The Latest in Virtual Reality

As life sciences marketers continue to look into opportunities in virtual reality, it can only help to stay up to date on the latest advancements made in the technology. As headsets continue to get more user-friendly and controlling the virtual world gets easier, the uptake of VR is only likely to grow. Here is just a short preview of some of the latest VR tech.

All-in-One System: Ready to Play Anywhere

The Oculus Quest ($399 in Spring 2019) will be the first all-in-one VR gaming system. Simply put, that means no wires or PC—just the Quest. Just set up the device with your Oculus mobile app and the Quest is ready to go. The system comes complete with Touch controllers, which precisely recreate your hands, their gestures, and interactions in the virtual world. Additionally, the new Oculus Insight tracking technology instantly reflects your movements in VR by using four ultra-wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track your exact position in real time.

Camera: Capturing Total Immersion

Last May, Facebook and RED Digital Cinema announced a collaboration to build the world’s first end-to-end solution for 3D and 360° video capture. Recently, they unveiled the result of that collaboration: The Manifold camera. This is the first studio-ready camera system for immersive six degrees of freedom (6DoF) storytelling thanks to its 16 RED Helium 8K Sensors arranged to allow full 360° capture. The end result lets audiences experience total narrative immersion when viewing anything shot with the camera through 6DoF VR headsets.

Keyboard: More Productive in the Virtual World

Typing while using a VR headset can be difficult—until now. While Tap Systems’ Tap wearable keyboard ($179) has been available for about a year, the company recently announced compatibility with Microsoft’s virtual desktop environment as well as virtual desktop applications running on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The Tap device slips onto your hand and senses finger taps as inputs, so you text, type, click, scroll, and more on any surface to control a Bluetooth-connected device without the need to use a keyboard or mouse.

Controller: Real Touch

Valve has been working on its new VR controllers for a couple of years now, but it recently sent out an updated iteration to developers. The Knuckles EV3 has the same basic design as the EV2, but it adds increased battery life, an improved strap design, and better input feel. Even though they aren’t ready for market yet, when they are, these controllers will have finger tracking technology (which the Oculus Touch controllers already have) that can help make it feel real when picking something up in the virtual world.

Headset: Detaches for Your Convenience

The Acer OJO 500 ($399) is the first Windows Mixed Reality headset and first VR headset to feature a detachable design that allows the lens and head strap to be individually removed for easier cleaning and storage. It is also the first VR headset with a patented sound pipe design that directs sound from the built-in speakers toward the wearer’s ears. This allows users to hear sound without needing to wear earphones, so they can experience the immersive experience while still being able to hear the outside world.

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