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WorldViz presents its 2023 update to cost considerations for VR hardware, software and application development for scientists looking to start or upgrade their VR research lab.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 21, 2022 - WorldViz is pleased to present its “2023 Budgeting Guidelines for Scientific VR Labs”. Designed for scientists interested in conducting VR research, this updated guide not only discusses the latest VR headsets such as the HP Reverb G2 Omnicept, HTC VIVE Pro 2, Oculus Quest 2 and Varjo VR-3, but also covers 3D projection, rendering computers, motion tracking and other sensors, VR software, facilities, personnel, installation, training and support.

We give you an overview and also show you typical examples of total system costs at different levels.  Whether you are just starting out and looking for the most cost effective way to get up and running or preparing to make a large investment to build a state of the art VR facility, this information is for you to get a successful start. For specific pricing information, or to discuss your project with our experts, please email us at or request a quote. For technical details, please refer to How Do I Setup A Virtual Reality Lab?

When you pencil out what you will need for a proper VR project, there are some important building blocks to consider. First, will you be using a VR headset or a VR projection system, or both? Second, you’ll need a rendering computer with ample graphics capabilities, and possible wide-area motion tracking and other sensor systems such as eye tracking or biofeedback. Third, you’ll need VR software for creating and rendering your applications. Last but not least, you’ll want to think about your facilities, personnel, installation, training and support. Here is an overview of each component to give you an idea of what you may want to spend.

The Oculus Quest 2 is the most cost effective solution and has the benefit of being able to run either tethered to a PC for high performance or independently as a completely wireless device, either with its own independent operating system (based off of Android) or by using Air Link, a wireless streaming solution for use in combination with a PC.

Full Projection Systems (including rendering computer and all supporting components)One wall stereo Projection VR system: Cost dependent on projector, rendering hardware, mounting and tracking requirements. Typically $15,000 ~ $30,000.

Multi projector with multi wall systems: Hardware cost determined by type and numbers of projectors, rendering hardware, mounting requirements and blending requirements ROM: $50,000 ~ $85,000 for 2-sided integrated Projection VR system and installation. $100,000+ for a multi-sided showroom.

Traditional “CAVE” type system with rear projection array, cinema class projectors, floor projection, motion tracking. ROM: $250K - $500K all the way up to $1 Million plus depending on size and sophistication. These systems have a very large physical footprint.

Direct View LEDAn emerging class of immersive virtual reality / mixed reality systems is based on direct view LED technology to create an alternative to CAVE / Projection VR systems. These systems would be very bright and have a low physical footprint but would have unique facilities requirements including temperature management and power consumption.Cost is variable depending on the area that needs to be covered by LED panels but typically the cost is double to triple that per square foot as a high end CAVE system, i.e. $1 million + depending on size and configuration.

Rendering Computer and GraphicsFor VR headsets: The rendering computer requirements are similar to a high end computer gamer setup. Currently the highest end is nVidia 3090 GPU but 3070 and 3080 are good alternatives and more widely available. For CPU an Intel Core i7 or i9  processor is recommended. Speed of the processor is more important than multiple cores. The cost for such a computer setup is $1,000 ~ $5,000.

Hardware - TrackingFor consumer VR headsets: Basic tracking is included in VR headset price for Oculus Quest, Valve Cosmo and Windows Mixed Reality headsets such as the HP Reverb. These VR headsets contain inside out tracking for hand controllers and VR headset position. The Vive Pro 2 and Vive Pro Eye require an additional external tracking system called Base Station which is typically included in the purchase bundle.

For scientists and researchers who are utilizing consumer VR headsets but require a higher degree of accuracy and resolution or access to absolute position tracking data they may need to purchase a specialized optical positioning system such as the WorldViz PPT system pictured below. The cost for such a system starts at $28,000 to track a single VR headset user in a 30 x 30 ft area.

For projection system: Specialized tracking is needed if hand and head tracking is required for first person interactivity. This type of system costs typically between $18,000 (Wall configuration) and $28,000 (Corner configuration) depending on the number of projectors.

Motion capture technology can play an important role in both VR production as well as specialty VR research applications. For production, “MoCap” is a valuable tool for generating human avatar animations in the development of video games, training applications, social scenarios and more. For researchers, motion capture technology provides necessary data for extremity tracking applications in the fields of kinesiology, sports sciences, and neuroscience.

A low cost alternative to traditional professional motion capture systems is the Vive Tracker 3.0 which is used with the Vive Base Station tracking system. A minimum of three Vive Tracker 3.0 plus specialized straps is around $400 USD (not including the base station / Vive system). This article covershow the Vive Base Station + Vive Tracker can be used as a MoCap alternative.

Depending on research or presentation goals, your existing facilities might need to be modified somewhat to fit a VR lab or a demo room. Facilities cost can be as low as zero if a fitting room is already available. If re-modeling is needed, it can be a substantial budget, typically $10k to $100k.For corner projection systems: Flat uniform walls with white matt paint in a room with ideally high ceilings.

At least one person is in charge and appointed to be the go-to person for any changes, updates or technical questions. We recommend a small team of 2 or 3 people fully or partially in charge of the VR system, specifically if they are used by a large group of users.Cost for VR personnel in your facility depends on salary levels.

Typical systems come with a minimum of ½  day training. For a group of new users, we recommend 1 ~ 4 days of on-site or remote training depending on system complexity and goals.

Most WorldViz systems come with a one year hardware warranty and Silver level support- access to a ticket based support system with less than 24 hour turnaround time. Extension of support agreements are dependent on complexity of the supported setup and hardware.Cost for support: WorldViz support costs 10% ~ 15% of the total system cost per year. The exact amount will depend on system specifics, location, expected support level and purchased period.

VR Application can be done in house or outsourced by hiring a company like WorldViz. Phases of VR development includes:Pre-production: Identifying project goals and storyboarding

In house or hiring 3D artists for custom graphic development for conversion of CAD models to VR ready assets, Photogrammetry or traditional modeling by hand.

