With Oculus Go, VR for Economic Development is Ready for Business
19 July 2018
By Aaron Brossoit
Golden Shovel Agency unveiled PlaceVR in Toronto at the 2017 International Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference. Our team showcased the first 360 videos of familiarization tours and site tours to the industry. For economic development professionals promoting their regions, these spherical videos are the best way to virtually bring people into a region or community.
In September of 2017, however, the VR viewer options that were available for showcasing the videos were still limited. There were the top quality systems like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the Playstation VR which presented a great VR experience, but was burdensome in setup and cost close to $1,000 for hardware. With Google Cardboard and Samsung VR, anyone could use their smartphones and drop them into a VR headset for under $100 and show the videos, but the quality could not match the higher end systems and presented many technical inconsistencies. The Playstation became the tool of choice because the base station and helmet could travel as a carry-on and could be setup effectively in a booth or meeting room.
Enter Oculus Go
On May 1st, after months of anticipation, the Oculus Go was released, and these standalone goggles will pave the way for economic developers to adopt 360 familiarization tours. Here are four reasons the Oculus Go is ready for the economic development industry:
- User Friendly: The Oculus Go is incredibly easy to use. The stand-alone headset is portable and can be used anywhere! This means no cables tethering you to a desk or technical support needed to get it setup. Navigation is simple and intuitive making it easy to select the desired content. There are wi-fi capabilities built in for viewing content, but even better, the 360 videos can be easily added to the internal storage for full resolution viewing without having to worry about internet speed.
- Screen Quality: To maximize the feeling of ‘being’ on site, the resolution of the screen makes a big difference. Fortunately, the built-in screen on the Oculus Go is as good as the current high end products available. The familiarization and site tours look great, especially supported with 3D sound.
- Light, Portable & Well Designed: The Oculus Go headset is light (about one pound.) and fits comfortably with a couple velcro straps. This makes for a better experience overall and for longer periods of time. The design of the Oculus Go is straightforward and more accessible for people to use. The small size and weight makes it easy to pack into a backpack, carry-on or luggage to bring to meetings and conferences. It also makes it inexpensive to ship it to a prospect by mail.
- Affordable: With the starting price at $199 the Oculus Go is hard to beat. More storage is available for an additional $50, but even that is half the cost of the higher end systems on the market. This is even more striking considering you do not need to purchase a phone or computer to support it. This makes it easier to have a couple at a trade show or leave with a site selector.
Oculus Go is ready for economic developers and the important work they do. You can finally count on a consistent, high quality VR experience that will do justice to the great things you have to share about your community and sites. Virtual reality technology is evolving fast and we will see many new products unveiled later this year and in the future. Golden Shovel will be keeping a close eye on them as they are available, but right now, VR is ready to go to work for economic developers.