Virtual Reality Headsets Are Everywhere at CES

Virtual Reality (VR) goggles were shown everywhere at CES this year. Exhibitors virtually took over the back half of the South Hall of the convention center. A few year ago, this area had booths with Health and Fitness that has now grown to fill its own hall. If VR follows suit, it won’t be long before we are all donning headsets to view videos.

There are three types of VR. One uses your smartphone to view videos that transport you to a different place that surrounds you. These headsets are being made by a number of manufacturers in materials from foam rubber to sophisticated, stylized versions with quality headphones attached. Another VR headset type has its own OLED screen and can stream and save videos to view. Gaming VR headsets require a connection to a computer and takes you to a world where you can interact and play games. The two main interactive VR headsets are HTC’s Vive and Samsung’s Oculus Rift. Sony released a VR headset for its Playstation games at the end of 2016.

HTC was showing a wireless accessory and a new tracker unit for its Vive VR headset. The wireless accessory is essential to grow the use of the Vive as users are currently tethered to the computer by extremely long thick cables that make it easy to trip while playing in a virtual world. The tracker is available for developers. It can be attached to an accessory to bring real world items into the virtual world of the game. Developers demonstrated a baseball bat. Virtual surgery can be performed using gloves with the tracker. A virtual camera can take pictures on a virtual planet world that are saved on a computer and can later be printed out in the real world. Bringing objects (beyond the Vive controllers) into the virtual world opens up VR experiences to a whole new level that will be available in the future.