Many modules and example scripts exist in online tutorials, i.e. WorldViz provides demo source codes. Leverage student programmers or your own programming team. WorldViz programming services can be hired at an hourly rate. Most popular VR programming languages:Unity: C#

Cost for “soup-to-nuts” custom application development can vary widely. When existing resources can be used or purchased cheaply, the minimum cost for a from scratch projects can often start around $15,000. If art needed to be custom produced, a typical project costs between $50,000 ~ $100,000. Budgets can go up from there depending on requirements.

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Japan Display Inc. (JDI), a display conglomerate created by Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, today announced the mass production of a new high pixel density, 2.1-inch 1,058 LCD display created for VR ‘glasses’ style headsets.

Update (1:25 PM ET): German publication MIXED(German) has confirmed with LYNX founder Stan Larroque that the upcoming LYNX R-1 headset is using the new JDI displays, which like Pico VR Glasses prototype have been clocked to 90Hz. We’ve reached out to Pico for comment as well and will report back when/if we get an answer.

The low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) TFT-LCD panel is said to use a special optical design that is intended to appeal to manufacturers looking to build smaller, lighter glasses-type headsets. Notably, the company says in a press release that its new display is used in VR glasses that have already been introduced to the market.

The company’s new 2.1-inch 1,058 ppi panel boasts a 1,600 × 1,600 resolution in its square format; JDI is also offering variants with corner-cut shapes. Clocked at 120Hz, the panel has a 4.5 ms response time, global blinking backlights, and a brightness of 430 nits.

Although unconfirmed at this time, Pico’s impressive VR Glasses prototype unveiled at CES earlier this year included a 1,600 × 1,600 panel, albeit clocked at 90Hz, which likely has more to do with the constraints of a mobile chipset’s ability to render at a supposed full 120Hz capability.

Why so small? Pico is able to offer this smaller form factor by using much thinner ‘pancake’ optics, which cut the optical path significantly by ‘folding’ it back on itself through the use of polarized light and multiple lens elements.

JDI’s previous VR display, revealed in Summer 2018, was larger at 3.25 inches, but at a slightly lower pixel density of 1,001 ppi. The panel, which was 2,160 × 2,432 resolution and also clocked at 120Hz, did however boast a lower latency of 2.2 ms.

It seems with this downsizing from larger, more conventional display down to smaller ones, JDI is making a significant bet on the upcoming appeal of smaller form factor headsets. A few key trade-offs to VR ‘glasses’ as they are now is off-board processing, either by a dedicated compute unit or smartphone, typically a lack of 6DOF tracking, and a slightly lower field of view. That said, removing user friction by making VR headsets lighter and smaller may appeal to those looking to watch traditional streaming video and browse the 2D web.

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PC VR is where you’ll find the highest quality visuals and the most ambitious VR games like Half-Life: Alyx. Of course, you’ll need a reasonably powerful gaming PC to plug your headset into. See this article for the specs your PC needs to handle VR headsets.

If you’re looking for the very best overall PC VR headset, Valve Index is our pick. It’s pricey compared to the rest, but has an excellent balance of quality, performance, and comfort. That’s why we called it “the enthusiast’s choice” in our full review of the headset.

Things to love about Index are its excellent tracking performance, wide field of view, quality controllers, great audio, and range of ergonomic adjustments that make it easy to dial in a comfortable and clear fit.

Index is one of the only headsets that offers an eye-relief adjustment. This let’s you bring the lenses as close to your eyes as comfortable, allowing you to maximize your field of view; it also makes the headset easier to adjust for glasses. Index has a physical IPD adjustment which ranges from 58mm to 70mm, making it easy to align the lenses with the width of your eyes for the sharpest visuals.

But Index isn’t perfect. Compared to other headsets on the market, the external tracking system is more work to set up, typically requiring two tracking beacons mounted on opposite corners of a room, stuck on a tripod, placed up high on a shelf, or screwed into your wall. They also need to be plugged into their own power outlets. And while Index has cameras on the front for a pass-through view, it isn’t as quick or useful as we’ve seen on other headsets. And did we mention the price tag of $1,000? You can get it cheaper though if you already have SteamVR Tracking base stations from an old Vive headset.

Valve Index is officially compatible with the SteamVR library where the vast majority of VR content is available. If you’re looking to play content that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Lon Echo II) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Valve Index. It may take some tweaking for performance and controller inputs, but for the most part Oculus content will play reasonably well on Index.

While Valve’s Index has great all-around performance, HP’s new Reverb G2 is the headset you want if resolution is your most important consideration. Reverb G2 should be on your radar especially if you’re thinking of picking up a VR headset for seated PC VR games like driving and flight simulators—find out why in our full review.

ℹ HP has also released a slightly updated version of the headset (which we call the Reverb G2.1) that makes some small but noticeable improvements. Read more about Reverb G2.1 here.

When it comes right down to it, G2’s defining feature is its class-leading resolution of 2,160 × 2,160, which can look downright amazing with the right content. Thanks to a collaboration between Valve and HP, G2 also borrows the excellent headphones of Valve’s Index headset and brings improved controllers compared to previous WMR headsets. Not to mention the headset has inside-out tracking which makes it easier to use thanks to no external trackers. And who can argue with it being nearly half the price of the full Valve Index kit?

Although it boasts improved controller ergonomics compared to prior WMR headsets, Reverb G2’s controller tracking still has more latency and less reliability than its peers, along with less detailed (and somewhat noisy) haptics. The controllers will get you through most games just fine, but if you plan to primarily play competitive or fast-paced games, the controllers on other headsets tend to deliver better results. As for field of view, G2 is similar to most of its peers but loses out compared to Index. The pass-through view also isn’t as useful as some other headsets because of its odd ‘flashlight’ implementation.

HP Reverb G2 works natively with the Windows Mixed Reality store, but very few VR applications are available there. Fortunately a free and official plugin from Microsoft also makes it compatible with SteamVR content. If you’re looking to play content that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Lone Echo II) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Reverb G2.

If you have cash to spare, and especially if you’re looking for the ultimate VR sim setup, Varjo Aero could be a great fit. It has the most impressive visual clarity we’ve seen from any consumer-available headset, thanks to a very high resolution display and unique lenses. It also has some other nice-to-have features not found on most other headsets. But it’ll cost you far more than other headsets. For a deep dive, check out our full Varjo Aero review.

