CES 2019 is the perfect time for developers and manufacturers to show off their latest and greatest virtual and augmented reality technology, and they didn’t disappoint this year. From new VR headsets to peripherals that completely change how you interact with VR, there were several impressive products on display. Here is the best VR and AR tech at CES 2019.
3DRudder for PlayStation VR
The PlayStation VR offers players the ability to look around their virtual environment in 360 degrees and PlayStation Move makes the experience even more realistic. Without using your feet, however, something still feels slightly off. 3DRudder for PlayStation VR aims to fix that by allowing players to tilt, spin, or apply pressure with their feet to move around in their favorite PlayStation VR games.
It can be used to move a character around and even control the camera, freeing up the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move controllers to perform other actions. Its function varies by game, and 20 are compatible at the moment.
Vive Pro Eye
The premium Vive Pro VR headset just got even better with the integration of Tobii eye-tracking technology. The Vive Pro Eye is designed to create an even more immersive virtual reality experience, offering users the ability to navigate menus and perform many functions using only their gaze. It’s already been used in applications like Home Run Derby VR by Major League Baseball, making it even easier for anyone to hit a ball over the fence, and it will also make it simpler for businesses to utilize eye-tracking technology while using minimal resources.
Militaries are now using virtual reality to train soldiers in ways that will help better prepare them when they are actually deployed in combat.
The Vive Pro Eye will even make workplace collaboration easier. Using the programs Vive Studio and Ovation, team members can make use of the eye tracking to ensure they’re viewing the same information as their colleagues – it’s like Google Docs for the future!
The Oculus Rift is a fine virtual reality option, but it requires users to stay tethered to a PC in order to enjoy it. That’s no longer the case with Oculus Quest, an all-in-one gaming headset that is completely wireless, allowing players to enjoy their favorite VR games while on the go. Once you’ve set it up using the Oculus mobile app, the Oculus Quest can track your movements without any external cameras, using only cameras on the front of the headset itself, meaning that you can effectively play anywhere that has room for the headset and two controllers.
The Oculus Quest will work from both standing and sitting positions, and though the Quest lacks the power of PC-powered headsets like the Rift or Vive, it will still support some of the best VR games. Among them are Moss and The Climb, and given how easy it is to use, we see the Quest catching on in a way other VR headsets have not thus far.
If you’re looking for the ultimate resolution and immersion in a wireless VR headset, look no further than the Pico Neo. Featuring a 3K screen and a 90Hz refresh rate, the Pico Neo is powered with 4GB and a 256GB SSD, and it’s aimed at businesses rather than consumers, but it will still be capable of playing games and other interactive experiences alongside videos.
Virtual I/O created a $1000 pair of virtual reality glasses called “iGlasses” in 1995.
The Pico Neo promises VR experiences on par with what high-end PC VR headsets are able to deliver, and its “6 Degrees of Freedom” controllers and headset promise full movement in all directions. The headset also has built-in dual speakers, meaning that headphones won’t be necessary to get the most out of it.
NordicTrack VR Bike
Exercise machines have offered displays featuring landscapes and lifelike routes for years, but in order to truly feel like you’re on a bicycle and not in your cold, damp basement, the NordicTrack VR Bike is what you need. The bike will release this summer for $1,999, and will be bundled with the HTC Vive Focus VR headset and a one-year membership to iFit. Using the headset, you’ll be able to play the games Aeronauts, Bike Messenger, and The Last Rider, all of which were designed specifically for the VR Bike, and the difficulty in games will increase based on how much you exert yourself.
The NordicTrack VR Bike also offers 10 percent inclines and declines to simulate the changing elevation in the games you’re playing, as well as 24 different levels of resistance and 16 different pedal positions. The pedals themselves will also be position-seeking to sync with the gameplay you see in the headset.
Similar in concept to the 3DRudder for PlayStation VR but with an even greater focus on one-to-one movement, the Cybershoes act as a supplement for your existing VR setup — and your existing shoes. Slipped over a pair of standard shoes, you sit down on the Cybershoes’ seat and armrest, which can be fully rotated. You walk much like you would in real life, and your movements are transferred into the games you’re playing. Users with limited movement in the real world have the opportunity to move more freely within the games.
Major Brands Are Investing in VR. About 75 percent of the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands have created some form of virtual reality or augmented reality experience for customers or employees, or are themselves developing these technologies. Given that this study was conducted in October 2015, the number is likely significantly higher.
The Cybershoes are compatible with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets via Steam. Supported games at the moment include Fallout VR, Doom VFR, Arizona Sunshine, and VRChat, to name a few. The headset will be available on its own, or with a chair and special carpet, but a final release date hasn’t been set just yet. You can subscribe to a newsletter on the official website to be notified when it is available for purchase.
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