-cost option that works with your smartphone is the Merge VR headset. This $40 setup is perfect for kids and classroom use because it is made from a durable and flexible foam material. It comes with the MERGE Miniverse which is an online hub for educational games and apps. You can walk with dinos or take a virtual field trip without having to mess with permission slips and sack lunches. They also have a lot of great STEM activities for kids. It’s easy to use and compatible with iOS and Android devices.
#5. PlayStation VR Mega Pack
Video game console mega-giant Sony PlayStation has its own VR headset and a slew of games. In fact, they already have over 200 games available that use cutting-edge technology to make you feel like you are in the center of the action. Your gaming dreams are now a reality with high quality visual and audio equipment for the perfect VR experience. This bundle comes with several of PlayStation’s most popular VR titles including; Resident Evil Biohazard, Skyrim Elder Scrolls V, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Everybody’s Golf VR, and Playstation VR Worlds. You can add on accessories like the PlayStation VR Aim Controller for shooter games and the PlayStation Move Motion Controllers that effortlessly interact with your virtual environment.
The tech industry is investing heavily in virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies. You can now get a college degree in VR development and countries around the world are doubling down on VR education. As more and more integration tech is developed, you’ll start to see a great level of immersion with sight, sound, touch, and even smell. With the recent global pandemic of Covid-19 shuttering schools all over, we see a greater need for distance learning than ever before. Could VR be the future of not only entertainment but education as well?