Best VR accessories of 2017: Coolest VR accessories available in the UK

Now VR headsets are readily available to buy, manufacturers can concentrate on the second most important feature of any gaming system – accessories. Here, we run you through some of the best coolest virtual reality accessories already on the market, and some that are on their way soon.

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  • gloveone Gloveone
  • screen shot 2017 02 21 at 16 49 04 KOR-FX Force Feedback vest
  • leap motion 3d motion gesture controller 10 large Leap Motion
  • htc vive cover VR Cover
  • roto vr Roto VR
  • virtuix omni Virtuix Omni
  • cyberith virtualizer Cyberith Virtualizer
  • feelreal FEELREAL
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Virtual reality took the centre stage in 2016 with the Oculus RiftHTC Vive and PlayStation VR all going on sale – and that’s without even mentioning mobile VR, like the introduction of Google Daydream. Now the systems are out, manufacturers can start to concentrate on the second most important feature of any gaming system – accessories. Here, we run you through some of the best coolest virtual reality accessories already on the market, and some that are on their way soon. Read next: Complete guide to VR

Also see: Best Gadget Deals

Best VR accessories of 2017: Gloveone

Gloveone offers a way to bring accurate hand tracking to VR by wearing smart gloves. The gloves feature haptic feedback, finger tracking and even a ‘smart controller’ that allows you to activate specific commands using a gesture. But what does this mean for VR? It allows you to feel the sensation of weight, feel and interact with individual VR elements like buttons, feel different textures and sound waves, receive haptic warnings (like when a gamepad vibrates) and more. Imagine being able to wield a VR weapon accessory in-game and feel the vibration of every bullet leaving the weapon as you defend your position against approaching enemies – that’s an experience we want in VR.

No word yet on general release, but developers can head over to the site and order one.

Price: $230 from Gloveone

Consumer release date: TBC

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Next Prev gloveone

Virtual reality took the centre stage in 2016 with the Oculus RiftHTC Vive and PlayStation VR all going on sale – and that’s without even mentioning mobile VR, like the introduction of Google Daydream. Now the systems are out, manufacturers can start to concentrate on the second most important feature of any gaming system – accessories. Here, we run you through some of the best coolest virtual reality accessories already on the market, and some that are on their way soon. Read next: Complete guide to VR

Also see: Best Gadget Deals

Best VR accessories of 2017: Gloveone

Gloveone offers a way to bring accurate hand tracking to VR by wearing smart gloves. The gloves feature haptic feedback, finger tracking and even a ‘smart controller’ that allows you to activate specific commands using a gesture. But what does this mean for VR? It allows you to feel the sensation of weight, feel and interact with individual VR elements like buttons, feel different textures and sound waves, receive haptic warnings (like when a gamepad vibrates) and more. Imagine being able to wield a VR weapon accessory in-game and feel the vibration of every bullet leaving the weapon as you defend your position against approaching enemies – that’s an experience we want in VR.

No word yet on general release, but developers can head over to the site and order one.

Price: $230 from Gloveone

Consumer release date: TBC

KOR-FX Force Feedback Vest

  • RRP: £79.99, US$99.99

Ready to move beyond simply seeing in VR? While the HTC Vive’s controllers and Oculus Touch controllers allow you to interact with the virtual world, KOR-FX’s force feedback vest lets you feel it. While it’s not the perfect fit for all virtual reality experiences, we’ve spent some time with the KOR-FX force feedback vest and found that it really does make shooting games more immersive: feel the thud in your chest as a grenade explodes nearby, and the impact of each and every bullet.

There's some intuitive thinking behind it too, as the haptic motors are placed at exactly the right spot to simulate the vibration that you feel in your chest when you speak and shout, which helps trick your brain into thinking the explosions you're hearing are real - and it works incredibly well. While it’s not quite smart enough to detect the difference between deep vocals and bass tones (resulting in your chest vibrating to the sound of somebody speaking), it’s a step up from the standard VR experience and is one to watch in the future.

It’s not just for VR though, as the jacket comes with adaptors that’ll provide compatibility with any device that outputs audio, including the likes of the PS4, Xbox One and even the iPod for those extra bassy songs.

