The best augmented reality and virtual reality headsets for everyone, from developers to latecomers
Aug11

The best augmented reality and virtual reality headsets for everyone, from developers to latecomers

Whether you’re an avid gamer who pre-orders the latest releases months before they hit shelves, or a Baby Boomer who’s still spellbound by the original View-Master, there’s an augmented reality or virtual reality headset just waiting to embrace your face. The following is a condensed guide to all virtual reality devices currently on or entering the market, grouped according to the technological adoption curve. We’ve found the right devices for everyone, from the eager “early adopters” to the reticent “laggards.” And let us assure you, since you’re reading this article on the internet, you have what it takes to enjoy at least one of these VR headsets. The best virtual reality headsets for innovators Oculus Rift DK2 The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is a high-powered headset equipped with out-of-the-box engine integrations for the Unreal Development Kit, Unreal Engine 4, and Unity 4. In addition to the OLED display, the Oculus DK2 utilizes real-time microsecond precision measurement of motion-to-photon latency to eliminate simulator sickness and accurately track real-world head movements. The Oculus SDK supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and can be pre-ordered for $350. HTC Vive Developer Edition The HTC Vive Developer Edition combines the HTC Vive headset and Valve’s Steam VR base stations to create a fully-immersive VR experience where users can walk around their room as if they were in whatever game they’re playing. And since it’s a developer edition, gamers will get all kinds of SDKs to test and build their own applications. Although there’s no word on price just yet, you can bet it will be at least as much as the DK2. Fove VR Fove’s biggest differentiator is their eye-tracking sensors, which allow users to interact with their virtual environment through their eyeballs, rather than a handheld controller like most of their competitors. Fove’s SDK also integrates content from Unity, Unreal Engine, and Cryengine, allowing users to port their existing VR content into their ecosystem and make incredible games. Once Fove’s Kickstarter is complete, the headset is projected to retail for somewhere between $400 and $500. Razer OSVR The Razer OSVR headset is strikingly similar to the DK2 in appearance, but what really sets it apart is the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem, “a new standard in VR gaming to push the VR gaming experience forward,” according to their website. Although the hardware behind the Hacker Dev Kit headset is expected to ship sometime in 2016 for $199, the SDKs are now available for developers to start tinkering with on current devices. The best virtual reality headsets for early adopters Oculus Rift The Oculus Rift is like the Arcade Fire of VR headsets — it gained mainstream notoriety...

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USPS looks into AR glasses to stay relevant and efficient
Apr10

USPS looks into AR glasses to stay relevant and efficient

As the need for the United States Postal Service decreases, management and lawmakers are trying to find ways to cut costs and stay relevant. Recently, the Office of the Inspector General suggested that the USPS could benefit from the use of augmented reality glasses. Not only would it make the Postal Service more efficient, but it could also save them millions of dollars every year. “AR has the potential to improve the Postal Service’s mail processing, equipment maintenance, and delivery operations, as well as enhance the customer experience,” says the inspector general. “It is worth exploring.” The inspector general’s report lists many possible ways that Postal Service workers and customers could use AR glasses. For instance, AR glasses could assist mail truck drivers with directions on their route. They could also make loading and unloading the mail truck more efficient. The inspector general suggests implementing a facial recognition program as well to guarantee that mailmen are delivering to the right recipients. Augmented reality technology is a costly investment (the inspector general estimates $400 for basic models and $1500 for more advanced ones). However, it could save the Postal Service more than enough money to make up for it — an estimated $39 million. USPS has experimented with augmented reality technology since 2012, but only for marketing purposes. Most recently, the Postal Service created augmented reality content for their app during the 2014 holiday season. Also, United States isn’t the first country to use augmented reality for their mailing services. The United Kingdom and Sweden, as well as others, have AR programs in place already....

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