Why cutting the cord will be what makes virtual reality a mainstream hit
Find out what, exactly, standalone VR is, and meet the latest crowdfunding tech
VR needs a jacked-to-the-gills PC or PS4, or a powerful phone ensconced in a headset, right? Not any more. The next generation of headsets uses phone-like screens, processors and sensors all internally. They’re combined with lightness and comfort, VR-specific design, high-end lenses, and an existing library of mobile games and experiences. It stops VR being a heavy-duty accessory, and turns into an experience you can just hop into – with more and more VR video being uploaded to YouTube, it’ll be natural to just pop on a headset to kill a few minutes and go somewhere new.
Freedom is a big plus point here, because the full head-tracking WorldSense tech in Lenovo’s Mirage Solo enables you to cavort around your lounge ducking, bobbing and weaving through Daydreamcompatible apps, but without the need for external tracking cameras uglifying your room. And at around $380 for the Oculus Go (the least ‘gadgety-looking’ of the options), we expect a lot of kids will want to hang out with YouTubers in VR this Christmas. Though you might be more interested to swim with dolphins or soar on a hang glider.
LENOVO MIRAGE SOLO The Mirage’s QHD screen has a 110-degree field of view for immersiveness, and a Daydream controller for interaction. Watch out for the 180-degree Mirage Camera (around $400) – perfect for capturing your own VR footage LEFT VIVE FOCUS Just announced for release outside of China, the Vive Focus features impressive motion tracking features RIGHT OCULUS GO For cut-price VR, the Go has muscle: a smooth screen, better lenses than the Oculus Rift, and built-in spatial audio