At IrisVR, we often are asked the question - "how should I determine which virtual reality experience and setup is best for my company?" and the answer is - it depends.
You should consider the following factors:
- What type of virtual reality experience are you trying to create?
- What do you want to communicate in VR?
- What type of setting do you want to use VR in?
- Budget vs. time
Let's break down these individual considerations further:
Type of Virtual Reality Experience
- If you are looking to make a VR experience that is navigable and easy to create, we suggest using Prospect paired with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. This setup will allow you to place yourself inside your 3D model to walk, draw and change layers. The model will appear as you have created it in the native software package and will not be photorealistic. However, because Prospect is one-click software you will be able to quickly make changes and reimport.
- If you are looking to make a VR experience that is very photorealistic and portable, we suggest using Scope paired with the Google Cardboard or GearVR. This setup will allow you to upload renderings you have created onto our mobile app, and then share them with clients or your team for viewing with the Google Cardboard or GearVR.
What do you want to communicate?
- Looking to discuss schematic spatial impacts, building infrastructure (such as MEP), daylight conditions, or review models for accuracy and clashes? If so, we recommended using Prospect with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
- Looking to market, sell or share a very detailed photo-realistic vision of your design? Then we'd recommend using Scope paired with the Google Cardboard or GearVR.
What type of setting would you want to use VR in?
With a computer?
- For indoor settings, public events, ground-breaking ceremonies, conference rooms and walkable VR, the HTC Vive paired with Prospect is great.
- For outdoor settings, at your desk use, and sit-down experiences, the Oculus Rift paired with Prospect is perfect.
- For portability and travel, the Oculus Rift is great when paired with a portable VR laptop, since the HTC Vive requires the use of tripods for mounting of the base stations, which isn't as travel-friendly.
With a smartphone?
- For a large or special event, the Google Cardboard paired with Scope app will work well. We recommend ImCardboard.com, as they allow you to customize the shell of the cardboard with logos or project branding and are generally inexpensive to purchase. The Scope app, will allow you to upload panos and then generate a special code to share with your guests, whether it be just one or a thousand.
- For personal, in-office or small meetings, either the Google Cardboard or GearVR app will work well.
Budget vs. Time
- If budget is a priority, the Google Cardboard or GearVR are the most affordable solutions. The Google Cardboard will work with almost any smartphone, and the GearVR only with specific android phones. However, creating content for use the the Google Cardboard or GearVR is more time consuming because the image must be rendered from the 3D model. A Google Cardboard can cost from $5-$20, GearVR ($100 plus phone) and a panorama rendering can take from a few hours to a few weeks to create based on the quality of image desired.
- If time is a priority, the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift are most convenient. Both headsets, allow you to quickly view any file you import through Prospect in minutes or less. For reference, each headset costs between $600-$800 and the VR computer will start at around $2,000.
Regardless of which VR setup you choose, please consult our guidelines for suggested computers and smartphone devices to make sure you are ready!