If you can even put a headset that’s this expensive in the same category as other consumer VR headsets, Varjo Aero easily has the sharpest, most immersive image thanks to its 2,880 x 2,720 (7.8MP) per-eye resolution. On top of that, the headset uses aspheric (rather than Fresnel) lenses, which means it doesn’t suffer from the glare and god-rays that plague most other headsets. Aero also has two features you won’t find anywhere else: automatic IPD adjustment and eye-tracking. The latter can be used for foveated rendering and some other useful stuff, but most applications today don’t support it.

Aero’s biggest downsides are its price, lack of integrated audio, and some image distortion. The headset alone costs $2,000, and if you don’t already have SteamVR Tracking base stations and controllers, you’ll need to shell out an additional $580 to get them. And let’s not forget… in order to really get the most from the headset, you’ll need a PC capable of pushing all those pixels at high framerates; if you don’t already have a beast of a PC, this one might not be the best choice (Varjo recommends at least an RTX 3080 or RTX 2080 and Aero does not support AMD GPUs).

As for the lack of integrated audio—you’ll need to plug headphones or earbuds into the headset’s 3.5mm aux port, which means another wire to deal with and another thing to put on and take off every time you use the headset. And while the Aero’s image is incredibly sharp, it does suffer from distortion near the edges of the lens which can bother some people more than others.

Varjo Aero is officially compatible with the SteamVR library where the vast majority of VR content is available. If you’re looking to play content that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Lone Echo II) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Varjo Aero. It may take some tweaking for performance and controller inputs, but for the most part Oculus content should work on Aero.

Although Quest 2 is a standalone headset (which means games run directly in the headset without plugging into a PC) it also has a feature called Oculus Link which gives you the option to run PC VR games by plugging into a PC. And if you have a modern router (Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6), you can even do this wirelessly with the recently introduced Air Link feature.

Along with the useful passthrough feature, high resolution display, and great controllers, Quest 2 is a pretty great all-around headset. The hard-to-beat price makes it a great value, especially considering the fact that the headset also runs standalone VR games from the Meta Quest store. Meta has also consistently released software updates to improve the headset’s performance and features.

Unfortunately the cable that comes with Quest 2 isn’t long enough to work well for Oculus Link, and we can’t recommend the official cable because of its crazy $80 price tag. Thankfully you can get 26 feet worth of Oculus Link cable for $34. Or if you have a Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 router you can use Air Link to play PC VR games wirelessly.

And, as we found in our full review, we weren’t big fans of Quest 2’s soft headstrap, so we’d recommend dropping the extra $50 for the Elite Strap accessory [Amazon] if you’re serious about playing PC VR games. The built in audio is convenient, but we wish it was higher quality. It’s also worth noting that you need a Facebook account to use the headset.

Without being plugged into a computer, Quest 2 can only play games from the Meta Quest library. If you plug into a computer via Oculus Link, you’ll have access to everything in the Oculus PC and SteamVR libraries as well. That means that Quest 2 is compatible with the vast majority of top VR content out there, as long as you’ve got a powerful PC to plug the headset into.

Standalone VR headsets are fully self-contained and don’t need to plug into anything. They generally offer high ease-of-use thanks to their all-in-one nature and lack of tether. With their low overall cost (thanks to not needing a high-end PC) standalone headsets are a great way to take your first step into VR.

With an impressive resolution, powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor, useful ‘passthrough’ view feature, and great controllers, there’s a lot to like about Quest 2. What’s more, if you ever decide to upgrade to PC-powered VR, Quest 2 can plug into your computer and be used like a PC VR headset. When it comes to overall value, no other standalone headset is in the same ballpark right now. And another nice thing about the headset: it keeps getting better with each update.

There’s a few things we wish were better though. As we found in our full Quest 2 review, the included soft headstrap just isn’t that comfortable, which is why we recommend the Elite Strap ($50 on Amazon) or Elite Battery Strap (bundled with a case for $130 on Amazon) accessories if you’re a serious VR user.

The hidden built-in speakers are convenient but we wish they were more powerful for better immersion (luckily there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to use your own headphones). And while Quest 2 has a pretty strong game library, since it’s a standalone headset you won’t be able to play any of the big PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Asgard’s Wrath unless you have a powerful PC to plug into.

Meta Quest 2 is compatible with all content in the Meta Quest library. If you have a gaming PC (or get one in the future), you can plug it into your PC to play content in the Oculus PC library and the SteamVR library.

Yup, our value pick for standalone headset is the same as our ‘Best Overall’ pick: Quest 2! But if you’re brand new to VR and are just looking for a taste, you can probably hold off on the Elite Strap accessory and save yourself $50 in the meantime. If you find yourself using the headset often you can always add the strap later.

If you know anything about VR, you’ll already know what we’re going to say! PlayStation is the only console maker that currently supports a VR headset (sorry Xbox fans), and PlayStation VR is the only console VR headset you can use. That makes PSVR ‘the best’ console VR headset by default, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we recommend it.

PSVR launched in late 2016 and was a great headset for its era, including a handful of excellent exclusive VR games that you won’t find anywhere else. However, the headset is officially past its prime in 2022 and feels ‘last generation’ in resolution, tracking, and controllers compared to what’s available elsewhere in the VR landscape.

It’s hard to recommend buying the four year old PSVR today. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find new units at reasonable prices. Bundles are typically priced at $350, but good luck finding those in-store or online anymore. Ebay has a number of pre-owned options alongside unreasonably expensive new in-the-box units, so choose wisely.

That’s probably because Sony has since announced that it’s working on a PSVR 2. While PS5 is backwards compatible with PSVR, it seems the company is counting on the upcoming version of the headset to take console VR into the next generation. We still have no idea when that’s coming though, so you may want to wait a bit longer to see Sony’s next step.

PlayStation VR is only compatible with VR content in the PlayStation storewhich includes a handful of excellent exclusives not available on PC like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Blood & Truth. You can also use the headset to play non-VR PS4 content in a ‘theater mode’ through the headset, but with relatively low resolution it’s not something you’re likely to do often. The vast majority of PSVR titles are also backwards compatible with PS5.

