Annual video game conference E3 has got a lot going on this year. But in terms of hardware — specifically wearable hardware — virtual reality seems to be the race that all of the major tech companies are running. Here’s a quick breakdown of four consumer-oriented VR/AR products grabbing attention this year.
Microsoft demoed their latest version of HoloLens, a headset with audio output and capacity to track body movements made by the user. 3D holograms float in front of the user like magic, “seamlessly integrating with your physical places, spaces, and things.”
Watch Microsoft exec Saxs Persson demonstrate the incredible new developments of the latest HoloLens prototype as he plays Minecraft below. The headset is slated to go on sale around the time Windows 10 launches.
Next, Dutch startup Manus Machina unveils the first VR glove available for purchase. Armed with wireless Bluetooth and accurate hand tracking, the glove is compatible with Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR and is currently available for pre-order. It also comes with open-source software, meaning the possibilities for game development are endless.
Not to be left behind, Sony presented an updated version of Project Morpheus, a PS4 compatible VR headset. Originally debuted a year ago, the upgrade includes an expanded field of view, half the latency of its predecessor, and the addition of three LED’s for more accurate tracking, among other improvements. Details concerning price point and function are pretty vague, although we do know that the headset is set to launch sometime in the first half of next year.
And finally, after a press conference at which company leaders detailed the specs of the headset and an exciting new input device called Oculus Touch, Oculus gave tech fanatics their first chance to demo the consumer Oculus Rift.
Although all of these products have yet to become mainstream and fully integrated into the gaming industry, the growing prevalence of VR products by the worlds tech leaders is undeniable. Now we kick back and watch who will win the race.