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Best Virtual Reality (VR) Meditation Apps

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Best Virtual Reality VR meditation apps featured
Break the barriers of your mind with virtual reality!

In this hectic world we live in, it is becoming ever more difficult to find a peace of mind. So many people are stressed out, anxious and depressed. For the purpose of achieving mental balance, many people resort to practicing mindfulness and meditation.

Virtual reality is clearly a great way to take a break from everyday problems, since it lets you immerse into the world of your liking. With vast selection of different roles you can take and environments to explore, it was just a matter of time before VR meditation apps become a thing.

We could argue about the true meaning of meditation, and if the proper way to try and achieve it is by wearing a VR device. However, we can all agree that there are plenty of virtual reality apps that offer various soothing and relaxing environments. These are some of the best VR meditation apps that are currently available.

Guided Meditation VR

Guided Meditation VR is a a virtual reality relaxation app that allows you to recharge in various enticing locations. This VR meditation app is developed by Cubicle Ninjas. It offers over 17 lush environments to choose from. It is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Gear VR.

The best thing about Guided Meditation VR is that it takes you to beautiful places from the comfort of your room, yet you can still customize it to some extent.

In each location, you can choose from several meditation spots, which will make each custom made environment more interesting, since you’ll be able to enjoy it from various angles.

Your virtual teachers will guide you through over 50 meditative sessions. There are different meditation categories like zen, movement, loving compassion, relaxation and many more. Music is also optional.

Nature Treks VR

Nature Treks VR is available on Steam and you can also buy it at Oculus store for $9.99. This is a game without a distinctive gameplay, and that’s what makes it absolutely perfect for the purpose. You just explore the great outdoors and enjoy the nature.

With the new “creator” patch update you are now able to “play god” and shape your own world using HTC Vive motion controllers and Oculus touch. You naturally control the weather and the time of day as well.

The app has 10 different themes, all providing unique breathtaking environments. All of the themes combined offer over 300 locations in approximately 5 square kilometers of space for you to explore.

Each environment is carefully created to reflect a specific emotional state. Audio reacts to your surroundings, subtly complementing it, but you can also turn the music down and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature.

Perfect VR

Developed by Ndreams, this app provides the purest VR escapism. Simple controls and beautiful landscapes make Perfect VR a good choice if you want to introduce someone you love to the world of virtual reality for the first time.

You will have 3 breathtaking destinations at your disposal – Tropical Beach, Mountain Wilderness and the Northern Lights. Perfect VR available for PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Why Is There No Broadcast of Mayweather vs. McGregor in VR (Virtual Reality)?

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Mayweather vs. McGregor Virtual Reality live broadcast
How hard would it be to glue 2 GoPro-s on their heads and live broadcast directly into our VR headsets?

A missed opportunity?

Unless you’ve been travelling through China and North Korea in the past several months, you should’ve at least heard about the “biggest fight ever”. And I’m not entirely sure even the Great Firewall of China would shield you against the news.

The drama, controversy and hype are leaking everywhere. From young to old, most everybody has had the names of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor pass through their lips lately.

Marketing gimmicks and tricks aside, the MayMac craze is a fascinating phenomenon. The two most prominent names from the boxing and MMA world have come together to bring the fans a stylistically intriguing matchup.

The fire caught on, and the fight is primed to break all combat sports records. With only a bit more than a day left till the fight, the pre-fight anticipation and intensity is reaching a boiling point at the moment.

Now, what does this all have to do with Virtual Reality, you may ask?

Well, it really seems like a gravely missed opportunity that no major VR player, no tech-startup or entrepreneur has seized this unique opportunity to set up a live broadcast in Virtual Reality.

Think about it. From a technical standpoint, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to watch the fight in VR. There are already start-ups and companies, such as NextVR or LiveLike, specifically focusing on live sports broadcasting.

Even NBA and FOX Sports offer their own 360° and VR apps and solutions.

Therefore, it makes sense to bring all top level sports broadcasts into VR, doesn’t it? And it would certainly make sense to make the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight VR accessible, right?

Relics from the past

The specific problem with boxing is that it’s an old sport with its own establishment and accompanying entertainment industry. The kind of establishment and industry that has largely shaped up and developed through the 20th century.

A boxing lead-up to the fight is somewhat “old school”. For instance, boxing press conferences consist of officials and associates all having their own take at the microphone. Obviously, to cycle through this sizeable line-up requires time. A lot of time.

Naturally, the media and especially the fans are not really interested in most of these people. They want to hear boxers’ opinions, thoughts, smack talk, the drama, the hype, the competitiveness.

Second, the boxing industry has long been largely about numbers – stats, PPV buys, money, sponsors etc. The whole thing has become very rigid, with its own way of doing things, often times not optimal and applicable for every situation.

You can imagine that in such an environment, a “new thing” such as Virtual Reality is probably not even an afterthought. The fact that VR is still in its early stages of mass market adoption doesn’t help either.