Expected to launch in late 2022 or early 2023, PlayStation VR 2 will finally bring an upgrade to Sony’s VR platform. As far as we know it will only support PS5. Unfortunately there’s no price or release date announced yet, but here’s what we know about the specs and how they compare to the original PSVR. For an even deeper breakdown between the two headsets, see our full analysis here.

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The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Virtual reality (VR)" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

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Standalone – devices that have all necessary components to provide virtual reality experiences integrated into the headset. Mainstream standalone VR platforms include:

Oculus Mobile SDK, developed by Oculus VR for its own standalone headsets and the Samsung Gear VR. (The SDK has been deprecated in favor of OpenXR, released in July 2021.)

Tethered – headsets that act as a display device to another device, like a PC or a video game console, to provide a virtual reality experience. Mainstream tethered VR platforms include:

SteamVR, part of the Steam service by Valve. The SteamVR platform uses the OpenVR SDK to support headsets from multiple manufacturers, including HTC, Windows Mixed Reality headset manufacturers, and Valve themselves. A list of supported video games can be found here.

The following tables compare general and technical information for a selection of popular retail head-mounted displays. See the individual display"s articles for further information. Please note that the following table may be missing some information.

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The absolute best-quality VR experiences can’t be powered by a mobile phone. The Oculus Rift, Valve and HTC’s Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR — the three high-end headsets we’re currently waiting for — all run off external computers or game consoles. This means that they can offer sophisticated features like motion tracking, high-resolution screens, and the best graphics possible. They’re also generally more comfortable, better at blocking outside light, and less prone to inducing motion sickness. But they won’t be released until later this year, and for now, they’re expensive and intended mostly for early adopters.

By almost any metric, high-end headsets cost a lot. The Oculus Rift is $599, plus the still-unknown cost of its motion controllers. The HTC Vive is $799. The one headset that we don’t know anything about right now is PlayStation VR. Early price estimates for both the Rift and Vive were way off — people underestimated the former and overestimated the latter — so we’ll refrain from making any guesses on PSVR. But we know it’s going to be "several hundred dollars," and it’s not just a headset; there’s also a box that helps the PlayStation 4 process video. These prices will come down over time, but it’s hard to say how long that might take.

Most people have a desktop or laptop computer. But the only ones likely to own VR-ready PCs (sorry, no Macs for now) are film or video editors, big-budget video game fans, and other people who routinely need lots of processing power. To be clear, computers that don’t meet the Rift and Vive’s recommended specs might still be able to run some VR games and videos, which will vary in complexity and size. But to get a guaranteed good experience, expect to spend around $1,000 if you’re buying a new desktop — maybe a little less if you buy a combined headset and PC bundle. With PlayStation VR, though, the calculation is a lot simpler: all you need is a PlayStation 4 console.

One of the big features you’re getting with high-end headsets is the ability to move or even walk through space. The standard way to do this — used by Oculus and Sony — is to put LEDs or some other set of markers on the headset, then track them with an external camera. This kind of positional tracking is very effective, but how far you can move in it depends on how much space the camera can capture. PlayStation VR mostly lets you lean, crouch, and shift around. The Rift can let you move a few feet in any direction, though we’ve only seen this done with multiple tracking cameras.

Unlike these, HTC’s Vive uses a laser tracking system that lets you walk around a 15 x 15-foot room. It’s by far the most freedom you’ll get from any headset, especially with a "chaperone" system that turns on a camera to show you when you’re getting close to an edge. But that also means you’ll need to install a high-powered computer next to a totally clear patch of floor. The Vive can work in smaller spaces as well, so it’s fine to buy if your house or apartment is a little more cramped. But it makes less sense to get the most expensive headset on the market if you’re not taking advantage of its biggest perk.

Tethered headsets tend to be more focused on video games than the rest of the pool, and both the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR make frequent use of gamepads. The Oculus Rift will ship with an Xbox One controller, which will be the primary method of using the system at launch. PSVR uses PlayStation 4 controllers for several experiences. But the thing that really sets these high-end headsets apart is their motion controllers, which let you do everything from play realistic virtual ping-pong to paint in three dimensions.

Sony already had its Move motion-tracking wands, and the PlayStation 4 gamepad has a light strip that tracking cameras can pick up as well. The Rift and Vive use their own specially designed controllers, and which one you prefer largely comes down to feel, since they have similar capabilities. But there are a couple of logistical concerns: the Rift’s controllers won’t come out until months after the headset is released, and the Vive only uses HTC and Valve’s motion wands — no traditional gamepads included.

April is going to be a huge month for high-end headsets. The Oculus Rift ships at the end of March, and the HTC Vive ships shortly thereafter, marking the first two high-end headset launches. Many people, though, might be getting their orders closer to this summer. The Oculus Rift is heavily backordered, with a current shipping date of July for new buyers — though buying a PC bundle might get you one sooner. Vive preorders have just opened, and we’re not sure how much inventory HTC is working with. The Rift (and probably Vive) will appear in stores, but don’t count on seeing large quantities.

If you’re looking at PlayStation VR, the timeline gets a bit longer. We’ve recently heard that Sony will ship it this fall, and it’s possible we’ll hear an exact date at this year’s Game Developers Conference, where the company has released VR news in the past. Sony introduced around 17 launch games last year, although developers have generally been more secretive about their plans than they have with the Rift or Vive. And while there are free games bundled with the headsets — Rift orders will come with platformer Lucky’s Tale for everyone and EVE: Valkyriefor preorders, and Vive preorder customers get Tilt Brush, Fantastic Contraption, and Job Simulator — everyone has also been pretty coy about how much you’ll pay to buy a game.

Unless you’re determined to be a super-early adopter, waiting a few months may well be the best option. Oculus and Valve have both lined up several dozen titles for the Rift and Vive, but the full catalog will take some months to come out, and it will take time to squash the inevitable bugs that come with new releases. For the Oculus Rift particularly, many of its best experiences — like sculpting tool Medium — won’t work until the Touch motion controllers ship later this year. And if you wait, the hardware needed to run these high-end headsets will only get cheaper.

