We are receiving a lot of enquiry regarding what equipment people should use for Virtual Reality, particularly in light of recent media coverage of our VR Experiences for people receiving healthcare.
VR Technology is changing rapidly, and new technology, applications, and ideas are emerging daily. We went through a reasonably detailed process to decide what equipment would best suit our specific needs – quality, longevity, and platform features.
There are countless inexpensive VR headsets on the market that will take a wide range of smartphone handsets and provide an acceptable personal user experience when viewing most existing public domain content.
The bare minimum handset requirements are:
However, with the variety of VR headsets and applications available, you should always check that your phone / handset meets the specifications needed for your proposed VR headset and applications.
Based on our needs, Flix Films chose the Google Daydream VR platform, and Google Pixel XL handsets. Although the Daydream platform is still new and developing, it still offered one of the highest standards of visual definition and responsiveness available, and coupled with the super-fast Pixel units with their large, crisp screens, we could be sure of delivering the best possible user experience, and have a reasonable expectation that the equipment will remain useful for more than a year or two.
Using the Google platform also meant we could also connect our VR units to external monitors via Chromecast, which along with the VR remote controls, means we can provide assistance or full support to users who may face physical challenges accessing the interface due to their health.
There is a vast array of publicly available VR content on the internet. YouTube (and now Vimeo) is a hosting site that supports a huge catalogue of 360 VR content. And like all public content hosts, there is the good and the bad when it comes to content.
We spent hours reviewing existing public content to identify and put together our curated playlists, which you can access HERE. These are catalogued by topic, and designed to provide users with a sample of good quality VR across a range of subject areas.
We are also researching what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ VR experience for people in healthcare situations, so that we can start producing high quality, targeted content aimed at achieving specific outcomes for users. Keep an eye on our site for more updates on our new 360 camera platform and content as this work progresses.
As a film production house using VR for specific uses, we don’t feel we’re the right people to be recommending any particular platform or equipment. There are countless expert technical reviews on VR equipment and applications on the internet, and they are changing every day.
We’ve shared here some information on what we’re doing and what we’re using, but our recommendation is that the only way to know what VR technology may be right for you is to clearly identify your needs and your budget, and access as much current research as you can to find the right fit.