So, it’s easy to imagine some boxing establishment executives laughing in your face for proposing something like a live VR broadcast. From their perspective, the VR market numbers simply wouldn’t justify the infrastructure and logistics expenditures required to setup a live VR broadcast of the fight.

Last, but not least, Mayweather vs. McGregor standard definition PPV price is $89.95. High definition is $99.95. Just imagine how much more the price would get jacked up for a live VR broadcast. Even the boxing fans who are VR enthusiasts would probably pass on the price tag. It would be too expensive surely.

For a sport like boxing, Virtual Reality is still something alien. It’s an unfortunate reality (no pun intended) we’re living in today.

Change is inevitable, but it takes time

It’s safe to say that VR is growing and slowly leaking into the mainstream. Nothing is 100% certain, but this time around, it doesn’t look to be another tech fad.

Nevertheless, mass mainstream adoption is yet to happen. The financial barrier of entry is still relatively steep for such a niche product in its infancy stages.

A few VR sports broadcasting apps and start-ups are slowly cropping up out there, so there’s obviously some market interest already. Still, it’s going to take a while before live VR sports broadcasts become a regular thing.

In the meantime, #WarMcGregor!

Best Way to Clean Oculus Rift Foam Padding

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Oculus Rift is one of the best VR headsets currently on the market. Oculus is currently having a limited time offer making the device more affordable. Despite great performance, Oculus Rift has its fair share of drawbacks.

However, the device still offers a lot, it is very comfortable, with accurate motion controllers and plenty of games to enjoy. By making the device comfortable, designers overlooked an important issue – the soft and comfy Rift foam padding absorbs too much sweat!

This can be pretty disgusting, especially if you want to share the headset with someone and it isn’t clean. If not maintained properly, this can even lead to your foam padding getting stinky from all the absorbed sweat, dirt and bacteria.

This issue amplifies if you are playing intense games that require a lot of movement like Echo Arena for example. Hygiene is very important for most people, and so far we have discovered two solutions for the problem at hand.

Remove the foam padding and give it a good rinse!

First off, it is always a good idea to wash your face before putting the headset on. Have in mind that you still shouldn’t put it on your face before it is completely dry.

Once you are done with your VR session, you can remove the Rift foam padding as instructed in the video above. As you can see, don’t try to pull out the foam but the plastic segment that holds it in place.

If you do this regularly, after each use, antibacterial wet wipes will do the trick. Make sure that the wet wipes you use are non-abrasive, so you don’t damage Rift’s foam padding. It is also a good idea to use some type of skin-safe wet wipes, baby wipes or those used for make-up removal.

Use a VR cover

Recognizing the problem with maintaining the hygiene of headsets, companies like VRcover started manufacturing solutions. They offer simple, easy to use products that can really help you out.

The covers are designed to perfectly fit the headset, making sure that in prolonged sessions with Rift, the headset remains clean. They are comfortable as well, but so is the Rift’s original foam padding. However, the covers are much easier to maintain.

Oculus Rift VR Cover set contains 2 padding covers and a microfiber cloth you can use to clean the lenses at a price of $19.00. The covers are 100% cotton and you can wash them with your clothes in a washing machine. Make sure to wash them in cold water (30 Celsius).

While $19.00 may seem excessive for a simple piece of cloth, this purchase will make sure you never have to worry about wearing unclean and sweaty headset again. Besides, the vast majority of users are pleased with the product.

Additional tip:

If you are a really sweaty person and you don’t want to spend 20 bucks on the VR cover, you can use a headband and prevent the sweat from your forehead sliding down to the foam padding.

Warning! – this will make you look silly, but whatever, wearing Oculus Rift already did that.

Can Oculus Rift with Touch Controllers Run SteamVR HTC Vive Games?

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Can Oculus Rift With Touch Controllers Run SteamVR HTC Vive Games
I mean, they're both black and go on the head, right?

Virtual Reality Crash Course

If you’ve just got your Oculus Rift with Touch controllers, congratulations! You’ve just joined one big, happy, rapidly growing family. Enjoy your stay!

Now, you might be wondering: “VRBorg, can I play SteamVR HTC Vive games on my Oculus Rift with Touch controllers?”

Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you covered, amigo!

Now, before we get into the meat of the problem, it’s important you understand how SteamVR and HTC Vive games work.

In fact, there are no HTC Vive games per se. By design, and by default, if a developer wants to make an HTC Vive game, he has to go through the SteamVR platform. There’s no other way around it.

SteamVR games and applications are based on SteamVR SDK (software development kit), better known as SteamVR Workshop Tools.

SteamVR does not discriminate against any current hardware. Any future hardware can be easily supported as well.

So, can Oculus Rift with Touch controllers play HTC Vive Games?

Of course it can. Oculus Rift with Touch controllers is fully supported by SteamVR. Even if the particular game of choice doesn’t officially support Oculus Rift, you will still be able to play it.

