Are you looking for the best VR tech gadget for a sailor to buy, maybe as a gift? At MarineVerse, we had a chance to try all of the modern VR devices and here are our recommendations for sailors in 2018:
Best mobile headset for sailors: Oculus Go
Best high-end headset for sailors: Oculus Rift (2019 UPDATE: HTC VIVE)
Best high-end headset for sailing clubs: HTC Vive
Why? Let’s have a closer look at all the headsets and what we can do with them:
Named by Forbes The Best Non-Phone Gadget Of 2018, Oculus Go offers the best mobile VR sailing experience possible in 2018.
The best thing about Oculus Go is that it is a “standalone VR headset”. This means, that the only thing you need to buy ( or have ) is Oculus Go, no need for an extra phone or an expensive PC computer. That makes Oculus Go the most affordable amongst the good options and a perfect gift.
The downside of Oculus Go is that it offers only limited tracking and controls. Oculus Go is great for relaxing sailing session or for a quick demonstration, but if you are really looking for high quality experience that can give you a real taste of sailing, then you will need to look at more advanced devices that offer so called 6DoF tracking - for example Oculus Rift.
Sailing apps to try: “Big Breezy Boat” is a relaxing sailing experience for mobile VR. Immerse yourself in a vast open ocean on your own private yacht.
2019 Update Oculus ‘upgraded’ their headset to Oculus S. Until further notice we recommend new sailors look into HTC Vive, as we are not sure if the new tracking system in Oculus S will be appropiate for optimal virtual reality sailing.
Oculus Rift with Touch controllers offers truly immersive high quality VR experience delivered in consumer friendly package at a reasonable price. The best VR sailing experiences require 6DoF “room scale tracking” system and Oculus Rift is capable to do it.
The downside of Oculus Rift is that it requires a modern gaming PC to run. If you don’t already have one, this can add anywhere between $800 to $3000 extra to your costs. If you can afford it, it’s worth it!
Sailing apps to try: “VR Regatta” is the leading virtual reality sailing game. Explore the the immersive, inspiring sailing experience that awaits you on the open seas. Veterans of sailing and newcomers alike are invited to discover the relaxation and exploration at Akalana Islands.
If you never sailed or you want to give a friend or family member a taste of sailing, VR Regatta is a good choice. Watch those non-sailor gamers interacting for the first time with VR Regatta:
HTC Vive offers the best quality tracking system and is our go to device for events and boat shows. If you are a sailing club looking for a VR system to use at events, this is the recommended setup. For more information see Events at MarineVerse.
In this article we focused on devices on which you can experience virtual reality sailing. For comparison of other devices see our article from 2016.
All in all, in our opinion the best choice at the moment are Oculus Go for mobile and Oculus Rift ( HTC Vive as of 2019 ) for a high-end solution.
Hopefully you find this article useful and we wish you many enjoyable hours spent on board of your virtual sailing yacht. If you are thinking of using virtual reality as a tool to enhance your sailing training we hope the results will exceed your expectations.
Please let us know which device you end up going for.
Founder at MarineVerse - Virtual Reality Sailing