From Star Trek’s Holodeck through to The Matrix, virtual reality was for decades just a dream of science fiction. Now, with VR glasses, this dream has become a reality.
The educational opportunities of VR glasses are (virtually) boundless. VR Apps let you walk through ancient cities, battle viruses from within a cell or swim around the Great Barrier Reef. These immersive experiences inspire kids and offer new ways to learn about history, geography, art, science, engineering, technology and more.
With tons of VR glasses on the market, it can be hard to choose the best ones for you. That’s where we come in! Here’s our list of the best VR glasses for any budget.
7 Best VR Glasses
1. HTC Vive
This is, quite simply, the ultimate VR experience available today. A high-end VR headset, the HTC Vive lets you journey through virtual realms via PC apps and games. You can visit infinite worlds from the comfort of your chair, but what sets the HTC Vive apart from its rivals is its top quality ‘room-scale’ VR. This means you can basically create your own holodeck—a room-sized space in the real world that lets you literally walk around a virtual world. What’s more, its wireless controllers feel just like an extension of your hands. You can intuitively interact with all kinds of virtual objects—you can even feel the tension and release when firing off arrows! With outstanding sound, great graphics and true mobility, the HTC Vive is an awesome gateway into the virtual universe.
2. Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is the device that has revolutionized the VR industry. Thanks to the recent release of its intuitive, lightweight Oculus Touch controllers, the revolution rolls on! Connect it to your PC to enter and explore a huge range of multiplayer virtual worlds. Easily interact with all kinds of objects—just as you would in the real world. Got some friends in the virtual universe? With a real-world gesture, you can throw them a virtual thumbs up or point them in the direction of the right dinosaur. It’s perfect for armchair adventurers and if you purchase a third sensor, you can even set up room-scale VR, too. So, sit back—or stand up—and let the Oculus Rift transport you to a new dimension.
The Sony PlayStation VR is the next great leap forward for video game consoles. Connect it to your PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro and you’ll soon be venturing through brand new virtual gaming worlds. Out of the box, it comes with a generous 18 free games, experiences and demos—and there are heaps more titles available in the PS Store. What’s great about the PlayStation VR is that it’s compatible with regular PS controllers, PS Move motion controllers and the upcoming PS VR Aim gun-shaped controllers. Feel what it’s like to be Batman, an interplanetary jet fighter or a sound-scaping 3D artist. There are worlds of immersive imagination packed into this PlayStation!
Coming in at a fraction of the cost of the heavy-hitters listed above, the Samsung Gear VR offers unbelievable bang for your buck. Plugging into your Galaxy smartphone, you can wander through 3D photos, videos, apps and games. There are tons of options, with new apps added all the time. Walk with the dinosaurs in Jurassic World. Experience the surreal beauty of Land’s End or get building in Minecraft VR. Got a Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5? Get in gear!
Yes, you read that right! Google Cardboard 2.0 is a bare-bones entry-level VR Glasses set made of cardboard… and the results are superb! If you want to get a feel for VR but don’t want to break the bank, then this is the choice for you. Easy to set up, it connects physically with most modern iOS and Android smartphones. There are tons of free and paid apps to choose from. Simply strap it on and start exploring new worlds of 3D photos, videos, experiences and games from the comfort of your own home. Its 3-ply cardboard is surprisingly durable and its biconvex lenses are adjustable. Experience tomorrow today with Google Cardboard 2.0!
See what this virtual reality buzz is all about with the FreeFly VR Headset! An excellent entry-level option, it unleashes your smartphone’s VR potential. Its leatherette padding is incredibly comfortable to wear and its anti-fog lens coating keeps everything clear over longer VR visits. With hundreds of games and apps available, you can soon be watching the stars from a beachside hammock, exploring Ancient Egypt, or venturing out into space. What’s more, this fabulous bundle also includes a Bluetooth game controller for Android phones, giving you an even more immersive experience.
The Homido V2 Virtual Reality Headset is another great device for smartphone owners. Its adaptable fit means that it’s compatible with most modern smartphones. Comfortable to wear, it has adjustable straps and lenses. Featuring an action button and a 100-degree field of view, it’s ideal for exploring 3D photos, videos, games and educational apps. Simply choose your dream-world, strap yourself in and go!
Have you tried any of these VR glasses? Or do you have another set that isn’t on this list? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, wuestenigel.