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It"s an interesting time to be looking for the best VR headset, as the market is primed for some shake-ups. With PSVR 2 arriving in February 2023, and the Metaverse putting more mainstream emphasis on VR than ever before, VR is definitely going to be in the spotlight in the near future. In the here and now, there are some great choices, too. The Oculus Quest 2 continues to be the accessible option for most people, whilst higher-budget headsets like the HTC Vive Pro 2 are the enthusiast"s must-buy.

To help you navigate these virtual waters, we"ve rounded up the best VR headsets on the market right now. We"ve put this guide together based on both our own hands-on experience and by balancing spec lists and price points to find the best value products. Of course, VR isn"t the cheapest platform to jump into, especially when times are as hard as they are. For that reason, we"ve tried to cater to varying budgets in the list below.

These days, it is possible to find some of the best VR headsets for between $300 and $600, so it isn"t all doom and gloom. Unfortunately, premium devices can still trickle into the four-figure mark, but if you"re looking for the best tech available, we"d argue the money is worth it. Whether you"re trying to figure out if PSVR 2 is the best option to go for come the new year, or you"re looking for a high-end rig to pair with one of the best gaming PCs, you"ll find plenty of buying advice down below.

The Oculus Quest 2 is having a bit of a moment. While still the best value VR headset on the market for the majority of players, an August 2022 price hike has increased the final cost to $399 / £399 for the 128GB model, which is $100 / £100 more than the previous $299 / £299 MSRP. This increase is also reflected on the 256GB version, pushing it up to $499 / £499. That"s a considerable blow, especially considering the Quest 2 was the only VR headset catering to this sub-$300 / £300 market particularly well. Still, this remains one of the cheapest mid-range options out there, so if you didn"t manage to scoop up the old price it"s still worth investigating.

While we were a little disappointed to find the Oculus Quest 2 felt a little cheaper than its predecessor in the hands, we found it more comfortable in our testing overall. That"s thanks to its lighter form factor (503g vs the original 571g) and the wider surface area of the thumb rest of the controller. We were also impressed by just how much sharper than resolution is once we strapped this headset on.

You"re free to roam your surroundings with no limiting tracking area and a super flexible setup overall. This is an all-in-one self-contained unit with a speedy processor and plenty of RAM for today"s games to boot. That means you won"t need to invest in a high-end gaming PC to keep things running smoothly here - you"re all good to go straight out of the box. And it"s difficult to understate just how important that is to Oculus Quest 2"s value.

With so many of the best VR headsets costing well over $500 / £500 (and still requiring a separate PC brain to function), packing the tracking features, high-resolution display, 90Hz framerate, and comfortable experience into a sub-$300 / £300 price point is incredibly impressive. We"ve even started seeing more and more Oculus Quest 2 deals entering the marketplace in recent months as well.

If you"re after the best VR headset money can buy, we"d point in the direction of the HTC Vive Pro 2. This is certainly a big kids toy, coming in at $800 for the headset alone, without taking the extra required accessories and high-end PC into account. However, for specialists and budget-busting enthusiasts, the HTC Vive Pro 2"s 4896 x 2448 resolution, pinpoint motion tracking, and Steam VR integrations make it a must-see.If you"re sceptical about VR, I"d like to sit you down in front of the HTC Vive Pro 2.HTC Vive Pro 2 review

That resolution sits at the very top of the current market, offering up super clean visuals that you won"t find on cheaper headsets. You are tethered to a PC here, via a Link Box connection, which means the threat of tripping is real if you"re up and about.

We did find that setup process a little tedious in our testing, plotting out the base stations took a long time, and we"d heavily recommend wall-mounting them for the best effect (which will take even longer). You"ll need to pick up two Steam VR base stations and motion controllers for the full experience, which will set you back around $600 extra all in. However, once you do there"s a new level of tracking and motion at your fingertips - one that other VR headsets can sometimes struggle to match unless doing so while sacrificing other features.

The main draw here is that incredible resolution, combined with the 120° field of view and refresh rate of up to 120Hz. If you"re going all-in on a future-proofed setup, and want your games to look as good as they possibly can while doing so, this is where the piggy bank should go.

We did notice that the quality of the HTC Vive Pro 2 does reveal itself over time. It took us a couple of days to fully adopt the correct settings for our eyes, so it"s worth noting that you"ll need some extra tinkering time for the best result. However, once you"re there, the investment you"ve made is well worth it.

There are a few features of the Valve Index that we need to get out of the way right at the start. First up is that finger tracking system. Rather than relying on per-controller tracking, the Valve Index has stepped where no VR headset has gone before - adding sensors for each individual finger via a touch-sensitive panel. The second is a 120Hz refresh rate that will cover for a slightly lower resolution by allowing games to slide across the screen without a hint of a flicker.

The Valve Index is a VR headset for those fully invested in the PC gaming space, the specialists that already have the PC humming away in the corner and are looking to put it to the test. While the headset itself costs £499 / £459, the full kit will set you back $999 / £919. That"s cheaper than the full price of the HTC Vive Pro 2 and all of its gadgets, though you"re favoring tracking over resolution this time.

With the whole of Steam behind it, you"d be hard-pressed to be bored in this particular virtual world. However, it is worth noting that fewer Steam titles can take full advantage of these unique tracking features so you"re certainly proofing yourself rather than enjoying today"s tech with this purchase.

If the HTC Vive Pro 2 was looking a little pricey, the Vive Cosmos Elite system might be the best VR headset for those looking to spend a little less on some of the fancier features and focus instead on room-scale tracking. HTC launched its Cosmos headset to very little fanfare a few years ago, and on its own, the headset sits as a fully modular system that you can upgrade with a different faceplate and SteamVR tracking bases as you please. However, its final form is the Vive Cosmos Elite, making this iteration the best VR headset in its line.

While resolution lacks behind the much cheaper Oculus Quest 2 (the full Cosmos Elite system will do over $800 worth of damage, there"s enough power in that 2880 x 1700 display to keep up with the premium Valve Index system. That means no screen door effect and a clear display (supported by a 90Hz refresh rate). If you"re after a full suite of tracking sensors, then, this is the most affordable option available to you right now - and it still does a solid job of rendering everything in high-quality graphics.

