Wednesday, December 13, 2017

android vr still sucks

I've been anxiously awaiting decent VR tech since long before the Oculus Rift.  I had hoped that after so many years the technology would finally become usable.  The current technology is close, but it still sucks.

There are plenty of other reviews for the available VR options on Android so I will try to keep this brief.

The Google Cardboard knockoffs are probably the best bang for your buck.  They can be more comfortable than the Daydream View and benefit from the large-ish ecosystem of google cardboard apps.  My face hurt after only a few minutes of trying the Daydream so I didn't spend much time in it.  The carboard/daydream apps still suck, by the way.  If you like looking at cartoons through screen doors you might enjoy all that.

Samsung GearVR is the most comfortable headset that I've tried.  The headset fits well, keeps light out and is quite immersive.  The Oculus apps suite is still maturing and there are many experiences to choose from.  I liked this headset the most but still couldn't wear it for more than 20 minutes at a time.  And, of course, you still get the terrible "screen door" effect.  Perhaps pixel density on Android devices is still too low?

Focus is a common problem for all three headsets.  As I look to the edges of the "screens" things get blurry.  Only the center is in focus, so I have to move my head around a lot instead of just looking left or right.  For example, try reading the menu at the bottom of Oculus home without pointing your head at your crotch.

There is currently no realism in Android VR.  All apps are "low poly" or "lo fi", presumably due to processing limitations on mobile platforms.  VR on PC might be a different story today, but when the Oculus Rift Developer Kit came out it was the same thing.  The comfort and focus issues might be close to resolved but the visual quality has a long way to go.

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