Ask an Expert: Virtual Reality with Sherri Smith

Graybush

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Feb 13, 2017
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Are you having difficulty finding the right VR setup? Need an expert’s opinion on the latest and greatest?

For a time, we’re going to help you and answer questions regarding laptop tech support. What type of tech you’re looking for, how powerful of a setup you need, and the gear necessary to cover all your needs.



Our special guest this week is Sherri Smith, Editor on Tom’s Guide and LaptopMag. She finds her way exploring virtual reality, playing the latest and greatest games and testing the newest headphones. When she’s not reviewing technology, she talks about it on CNN, Fox News and Chedder. In her downtime you can find her at home cooking with the latest kitchen tech, or out about town tasting a good scotch.

‘Ask an Expert’ will be running from 2PM July 26th, 2017 to 4PM July 28th, 2017. The forum thread will open on 2PM July 25th in preparation for questions.

Ask and Expert Rules

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Only registered users will be able to ask questions, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to register now for your chance to participate!

The official representatives will reply periodically over the time the AMA is active using a recognized and verified account.

Please join us to throw your questions into the mix!
What: Ask an Expert
When: Wednesday July 26th – Friday July 28th
Who: Your Community Staff with Special Guest Sherri Smith
 

snorlax316

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Feb 11, 2015
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So, I have to ask.

My cousin, well, okay, there's no way around it. My cousin is not the brightest person in town. He's convinced that he can set up his HTC Vive in his studio, with all of his furniture and equipment, and not get hurt while playing it.

Is there an argument I can give him that will make him at least consider moving his table before playing? Apparently calling him a dummy only makes him more sure that his half-baked plan will work.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Great to see you on the forums Sherri!

I actually have a question regarding VR technology. My nephew loves AR/VR stuff (he is OBSESSED with Pokemon Go). But he's only 8, and my brother wants to get him his own headset. His wife (bless her) is wary about how it will affect his development.

Do you have any knowledge regarding the age limit for VR sets, and if so, is there any documentation showing is it has a negative/positive impact on them?
 

James Mason

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Moderator
Jan 2, 2014
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Just got the $400 Rift + Touch controller combo. It comes with only 1 sensor I believe, do you think i'll need more sensors for it, or is Rift not super into room VR?
Any tips for dealing with all the USB connections as well? I picked up a 4-port 3.1 to USB C to make use of my mobo's USB C rearport, but i'm wondering if I should hook up the rift to that, or hook up my other peripherals like keyboard, mouse, webcam, to the 4-port adapter and use the motherboards rear ports for the rift.
 

misssmith11

Editor
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Feb 4, 2014
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misssmith11

Editor
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Feb 4, 2014
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Hey there,

It seems your cousin is banking on the Vive's Chaperone system (that 3-D grid that pops up when you're about to walk into a wall) to keep him from taking an unfortunate pratfall over his table. While it might work in theory, by not relocating the table, your cousin is losing some prime play area that the Vive needs to properly scan the room. I've tried cheating the system by leaving an errant table or chair in the play area and it has never ended well -- I've got the scars to prove it.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Sherri
 

misssmith11

Editor
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Feb 4, 2014
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Hey James,

The Rift/Touch Combo should come with two sensors which will provide limited room scale. If you want full room scale, you'll have to invest in a third sensor and position them strategically around the room. Something I learned the hard way is that depending on the size of your room, you might have to invest a couple of USB extension cables. Concerning your dock question, while I don't think there would be any problems going through the dock, I do worry a bit about potential latency.

For your soon-to-be setup, I got the best results by placing the sensor at least 3 feet apart from each other facing forward.

Let me know how it turns out!

Best,
S
 

misssmith11

Editor
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Feb 4, 2014
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Hi ThursdayFridaySaturday (great name btw),

Right now, I'm really into the Rift because of the Touch Controllers. They provide a more realistic hand experience. I like being able to realistically point, wave and grab things. I also appreciate that Oculus is leaning into that whole Facebook thing and allowing you to make avatars for some of the more social apps. And Oculus currently has more games and apps in their library which of a higher quality IMHO.

Despite Oculus' recent wireless announcements, I think we're going to be waiting awhile before its consumer ready. I have gotten to play with DisplayLink's solution for cord-cutting in VR and for a prototype, it's a pretty seamless experience so far. I'm also interested to see how Microsoft's upcoming headsets are going to stack up against the Vive and the Rift.

In terms of mobile setups, the Samsung Gear VR wins over Daydream due to the catalog and quality of games. However, I'm excited that my Samsung Galaxy S8+ is now Daydream-compatible so I don't have to switch between two phones.

Hope that answers your questions!

Thanks,
Sherri
 

misssmith11

Editor
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Feb 4, 2014
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Hey KerryT,

Thanks for the warm welcome! As far as I know, there aren't any definitive studies on the effects of VR on young kids. And I do see plenty of parents letting their kids use VR. However. with Oculus and Sony have set an age limit of 13 and up, while HTC recommends keeping the Vive out of young kids hands, so I like to err on the side of caution. No one really knows how VR could affect adult brains, let alone a child's.

So I'm not going to totally rule out letting a kid play with a VR headset, I am definitely going to advise strict time limits and adult supervision.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Sherri
 
G

Guest

Guest


Thanks for the advice Sherri!

As a followup question: If my brother is dead-set on getting a setup for the family, which one would you recommend? Him and his wife have two kids, one is eight and the other is ten.
 

James Mason

Honorable
Moderator
Jan 2, 2014
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Here's a question you may not be able to answer.
I'm nearsighted, so i can see clearly things that are about 3 inches from my face. (If I were to heavily read a book, I may take off my glasses actually and get the book that close because it's easier on my eyes)
But I have to wear my glasses to clearly see the screens inside my Rift, which are like no more than 2 inches from my face.
Why?
 

misssmith11

Editor
Herald
Feb 4, 2014
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Hey Kerry,

How much space does he have available?

 
G

Guest

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They just moved house, and my brother has put aside a little room as the 'play den' for the kids. I think it's roughly 10 x 10 feet? I haven't had a chance to see them yet.
 

Sakkura

Distinguished


Quick note: The third sensor should come with a USB extension included.
 

misssmith11

Editor
Herald
Feb 4, 2014
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Hey again James,

I too, am in the nearsighted boat. What's happening is that the two lenses in the VR headset are basically there to focus your eyes on the display in front of them. That means that everything you look at in a VR headset, you're gazing at it through a fixed distance so everything is out of focus. But I'm sure a doctor would be able to give a more nuaced answer.

Best,
S
 
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