Best VR accessories of 2017: Leap Motion

Leap Motion isn’t new – in fact, the accessory has been on the market since 2013. However, its potential uses in VR arguably outweigh what it was originally designed for. The Leap Motion tracks hand and finger movement incredibly accurately, allowing users to control their PCs and Macs in an entirely new way using gestures. It enables touchscreen-esque actions on a non-touchscreen surface including swiping, grabbing, pinching or even punching – and that technology is now being utilised to bring full hand tracking to VR, deepening the feeling of immersion in a game/experience.

Developers are actively integrating Leap Motion support in VR games and experiences, however we’re not sure how many games officially support it thus far. Either way, it’s a really cool accessory for your PC and Mac and will one day soon improve the VR experience.

Price: €89.99 from Leap Motion

Release date: Shipping now

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Best VR accessories of 2017: VR Cover

VR Cover while not revolutionary is a life-saver for VR users. One of the downsides to virtual reality at the moment is sweat – especially in the more vigorous VR games and experiences. This is due to the headset being tightly fastened to your head and with no air-flow inside the headset, your face warms up fairly quickly. While a bit of sweat is to be expected and can be wiped off fairly quickly from the headset itself, the same can’t be said for the memory foam around the edges.  

Until now. Introducing the VR Cover, a cheap accessory made from a “soft leather like material” for Gear VR and HTC Vive owners that fits over the existing memory foam on the headset. This provides a surface that is easy to clean, and is especially handy if you’re giving your friends a VR demo because who wants someone else’s cold sweat on their face, right?

Price: £29 from VR Cover (HTC Vive/Gear VR)

Release date: Shipping now

Best VR accessories of 2017: Roto VR

For those that want to sit back and relax in their virtual worlds without losing immersion should take a look at Roto VR, a virtual reality chair compatible with Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, OSVR and even Google Cardboard. The headset plugs into a port at the bottom of the base, removing the issue of turning 360 degrees in VR and getting tangled in cables – but that’s not what’s impressive. The chair features base and foot pedals with an internal motor and orientation tracking – but what does that mean to you and us?

Essentially, it features foot pedals that let you run and walk in-game sat down in a comfy chair, and head tracking that will rotate the chair 360 degrees depending on where you look. It seems like a great accessory for VR and should help solve the issue of traversing in a VR environment, and also the ability to use VR for extended periods of time without getting tired.

Price: $499 from Roto

Release date: August 2016

Best VR accessories of 2017: Virtuix Omni

The Virtuix Omni is probably the coolest accessory in the world of virtual reality at the moment. Why? Because it puts your entire body in the virtual world with full body tracking. It also fixes one of the biggest issues with virtual reality at the moment – movement. Developers are trying to figure out the best way to implement a movement system without ruining the immersiveness of the VR experience and as yet, ‘Blink’ seems to be the best option. However, the Omni lets you move and run naturally thanks to the treadmill-esque design of the platform.

The only downside is that you have to wear a special pair of shoes that feature Omni Tracking pods, which are crucial for accurate foot movement tracking. You can find out more about the Omni including footage of it being used on its website.

Price: $699 from Virtuix

Release date: 2016

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Best VR accessories of 2017: Cyberith Virtualizer

If you don’t like the look of the Virtuix Omni, then what about the Cyberith Virtualizer? While no official UK pricing has yet been announced for the Virtualizer, it’s rumoured to be cheaper than its main competitor, the Virtuix Omni. It also has a few improvements when compared to the Omni, such as being able to use your own shoes without any attachments, which also minimises the amount of sound generated when moving. It also looks sleeker than the Omni, and more appropriate for use at home.

No word yet on when the Virtualizer will be released, but there’s still a chance we could see it on the market before 2016 comes to an end.

Price: TBC

Release date: TBC

Best VR accessories of 2017: FEELREAL

FEELREAL is another interesting VR accessory due to hit the market sometime soon. It is, according to its website, a “revolutionary multisensory VR mask for 3D video games and moves” that should provide users with a more realistic virtual reality experience. But how? It simulates the effects of wind, heat, water mist and vibration on your face – trying out Everest VR with FEELREAL on? Your face will definitely get a bit chilly!

It also features an odour generator and seven smell cartridges that can be swapped out depending on the game or movie you’re going to watch in VR. It also features a built-in mic, allowing you to chat with other players online with the mask on. It’s compatible with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR and Zeiss VR One – HTC Vive owners are out of luck with this one.

Price: $249-299 from FEELREAL

Release date: TBC

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