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Virtual Reality for Your PC

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Multimedia
 
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Ron had a question about the Oculus VR headset that turns your Smartphone into a virtual reality device that we told you about last week. He writes:  “Can these be attached to a PC and used as a monitor for watching movies?”

oculus-gear-phone

This particular headset won’t attach to your PC. For virtual reality to work, your field of vision needs to just be what’s inside the Goggles.  Your phone screen becomes your VR screen augmented by the goggles. For use with your PC, you would need the Rift VR headset.  The headset is available for pre-order  and costs around $600. That’s quite a bit more expensive than the $99 Samsung headset that works with your phone.

rift-headset-on

Also, these won’t work on just any movie. They only work with things specially made for viewing or playing in this environment. And while the game or movie might be running on your PC, you’ll view it on  the Goggles.

Your PC will also need enough power to run the graphically intense software.  The folks at Oculus have partnered with computer manufacturers to offer officially licensed Oculus-ready PCs from Asus, Dell and Alienware.

These high-performance PCs have been designed and tested to be used with the Oculus Rift VR headset to offer you a great gaming experience.  They aren’t cheap. These optimized PCs start at nearly $1000.

rift-optimized-oculus-ready-PC

The recommended specs for Oculus Rift include NVIDA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent for greater Video card, an Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater CPG, more than 8GB or more of RAM, HDMI .3 video output. You’ll also need at least 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port.

Oculus will also work with the Xbox console. For gamers, there will be full motion game controls available that track their movements and allow them to become totally immersed in the experience.

rift-headset-game-control

I’ve had a few folks ask how this is any different than a stereoscope or a View Master. First, the content is moving and you’re able to interact with it. You’re right in the middle of the action instead of watching it.

Of course, it’s difficult to explain it when I can’t show it to you. But I did find this video of people reacting to the VR headset. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ8Xj_I3aNU

Check it out and let us know what you think.

~ Cynthia

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