Virtual reality is the future. This is why nearly every tech company is clamoring to produce the best VR headsets. Two of the best players are Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens. Who’s willing to bet one of them will be hailed as the top choice?

But wait, isn’t Microsoft Hololens an augmented reality headset, not VR? So why is it even being compared with Oculus Rift? That’s because it shares the same goal – to provide users with an out-of-this-world experience.

AR vs VR


Forget about the brand name for one second and just focus on functionality. With augmented reality, you can see the real world along with the virtual, which means you get the best of both worlds. In the case of the Hololens, it uses holographic features that will take you to the virtual world. Virtual reality, on the other hand, only tricks your eyes into thinking that you are somewhere else, which is how VR should work.

Oculus Rift

  • It is intended for seated experiences, which is why the view of the outside world is completely obstructed.
  • This is the headset you need if you want a more immersive experience. When it takes you to another time and dimension, you will definitely feel and experience that you are in a different universe. Isn’t that with virtual reality is really all about?
  • It is easier for games to be ported over to Oculus Rift, and more titles to be created, what with developers finding it easier to program games in virtual reality than augmented reality.
  • Motion sickness remains a problem with VR headsets. But the cure is surely lurking somewhere.

Microsoft Hololens

  • It offers more mobility because users can see the virtual along with the real. Because you can see real-world objects, you can afford to move around with the Hololens on.
  • AR scans the environment around you, and takes input from hand gestures, making it more interactive. Because it also requires the same 3D rendering with real-time head tracking as VR, you get a more robust user experience.
  • When playing games, you can practically watch aliens and other characters coming in from the kitchen, the living room, or wherever you are playing. You don’t even need to get out of the virtual world, if you need to address someone from the outside world or get a real-world object.
  • Because game developers have to deal with the variability in the real world, creating titles would be a lot more complicated than in VR.
  • There’s no holography involved in HoloLens, so don’t be fooled by the name. Instead, it uses two nanoprojectors placed on either side of your head. This projects the images to a transparent visor that, in turn, reflects them to your eyes.
  • Microsoft Hololens is self-contained, complete with its own CPU/GPU/HPU integrated into the unit. So you can practically walk around, even with the headset on. Be aware, however, that AR is best used in a controlled environment.

So the question now, do you want VR or AR? You answer will determine if you need to get an Oculus Rift, which will cost you a lot, or the Microsoft Hololens.

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