The absence of official Oculus support for some SteamVR games means that the developer hasn’t implemented specific control mappings for Oculus Touch, as well as some minor tweaks and optimizations. Therefore, the Oculus Touch controls are most likely wonky, but they will work.

At least on paper.

Oculus Rift Touch Controllers vs HTC Vive wands
Obviously, the ones on the left are for bludgeoning, the ones on the right for knuckle punching your neighbour’s teeth out.

Oculus has a separate, exclusive marketplace for Rift VR games and apps, which they call Experiences. Don’t let this confuse you – a lot of games there can also be found on SteamVR, and vice versa.

However, a significant portion of Rift Experiences are Rift exclusives. If you’re an HTC Vive owner, or know somebody that is, be careful.

These games can only be played on HTC Vive through the use of custom hack known as ReVive. It doesn’t work well with some Oculus games, so Googling around is a must prior to any purchase. You might want to check the community-driven wiki list detailing HTC Vive’s compatibility with most major Oculus games.

It DOES get a bit tricky though…

Obviously, there are differences between Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. If a SteamVR game doesn’t have official Oculus support, it will lack some minor Oculus-specific tweaks and optimizations. The absence of these may cause certain minor performance issues.

Real issues, however, arise from the hardware differences. Oculus Touch controllers and Vive wands are probably the most obvious example.

The issues are mostly noticeable in games that specifically rely on certain unique controller functionalities, such as a trackpad on the Vive wands or a traditional analogue stick with A, B and X, Y buttons on Oculus Touch.

After all, Vive wands are truly ambidextrous, meaning that a single unit will work in either hand. One the other hand (no pun intended), Oculus Touch controllers are designed strictly for a single hand use – one for left hand, one for right.

This is why some games that are tailor-made for HTC Vive won’t feel as enjoyable and smooth on Oculus Rift. The same goes the other way – if you are the proud owner of HTC Vive, not all Oculus-exclusive games will have smooth controls with the ReVive hack.

The upside to this whole ordeal is that SteamVR is continuously being updated. The default control mappings are regularly modified and improved upon. This closes the gap between the two popular VR headsets.

With that in mind, let’s hop back into the virtual domain and play a few rounds together, shall we?

Sore Eyes After VR Experience – What Am I Doing Wrong?

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Sore Eyes After VR Featured
Woman's eye with futuristic digital data concept for technology, virtual reality headset, biometric retina scan, surveillance or computer hacker security

Virtual-reality is yet to become mainstream, but even now there are some known unpleasant side-effects. Many users report motion sickness, nausea or sore eyes after their VR experience.

None of these VR side-effects proved to cause long-term damage and usually wear off soon after you take the headset off.

However, these issues are not to be neglected. We are sure that in future developers and engineers will do their best to nullify them.

Meanwhile, in this article we will specifically talk about sore eyes after VR, and present you with simple tips that should mitigate this VR side-effect.

Adjust the VR headset lenses

Sore eyes after VR

We’d imagine that when you first got your VR device you couldn’t wait to immerse into the brand new world. If you haven’t thoroughly examined headset’s settings, this may be the cause of sore eyes after VR usage.

Improper IPD (interpupillary distance) settings is one of the most common causes for eye strain. Usual distance between human pupils is in between 60-70mm, but can vary. If you didn’t adjust the headset just perfectly, the VR experience may be uncomfortable for you.

Most mobile VR devices don’t have IPD adjustment feature, which means that if your IPD is “out of standard” you won’t be able to enjoy the ride.

Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, on the other hand, can be manually adjusted, while PS VR takes care of this with a smart software solution.

Upgrade your PC

High end VR devices like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require very strong PC configurations. One of the reasons you can have sore eyes after VR is that your PC simply can’t render all the images properly. You can check the spec comparison for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift here.

Lower the brightness

Once you immerse into virtual-reality, your brain gets overflown with sensations. While the experience is exhilarating, in the beginning it may be a bit too much for your brain to process.

Therefore we suggest that you lower the brightness level to one that accommodates you the best. This won’t affect the overall effect of VR program or game that you are running, but will give your eyes a much needed relief.

Avoid long sessions

Sore eyes after VR - long sessions

Your eyes are used to working together. When you look at certain object, both eyes focus on it and your brain puts together a 3d image. While wearing a HMD (Head Mounted Display), each of your eyes gets a separate image from two small LCD monitors.

This may confuse your eyes and cause eye strain and fatigue. Therefore, we recommend that you keep your VR sessions relatively short, not longer than 30 minutes. After each session, give your eyes some time to rest and readjust.

Move less

This goes both for your head and eye movement. The best way to protect your eyes while in VR is to look straight forward, relax and enjoy. This may seem hard, since naturally you’ll want to absorb as much of the virtual environment as possible.

The truth is, you really won’t miss anything if you keep your pupils still, and you will mitigate the eye strain and some other VR side-effects.