Purchasing the Ultimate VR Headset
Demand for VR headsets is on the rise. Approximately 26 million AR and VR headsets are already owned by private consumers worldwide. Experts believe by 2025, this number will have increased eight-fold.
Since the pandemic has pushed companies to re-evaluate new opportunities for team collaboration and communication in a hybrid world, VR headsets are more popular than ever.
As we accelerate towards a new age of work, today’s team members can leverage VR headsets for everything from immersive training, to enhanced collaboration.
Of course, before your employees can start discovering the benefits of VR headsets for themselves, you first need to decide on the right vendor for your technology. Here’s how to start seeking the perfect VR headset vendor.
Step 1: Do Your Research on Market Leaders
There are new VR innovators appearing on the market all the time, from well-known companies like Oculus and HTC Vive, to brands like Valve and Microsoft.
To ensure you’re focusing on the right brands, look into the areas where your chosen companies are spending the majority of their R&D budget. Some brands seem to be concentrating more on the gaming landscape, like Sony and Valve, while others are branching into MR, like Microsoft.
Aside from looking into the technology innovations of each market leader, ask yourself what kind of VR headset is going to be most suited to your workforce.
Are the employees who you need to step into VR going to be tethered to a PC or console, so they can access additional performance power, higher resolutions, and more graphically intense applications?
Do you need to look into untethered headsets, so you can build more immersive training experiences and active opportunities where teams won’t be restricted by wires? The design of your preferred VR headset will give you a good idea of which vendors to start with, as well as what kind of budget you need.
Step 2: Define Your VR Use Cases
There are endless use cases for VR in the current, digitally transforming landscape, and new opportunities are appearing all the time. Most VR headsets will be able to empower teams to explore some of the most common benefits of virtual reality.
For instance, you can use any leading headset to create immersive training experiences for your teams or bring employees together in a VR space.
However, if you have more specific use cases, you might need to look into more customized headsets. Some companies need to ensure their VR headsets are specially designed for long-term durability and rapid performance, while others need something more lightweight and easier to access for quick, ad-hoc experiences.
To help you make your decision, look into the use cases shared by your potential VR vendor, and ask yourself whether any of those use cases are relevant to your team.
In some cases, you may also need to look into specialist accessories for your VR headset, such as extra battery packs, or charging docks.
You’ll also need to think about which kinds of content your VR headset can access. Not all headsets are automatically compatible with all software.
Step 3: Get the Visuals Right
Probably the most important part of choosing the right VR headset vendor, is looking for exceptional visuals. If your employees are going to be using VR headsets for short periods of time, perhaps for novel, ad-hoc experiences, you may not have to spend quite as much on amazing resolution.
However, you should still ensure you’re getting a decent resolution per eye to ensure immersion.
If you’re going to be expecting your team members to spend extended amounts of time in VR, then resolution will be absolutely essential. A high resolution per eye, and a good field of view will help to minimise the feelings of discomfort and motion sickness which can be problematic for VR users.
You should also be looking into things like high refresh rates, so your staff can interact with VR software in almost real-time, rather than constantly trying to operate through lag. For the best possible visual experiences, look into things like eye tracking technology. This allows the headset to improve the quality of the picture where your users are looking, without draining bandwidth.
Step 4: Look Into Other Immersive Features
Although visuals are a significant part of what makes a VR experience successful – they’re only one part of the puzzle. When choosing the right VR headset vendor, you’ll also need to consider other tools which help to enhance the overall experience.
For instance, motion tracking technology can make your employees feel more like they’re actually in the VR environment, allowing for more meaningful experiences.
Positional tracking technology is growing increasingly advanced in a range of VR headsets, with many tools now offering facial, eye, and hand tracking. Some companies are beginning to look into accessories like haptic feedback tools and gloves to assist with virtual interactions too.
Don’t forget to prioritize high-quality audio too. Spatial audio can have a significant impact on the overall immersion of your VR experience. The more senses involved in the VR experience, the more incredible the interaction becomes.
Step 5: Don’t Underestimate Comfort
Finally, in the quest to access the best quality visuals, audio, and hardware, a lot of companies overlook one of the most important factors in choosing a VR vendor.
Headsets need to be comfortable if your employees are expected to use them for any extended period of time. A headset which feels as though it’s weighing your head down won’t be easy to work with.
The best VR headset will be one which feels comfortable and natural for as long as possible. While today’s headsets can still be a little clunky, they’re growing increasingly more ergonomic for the future of the VR workplace.
Since everyone in your team is different, it’s often worth starting your search for comfort by looking for adjustable IPD, head straps, and other customisation features. You may also want to consider whether the headset you choose is suitable for use with eyeglasses.
Now you’re ready to go out and start exploring your VR vendor options.