Not many have the HP Reverb G2 on their shopping list, but HP does have a sleeper hit on its hands with its $600 VR headset. It"s worth noting that this is much easier to find in the US, and you"ll likely be limited to special editions running over £1,000 if you"re browsing in the UK. With heavy emphasis placed on resolution, but some nice quality of life features baked in (how has nobody else thought of having the display flip up so you can see your surroundings?) there"s plenty to love here, even if overall this set doesn"t quite beat out some of the higher options on the list.

You won"t need any external tracking sensors here, the HP Reverb G2 takes care of all of that itself with cameras. Plus, there"s very little setup to get out of the way. This is a Windows headset through and through, so connecting to your PC is as simple as plugging it in and letting Windows 10 or 11 complete your installations and software tweaks.

While tracking a little behind Oculus in its value offering, the HP Reverb G2 is a solid buy for any PC enthusiasts who don"t want to have to kit out their home to step into a virtual world.

Best VR headset: FAQWhat is the best VR headset to buy right now?The best VR headset for the vast majority of people is going to be the Oculus Quest 2. It"s an affordable option that still offers plenty of functionality with a wide range of services and games, and can hold its own against the technical chops of some of the bigger players to boot. However, if you"re after the full experience, we"d recommend a headset with full room tracking, like the HTC Vive Pro 2. For people who do a lot of their gaming on PlayStation, it might make sense to go with the PSVR, or wait for PSVR 2, since that will allow you to keep all your gaming kit within one ecosystem.

Speaking broadly, all VR headsets will give you a sensation of realism like no other type of gaming. The entire appeal of the platform is that it puts your sensations in the middle of whatever virtual experience you want. In terms of realistic visuals, however, one headset beats out the rest by having a stronger resolution. If you want the best of the best, our top pick would need to be the HTC Vive Pro 2, which has a 120 degree field of view and a 2448p LCD display.What do you need for VR?The first thing you"ll need to get started in the world of virtual reality is a VR headset. Of course, finding the right model is easier said than done, but if you"re looking for a solid experience while just starting out, we"d recommend sticking with the Oculus Quest 2. It"s a fully standalone headset, which means you won"t need a premium gaming PC to run it (or the cables to hook it up).

However, if you"re opting for something a little more luxurious, you will likely need a PC with at leastan Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, 8GB RAM, and an Intel i5 processor - better specs will produce a far better result, of course.

On top of that, you may also need to purchase additional controllers and tracking stations to complete your setup.Is it worth buying VR in 2022?Even the best VR headsets won"t be worth it for everyone - in fact, the very top of the range will likely only make sense for a small selection of people. However, now that developers have started producing more and more larger-scale games (Resident Evil, Half-Life, and Star Wars franchises all have recent releases) and those prices are starting to fall, it"s well worth investing in a VR headset if you"re keen on exploring a new avenue in gaming.

One of the biggest factors when choosing the best VR headset for you will likely be your budget. If cash is your only factor, you"ll find a breakdown of the best VR headsets in each price range just below, but be aware that there"s plenty more to this story if you"re browsing above $600.$100 - $300 -Oculus Quest 2

Beyond cash value, there are a number of features that separate budget, mid-range, and high-end headsets. Generally, these are screen resolution, panel type, field of view, and tracking support.

The best VR headset is generally the one with the biggest resolution. That"s because resolution is such an important aspect of the virtual reality experience, and a high-quality display will remove the screen door effect and keep your games feeling fresh and immersive. If you"re spending more than $600 on your headset, you"ll want to make sure you"re getting a resolution of above 3664 x 1920.

VR headsets are quickly adopting OLED displays moving forwards, thanks to the increased color contrast and vividity. If you want to remain on the cusp of emerging developments, then, it might be worth waiting for the perfect headset with an OLED panel (many of the best options today still use an LCD).

The average field of view among the best VR headsets is around 100 degrees, with variances running around 10 degrees either way. The higher the field of view, the more you"re going to be able to see around you, and the better the headset will recreate natural human vision. If you"re looking to use your VR headset for gaming, then, it"s well worth making sure you"re hitting at least 100-110°.

Cheaper VR headsets use onboard cameras to track their placement, and your heads, within a virtual world. However, moving up the price scale, more specialist devices often employ additional hardware like tracking bases to set up room-scale tracking with far greater accuracy. You can game on a headset with onboard tracking, and if you"re simply looking for casual entertainment, we"d recommend sticking with this far more affordable solution. However, if you"re splashing some cash, it"s well worth investing in a rig that can accurately track your whole play space.

Many of thebest gaming laptopsare also VR-ready now, but if you"re keeping your search strictly to headwear, check out our guide toPSVR vs HTC Vive vs Oculusfor more buying advice. Find out more about how we make our recommendations with the fullGamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.Round up of today"s best deals

size of vr lcd panel pricelist

The global AR and VR display market attained a value of nearly USD 736 million in 2020. The market is further expected to grow in the forecast period of 2023-2028 at a CAGR of 36%.

Augmented reality and virtual reality have been extensively used in the healthcare industry for pain management and medical training. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly accelerated the use of AR and VR displays to foster a connection between healthcare professionals and patients while providing them a personalised treatment. They are increasingly used in operating rooms and classrooms to prepare medical professionals for efficient surgery and deliver complex care. Hence, the extensive use of AR and VR display is impacting the market growth positively. Moreover, the rising prevalence of virtual training in many industries is also fuelling the growth of the AR and VR display industry.

Technological advancements, including edge-computing and artificial intelligence (AI), are expected to provide personalised, accessible, and well-designed experiences, which are anticipated to further augment the market growth. Additionally, the advent of the 5G network is increasing the use of AR and VR displays in various applications, including entertainment, gaming, and training. The surging popularity of online gaming and e-sports, which require live immersive experience, is also increasing owing to the high-bandwidth and low-latency network capabilities of 5G. Hence, the growing deployment of the 5G network is providing further impetus to the market growth.

AR display, variously known as augmented reality display, is a display that presents an enhanced version of the physical world achieved through digital visual elements, any sensory stimuli, or sound by the use of technology. VR display or virtual reality display presents a computer-generated environment with the use of stimulation that enables users to interact with the 3D virtual world.

