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Oculus vs. Vive vs. Lenovo vs. Pico: a standalone VR headset comparison

Standalone headsets represent an enormous leap forward for VR technology, with companies like Google, Facebook and HTC early to market.

An all-in-one VR headset, or standalone, puts everything in the headband needed to convince you that you’re in another world. It is a single integrated piece of hardware, like a phone or tablet.

The first VR headsets available to consumers require multiple pieces to work. This includes Rift, Vive, Gear VR, Daydream View, Cardboard, PlayStation VR and Windows-based VR headsets. In contrast, a single piece of hardware purpose-built for VR, and VR alone, means VR is always ready to transport you. Standby modes will be common, keeping these headsets ready 24/7.

Standalones are wireless. It is helpful to understand, however, not all wireless VR headsets are standalones. Some systems beam information wirelessly from nearby PCs or consoles, and others use wired packs that clip to clothing or slip in a pocket. Some dreamers hope a true standalone with processor, graphics, display, storage and tracking all in the headband will offer additional modes to be more flexible. So maybe you could use a battery pack for longer durations in VR, or maybe you’d use a nearby PC wirelessly for more visually impressive virtual worlds.

The first standalones vary considerably. Some only let you sit down or stand in place. Other all-in-one VR headsets let you move around more but are limited in terms of collision detection or hand controls. Eventually a system will combine great hand controls with safety features like object avoidance, but for now here’s an overview of what we know.

Keep in mind prices below aren’t exactly comparable because some include tax and some don’t.

Oculus Go ($200)

Features: Seated or standing only, single hand controller that lets you point but not reach, LCD display.

We haven’t gotten to try this headset yet, but the incredible starting price is the standout feature. A leaked photo seems to hint at another major selling point — a robust content library brought over from Gear VR with more than 1,000 apps, games and movies.

Lenovo Mirage Solo ($400)

Features: Walk-around freedom within a small space, no collision detection, single hand controller that lets you point but not reach, LCD display.

This Google-powered system adds movement freedom to Daydream apps but limits that freedom to a diameter of 1.5 meters. Everything fades to black when you step outside that space. I tried the Lenovo Mirage Solo very briefly at CES and it was nice to be able to move around. But what content works well when you can move your head around freely, but not your hands?

Vive Focus ($635)

Features: Walk-around freedom in a 2 meter space and the option to turn the safety barrier off for larger spaces, no collision detection, single hand controller that lets you point but not reach, OLED display.

I also tried Vive Focus briefly at CES and its visuals were impressive enough to make ducking projectiles a fun and comfortable experience. If you use Focus with a MicroSD card and lots of storage, it could work well as a private movie theater for folks who travel by plane or train frequently. This also might be a common use case for Mirage Solo and Oculus Go.

Oculus Santa Cruz (TBD)

Features: Walk-around freedom, two point and reach hand controllers, collision detection unknown and display unknown.

This prototype headset, shown at Oculus Connect 4, is so far the best standalone experience I’ve tried. Facebook’s careful placement of cameras allow the device to occasionally see when the controllers are in awkward positions. This reduces the number of times when you might lose tracking on your hands. Oculus says it will deliver developer kits in 2018.

Pico Neo ($750)

Features: Walk-around freedom with a default boundary set at 0.8 meters and the option to expand, two point and reach hand controllers, LCD display. Pico claims a safety boundary can also be added at the application level with collision detection.

We reviewed the earlier Pico Goblin, and while it was the first broadly available standalone it also lacked a large, well-known content store like Oculus Home or Steam to back its efforts. Pico Neo aims to again be first, this time offering two point and reach controllers in a consumer standalone. In our hands-on time at CES, we found a crisp display, but we are concerned about the quality of the controller tracking. Pico Neo will also have access to the Viveport-powered Vive Wave store, and others, to supplement content concerns for users.

This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2018

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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