CES 2016: Immersed with virtual reality

By Adam Balkin, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 08, 2016, 12:30 PM EST

Just like virtual reality experiences themselves, you can hardly turn your head in a single direction without seeing some sort of virtual reality headset or a VR-related offshoot at CES. 

This is the year the biggies will finally hit shelves: Sony’s Project Morpheus, HTC’s Vive, and the Oculus Rift, which made news at CES by finally announcing when you can get one and how much it’ll cost you. 

Pre-orders have officially begun and they will cost $600. The first batch, which already sold out, will hit consumers in March. Order one now and your best hope is June. The one caveat is that you may have to upgrade your computer as well. It will require a powerful one to work. 

Perhaps the one device category more present than headsets at the convention are VR cameras. Think you would not know how to properly shoot something in VR? Some developers say it will be easier than the way you now shoot a photo with your phone.

“The camera that you use today is an active process - when I go to take a picture, I have to think of turning it on, framing my shot, and choosing my subject that I want to take a picture of,” says Jim Malcolm of Ricoh Imaging. “In full spherical or VR photography, you simply push a button and you capture everything around you and that’s make photography very passive."

There are also several devices here that help make virtual reality seem even more real by going beyond what you can see and hear and also bringing in what you can feel.

Icaros is a full body balancing system that tracks your movements within a medieval contraption and brings them into your VR experience.

“You can determine your flight path by just balancing yourself on the device and you can fly around an alpine region, you can fight some enemy drones if you’d like to, battle with your friends, perform a race,” says Johannes Scholl of Icaros GMBH.

Or if you tend to get airsick, this is Immersit. Get it? You place these pads under each of your couch's or chair's legs, it’ll then rock and roll you around in sync with what you’re seeing.