The EMR report looks into the regional markets of AR and VR display like North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

The use of augmented reality display, especially head-up display (HUD), in the automotive industry to make the drivers aware of potential hazards and redirect the driver’s focus on the road is expected to boost the market growth for AR and VR display. Moreover, mixed reality displays are used to present virtual objects to drivers while preparing them for potential hazards. Also, they can be used for marketing to enable consumers to experience their automobile in virtual reality. These are anticipated to propel the market growth for AR and VR displays in the forecast period.

The rising use of AR and VR technology in the education sector is further strengthening the market growth. It is widely used to provide personalised education, enhance the learning experience, and increase interaction via immersive technology, which is consequently invigorating the market growth. Moreover, research and development (R&D) by the leading companies to develop advanced displays and turn smartphones into AR and VR displays is accelerating the growth of the AR and VR display industry. In addition, the increasing adoption of AR technology in the gaming industry to provide an interactive experience to the viewers is also catalysing the market growth.

The report presents a detailed analysis of the following key players in the global AR and VR display market, looking into their capacity, market shares, and latest developments like capacity expansions, plant turnarounds, and mergers and acquisitions:

The comprehensive report looks into the macro and micro aspects of the industry. The EMR report gives an in-depth insight into the market by providing a SWOT analysis as well as an analysis of Porter’s Five Forces model.

size of vr lcd panel pricelist

The size of current VR headsets is primarily dictated by what field of view current lenses can achieve (without uncorrectable distortion) with a given panel size. The smaller the panel, the more difficult this is.

The Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, and HTC Vive Cosmos all use dual panels between 3.4 and 3.6 inches diagonal. Other headsets like PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift S use a single panel, but these panels occupy essentially the same total space.

The company statesthat it is “used in VR glasses that have already been introduced to the market”. Given the above size, resolution, and panel type (and that the refresh rate is within the max) the only known headset on the market this could be is Huawei VR Glass.

These smaller panels, alongside pancake lenses (a fundamentally different design to all other headsets currently on the market), enable the incredibly small size of the Huawei VR Glass.

However, keep in mind that that product doesn’t have built in positional tracking or cameras. If these panels are used for a position tracked PC VR headset the size would likely be larger. And of course if they were used in an Oculus Quest competitor it would need to be much larger to house a battery and compute hardware.

The relatively standard resolution and use of LCD may make this panel significantly cheaper than high resolution OLED microdisplay alternatives like what Panasonic showed at CES. Huawei’s product is only officially available in China, for the equivalent of roughly $430.

It’s important to note, however, that when we tried Huawei VR Glass at CES we noted that it has a narrower field of view than typical. It may require a larger design to solve this.

Most current VR headsets are not comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. For some, they are even uncomfortable after a matter of minutes. This can be because they push a relatively heavy weight against the sinuses, where humans are particularly sensitive to pressure.

The weight’s fundamental cause is the the size of the panels currently available and the lenses used with them. Smaller panels of the same resolution are more difficult to produce, and more difficult to magnify over a large field of view. But JDI appears to have solved the first hurdle and Huawei demonstrated that the second can be shipped too (with a few tradeoffs).

With smaller panels, and suitable pancake lenses, VR could soon start to become a more comfortable medium that people can spend hours in without wanting the bulky heavy box off their face. Current VR might one day be looked back on like we look at the earliest cellular telephones or CRT monitors.

Whether this display system paradigm will stay in the realm of media viewers or come to gaming focused headsets is yet to be seen, but we’ll keep a close eye on JDI and companies likely to use its new panels.

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Once the stuff of science fiction, VR is now a reality. It"s as affordable and accessible as it’s ever been. Sure, your feet may be planted on the floor but virtual reality, games and experiences alike can transport you to another world. You can strap on a headset and, within moments, be taking down enemy starfighters or floating around in the International Space Station VR experience.

There’s certainly no shortage of quality VR apps for space fans, whether it’s sci-fi games or VR space experiences you crave; thanks to the ever-growing popularity of VR, you really are spoilt for choice.

But the same is true of the hardware market itself. There are a lot of headsets to choose from, from the super-portable HTC Vive Flow, the more powerful but still stand-alone Meta Quest 2, right through to the high-end PC-based Valve Index. It helps to have a budget in mind but, even within the same price band, features can vary. Our VR headset deals page can help you get more bang for your buck.

It’s important to consider what you want out of a VR headset; the Valve Index will give you spectacular graphics (provided you have a powerful enough PC), but the wireless Meta Quest 2 will let you roam free without a cable anchoring you to reality. The good news is that because most headsets support Steam VR, you’re not going to purchase a headset and find you’ve nothing to play on it.

So, to help you choose a headset that’s right for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best VR headsets currently on the market, including their specifications, pros and cons and more.

Wirefree and self-contained, the Meta Quest 2 (formerly the Oculus Quest 2) is an excellent introduction to the delights of virtual reality. Relatively affordable, this wireless headset has everything you need to get into VR gaming right out of the box, without the need for a PC. It’s powerful enough to run some of the most enticing VR experiences without breaking the bank, and taps into Oculus’s impressive library of exclusive virtual reality titles, including the Quest 2 exclusive Resident Evil 4 VR.

Its screen isn’t the sharpest, but its wireless nature makes it one of the simplest to use and most comfortable to wear. And, for those really invested in the virtual reality scene, it will even work with titles originally designed exclusively for PC VR players. This is thanks to the Meta Quest 2’s flexible support for additional wired gameplay through a PC. An experimental feature, Air Link, adds wireless PC streaming connectivity, though results may vary between games.

The Meta Quest 2’s price has recently gone up by $100/£100 which makes it a little less competitive than it once was. But, right now, it’s still a great way to experience the joys of VR, wireless or otherwise.

If you’re after the most luxurious of virtual reality experiences, you’re going to want to invest in a Valve Index headset. It’s one of the pricier devices on this list – not just because of its high specifications, which include a super-sharp screen and additional tracking stations that need to be dotted around the room, but also because there’s the expectation that you’ll be hooking this headset up to a relatively high-spec PC. There’s no wireless option with the Valve Index kit.

