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Virtual Reality: VR Equipment & Specs

A guide on virtual reality resources and library equipment.

Google Cardboard

Take Home & Play

Did you know that free virtual reality games are available for your cell phone?

All you need is a device equipped with a gyroscope for 360-degree interaction, and a VR headset to transform your phone's display.

Check out a mobile headset at any campus library.

What is it?

What is Virtual Reality?

Have you heard of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, or Google Cardboard? These are some of the most popular virtual reality devices available. 

The video below provides an excellent overview of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the history of both. For the quick-and-dirty explanation:

Virtual Reality (or VR)

Interaction with a three-dimensional, simulated environment. A head-mounted display (HMD) creates full immersion in the virtual world, and controllers may be used to "touch" and manipulate virtual objects. Advanced VR systems, such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, require a high-powered computer to run. Other devices, such as Google Cardboard, may be used with just your smartphone device and downloadable apps. 

Augmented Reality (or AR) 

A headset-free experience, where computerized elements are added to the real world around you. For example, AR has been used to project tabletop games onto a physical surface, arrange digital furniture in a physical space, and drop animation (AR Stickers) into a camera shot. Pokemon Go is another type of AR experience. In most cases, AR may be viewed with an updated mobile device equipped with a camera.

Technical Specifications





  Oculus Rift                                                                HTC Vive
Resolution 2160 x 1200 2160 x 1200
Refresh Rate 90Hz 90Hz
Platform Oculus Home SteamVR, Viveport
Field of View 110 degrees 110 Degrees
Tracking Area 5 x 5 feet (two sensors), 8 x 8 feet (three) 15 x 15 feet
Built-in Audio Yes Yes
Built-in Mic Yes Yes
Controller Oculus Touch, Xbox One controller Vive controller, any PC compatible gamepad
Sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, Constellation tracking camera accelerometer, gyroscope, Lighthouse laser tracking system, front-facing camera
Connections HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater

Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD FX4350 or greater


Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output

2x USB 3.0 ports

Windows 7 SP1 or newer

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 /AMD Radeon RX 480 equivalent or greater

Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater

4GB+ of RAM

Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output

1x USB 2.0 port

Windows 7 SP1 or greater