CES 2019 is the perfect time for developers and manufacturers to show off their latest and greatest virtual and augmented reality technology, and they didn’t disappoint this year. From new VR headsets to peripherals that completely change how you interact with VR, there were several impressive products on display. Here is the best VR and AR tech from CES 2019.
3DRUDDER FOR PLAYSTATION VR
The PlayStation VR offers players the ability to look around their virtual environment in 360 degrees and PlayStation Move makes the experience even more realistic. With not being able to use your feet, however, something still feels slightly off. The 3DRudder for PlayStation VR aims to fix that by allowing players to tilt, spin, or apply pressure with their feet to move around in their favorite PlayStation VR games.
It can be used to move a character around and even control the camera, freeing up the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move controllers to perform other actions. Its function varies by game, and 20 are compatible with it at the moment.
VIVE PRO EYE
The premium Vive Pro VR headset just got even better with the integration of Tobii eye-tracking technology. The Vive Pro Eye is designed to create an even more immersive virtual reality experience, offering users the ability to navigate menus and perform many functions using only their gaze. It’s already been used in applications like Home Run Derby VR by Major League Baseball, making it even easier for anyone to hit a ball over the fence, and it will also make it simpler for businesses to utilize eye-tracking technology while using minimal resources.
The Vive Pro Eye will even make workplace collaboration easier. Using the programs Vive Studio and Ovation, team members can utilize the eye tracking to ensure they’re viewing the same information as their colleagues – it’s like Google Docs for the future!
The Oculus Rift is a fine virtual reality option, but it requires users to stay tethered to a PC in order to enjoy it. That’s no longer the case with Oculus Quest, an all-in-one gaming headset that is completely wireless, allowing players to enjoy their favorite VR games while on the go. Once you’ve set it up using the Oculus mobile app, the Oculus Quest can track your movements without any external cameras, using only cameras on the front of the headset itself, meaning that you can effectively play anywhere that has room for the headset and two controllers.
The Oculus Quest will work from both standing and sitting positions, and though the Quest lacks the power of PC-powered headsets like the Rift or Vive, it will still support some of the best VR games. Among them are Moss and The Climb. Given how easy it is to use, we see the Quest catching on in a way other VR headsets have not thus far.
NORDICTRACK VR BIKE
Exercise machines have offered displays featuring landscapes and lifelike routes for years, but in order to truly feel like you’re on a bicycle and not in your cold, damp basement, the NordicTrack VR Bike is what you need. The bike will release this summer for $2,000, and will be bundled with the HTC Vive Focus VR headset and a one-year membership to iFit. Using the headset, you’ll be able to play the games Aeronauts, Bike Messenger, and The Last Rider, all of which were designed specifically for the VR Bike, and the difficulty in games will increase based on how much you exert yourself.
The NordicTrack VR Bike also offers 10 percent inclines and declines to simulate the changing elevation in the games you’re playing, as well as 24 different levels of resistance and 16 different pedal positions. The pedals themselves will also be position-seeking to sync with the gameplay you see in the headset.
Similar in concept to the 3DRudder for PlayStation VR, but with an even greater focus on one-to-one movement, the Cybershoes act as a supplement for your existing VR setup — and your existing shoes. Slipped over a pair of standard shoes, you sit down on the Cybershoes’ seat and armrest, which can be fully rotated. You walk much like you would in real life, and your movements are transferred into the games you’re playing. Users with limited movement in the real world have the opportunity to move more freely within the games.
The Cybershoes are compatible with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets via Steam. Supported games at the moment include Fallout VR, Doom VFR, Arizona Sunshine, and VRChat, to name a few. The headset will be available on its own, or with a chair and special carpet, but a final release date hasn’t been set just yet. You can subscribe to a newsletter on the official website to be notified when it is available for purchase.
PICO G2 4K
An all-in-one virtual reality headset aimed at businesses rather than the average consumer, the Pico G2 4K features — as the name would suggest — a 4K resolution on its internal screens, giving users visual quality that we haven’t seen yet from stand-alone headsets. With a “look and choose” control option, you don’t even necessarily need to use a traditional controller to operate it. And with a light design and counter-weighted battery placement, you don’t need to worry about it straining your neck.
The Pico G2 4K also features 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, and will be compatible with Pico’s store and Viveport M. A final release date hasn’t been announced yet, but it will be available in the first half of the year.