What you get instead is arguably the most immersive VR experience to date, thanks to the Valve Index’s wider field of view, high-resolution display, and ‘knuckle’ style controllers which allow you to use each of your fingers and thumbs individually in a VR environment. It’s the model for VR devices to come, and the perfect companion to the best VR experience yet – sci-fi horror adventure Half-Life: Alyx, which was made in conjunction with the Valve Index headset. It can be hard to come by, selling out regularly, and we’re expecting a refreshed model to turn up before long. But, if you can afford its price tag and accommodate its PC and room requirements, it’s the best VR experience money can currently buy.

Considering the relatively low-powered PS4 console it’s tied to, the wired PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset still offers a damn good time for gamers. Leaning on its first party development studios and publishing pals, Sony amassed a great library of exclusive titles to play, including the delightful Astro Bot Rescue Mission, terrifying Resident Evil 7 (with PSVR-exclusive virtual reality mode), and James Bond-baiting Blood & Truth.

However, the PlayStation VR gear is now starting to look a little long in the tooth. Though regularly bundled with games well below RRP, its screen resolution is low, its controllers (based on an old PS3 motion controller design) are behind the pack, and its cable-laden breakout box is a faff to set up.

And while its hardware and software are compatible with the new PS5 console, a PSVR 2 has already been confirmed to be in the works at Sony HQ. If you’ve not already bought into the idea of VR on your PlayStation, it may be worth holding out for the sequel at this point, which promises much-improved controller ergonomics and far more detailed displays. There’s no release date for it yet, but we’re expecting to find out more later this year.

If you’re after sheer fidelity from your PC VR gaming experiences, you’ll struggle to find a better headset than the HTC Vive Pro 2. With a stonking 5K resolution, it’s about as sharp as VR headsets get before entering truly niche enthusiast territory. With a fast refresh rate and wide field of view, you’ll really be able to see every detail from your time in VR, to the point where you begin to approach photo-real quality in some high-end apps.

Alas, clarity like this comes at a high price, and we’re not just talking the expense of the HTC Vive Pro 2 kit itself. To be able to power this headset at any sort of stable framerate, you’re going to need a very high-specification PC and graphics card, which may make the whole endeavor prohibitively expensive.

And, considering the future-gazing spec sheet of the actual display technology in here, other elements of the package feel a little bit dated. A tethered unit, HTC hasn’t updated its wireless control sticks in a long time, and the power-socket-hungry base stations which track your movement (though accurate) can be frustrating to set up. That screen can run hot too – unsurprising, given the power needed to run it. It’s an incredibly premium experience from a visual perspective, but be aware of its limitations elsewhere.

Though it doesn’t have the showstopping specs of the newer Vive Pro 2 model, it still has a lot going for it. Its base stations track movement well, its field of view is relatively wide, and its library of games (through both the Steam VR marketplace and HTC VIVEPORT subscription service) is deep and entertaining.

However, the failings of the Vive Pro 2 are apparent here also – it’s the same unwieldy controllers, and you’re still going to need to find places to pop its motion-tracking base stations around a room, too. All things considered, it’s still a solid VR choice though, especially if its advancing age means you can pick it up at a bargain price.

The HP Reverb G2 occupies an unusual place on this list. On the one hand, its high-resolution screens make it strong competition for the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2, but then its lowly refresh rate means it can’t match the natural-feeling smoothness of the Index.

Then there’s its price – at $549 / £530.80, it’s in the same ballpark of affordability as the Oculus Quest 2 and PSVR. But it doesn’t come with controllers in the box, and its wired nature means you’re still going to need a rather powerful (read: expensive) PC to pair it with. And yet, it has a physical IPD slider (letting its lenses more accurately match the distance between your pupils), whereas the Oculus Quest 2 does not.

Throw some tracking issues into the mix, and a relatively tight field of view, and the whole package doesn’t quite come together. If you really must have a high-resolution display in your PC VR headset, and don’t want to totally break the bank, it’s a good option. With that said, there are more complete and satisfying set ups elsewhere on this list.

The Flow resembles mirrored ski-goggles and, due to its small size, should easily slip into a bag or big pocket. Games are supported, though since it’s less powerful than the Meta Quest 2, don’t expect great gaming performance (or a huge library of games). You can also use the Flow as a virtual cinema of sorts, so you can watch Netflix on a huge virtual screen no matter where you are.

However, there’s no built-in battery; it requires powering via a power-bank, USB charger or phone. And while it doesn’t require a PC, you do need a compatible Android smartphone(opens in new tab) (which is also your controller). You can read our HTC Vive Flow hands-on preview for our full impressions.Round up of today"s best deals

size of vr lcd panel pricelist

Virtual reality (VR) technology is a growing force beyond entertainment and an important tool in education, science, commerce, manufacturing, and more. Learn the basics and the latest from experts about how VR impacts your world.

Virtual reality is the use of computer technology to create simulated environments. Virtual reality places the user inside a three-dimensional experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed in and interact with 3D worlds.

Simulation of human senses—all five of them—transforms a computer into a vehicle into new worlds. The only limitation to a superb VR experience is computing power and content availability.

“We’ve only just begun the journey into mass-produced consumer headsets, used by businesses to present proposals and products to clients. AR is already popular in architecture and development, and not just with private developers. Local authorities and councils use this technology for town planning and sustainable development. AR doesn’t require a headset at this stage, so it’s extremely accessible, but I’d like to see AR and VR together in a headset in the future as this currently isn’t possible.”

All three types of VR, from non-immersive, semi-immersive, full immersive or a mixture of them, are also referred to as extended reality (XR). Three types of virtual reality experiences provide different levels of computer-generated simulation.

The three main VR categories are the following:Non-Immersive Virtual Reality: This category is often overlooked as VR simply because it’s so common. Non-immersive VR technology features a computer-generated virtual environment where the user simultaneously remains aware and controlled by their physical environment. Video games are a prime example of non-immersive VR.

Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality: This type of VR provides an experience partially based in a virtual environment. This type of VR makes sense for educational and training purposes with graphical computing and large projector systems, such as flight simulators for pilot trainees.

Fully Immersive Virtual Reality: Right now, there are no completely immersive VR technolog