Are you a sailing enthusiast trying to decide which virtual reality headset to buy? At MarineVerse, we had a chance to try all of the modern VR devices and here is our recommendation for sailors:
Best mobile headset for sailors: Samsung GearVR
Best high-end headset for sailors: HTC Vive
Why? Let’s have a closer look at all the headsets and what we can do with them:
If you are after the best mobile VR experience possible, then GearVR is what you want. The device offers slick comfortable design and great tracking performance thanks to a build in accelerometer.
Because of it’s portability, GearVR is great for demonstrating VR. You can easily take it with you to your sailing club and show what VR has to offer.Thanks to the quality of this device, you will make a good first impression.
Build in touch-pad enables advanced interactions within the apps - for example controlling a mainsail sheet (not possible in Cardboard, unless you get a gamepad, which btw you can also get for GearVR).
To use GearVR you will need a compatible Samsung phone (like S6 or S7).
Sailing apps to try: “Sailing Terms” and “VR Regatta”.
Vive offers the most immersive experience you can get. You will be able to walk around your boat and grab things. Imagine: One hand on a tiller, second on a mainsail sheet and you are sailing on your own boat. With VR Regatta for Vive it’s possible.
The tricky bits: It’s the most expensive system from the ones covered here, requiring (similarly to Rift) a high-end PC to run. On top of that, you will need at least 2x2m free space to be able to enjoy the room scale experience (and the more space the better).
The most basic and most affordable system out there. All you need is a smartphone.
Pros: Portable, cheap. Cons: Very basic VR experience, doesn’t showcase full potential of the virtual reality and may discourage some people from trying more advanced systems.
If you are looking for a low cost sampler of VR, try Google Cardboard, but remember that you need to try GearVR or Vive to fully appreciate what’s possible.
You can order a few Google Cardboards and give away extra units as gifts.
Similar to Vive, but at the time of writing doesn’t ship with hand tracking controllers yet (and they add a lot to feeling of immersion). Slightly better quality of design and lighter than Vive, so once controllers are out it might be the best high-end headset.
We are not actively developing sailing apps for Rift at the moment, but you should be able to run apps prepared for Vive.
If you own Playstation 4 and are prepared to wait an extra few months, then Playstation VR could be a good choice.
We don’t have any sailing apps available for Playstation VR yet, but that could change in the future. Once the device is out, it will offer good high-end experience (seated, with hand tracking controllers), that should be enough to immerse yourself while sailing a dinghy.
All in all, in our opinion the best choice at the moment are GearVR for mobile and HTC Vive for a high-end solution. We own both units and that’s were our major focus will be in the coming months, so you can expect more sailing content if you pick those platforms.
Hopefuly you find this article useful and we wish you many enjoyable hours spent on board of your virtual 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 of MarineVerse