Optical illusion is fun, but the invention of virtual reality helmets have taken the fun to a whole new level. Virtual reality is now available at a consumer level, thanks to Oculus for developing the technology and coming up with Oculus Rift. The company has later been acquired by Facebook for further improvements on the project. However, Oculus Rift is pricey, not many might be able to buy one. That doesn’t mean one can’t immerse themselves into the world of VR; because many inexpensive alternatives have already hit the market.
- Samsung Gear VR
Samsung has developed their very own VR helmet specifically for the Galaxy series smartphones; more precisely the latest Galaxy S6 series and equivalent generation handsets. Samsung Gear VR works by attaching a Samsung smartphone into the Gear VR. The Super AMOLED display technology works as a great VR screen, and the lenses used are of very high quality and precision. Price – $99.
- Homido Virtual Reality
Samsung Gear VR is Samsung’s proprietary, iPhone users need to look elsewhere. In that case, the Homido Virtual Reality helmet is a great option to begin with. Apart from the iPhones, Homido works in older Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4 and other smartphones like the LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z2. Basically, anything that fits the housing would work. Price – $99.
- Zeiss VR One
If the optic quality in your VR helmet does matter more than anything else, then the Zeiss VR One would be your perfect VR helmet. Zeiss showed up into the VR industry as a surprise, but they’ve been doing very well. Any smartphone with display size between 4.7 to 5.2 inches would fit this gadget. Price – $99.
- Avegant Glyph
Glyph is the new trend in VR helmets. Glyph could be worn like a regular headset, and if you feel like diving into the virtual reality just pull it down like a visor and you’d be there. Anything from typical 2D to 360 degree format – every output is possible, but all that comes for a very high price. Price – $699.
Altergaze is the most customizable VR helmet yet, because it is 3D printable and anyone can design their own. From the color to a personalized logo, Altergaze intends to meet every single design criteria by the user. Also, the optical properties are top notch. Price – $132.
- Google Cardboard
The cheapest of VR helmets, from one of the best tech-makers. Google has introduced a DIY-style cardboard-framed virtual reality helmet that’s affordable for anyone, and works pretty much like any other virtual reality gadgets minus the luxury. Since it is DIY styled, anyone can add their own bit of stylization and comfort. However, Cardboard only works with Android platform. Price – $13.
Fove is only announced and no specific timeline for the release haven’t been provided yet; however expectations are much higher. This helmet tracks the eyeball of the wearer and adjusts the rendering to provide the best immersive experience. It works with computers, however rendering on a 5.7 inch high definition display will require serious computing resources. Price – $375 estimated.
- Star VR
While still being unannounced, the Star VR intends to be one essential gaming gear for the hardcore gamers. It will probably have native support for Steam as well. Price – unannounced.
- HTC Vive
The Vive is HTC’s attempt in providing virtual reality experience, being developed in association with Valve. Apart from regular entertainment features, HTC Vive would probably offer Steam connectivity as a native option. Price – unannounced.
- PlayStation VR
According to rumors, Sony might introduce a virtual reality helmet in 2016. The development is undergoing by the codename Project Morpheus. This VR would be a proprietary accessory for the Sony PlayStations. Price – unannounced.
2015 had seen lot of improvement in the VR technology which is likely to mature in 2016.