Solution Expert Q&A: Consider These Questions Before Making a Virtual Reality Investment To Accommodate Distributed Work 

This question was recently submitted to our Solution Architects: “In a new world of distributed working, how should enterprises that are looking to implement new VR/AR solutions decide on what type to invest in? (I.E.: PowerWalls, CAVEs, or HMDs, etc.)”

large virtual reality wall connected to head mounted virtual reality device

What VR/AR will work best for me?

The best way to decide what virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) solution will work best for your organization starts with fully defining your intended use cases and workflow first. Then establish goals by considering what a successful system will help accomplish. Where are your remote participants? Do you need to accelerate a development process? There are many options, price points, and customizable solutions, it’s hard to suggest one over the other without knowing the use and true goals of the investment. Multiple head mounted displays (HMDs) can be connected in collaborative sessions but with the right software, different display types can be connected in real-time; HMD to virtual reality wall, HMD to immersive CAVE, CAVE to CAVE, etc. A thorough discovery session with an external solution expert is very helpful because questions will get asked that you may not have considered.

These are only some of the questions that might be relevant:

  • What are your expected use cases? Research, design collaboration, data exploration, presentations in customer experience centers, other?
  • Will you have multiple use cases through the day or week?
  • What type of person-to-person (real life) collaboration and/or remote communication will be required while using the environment?
  • Do you know how many people you want in the physical environment at one time?
  • Will this technology be used often?
  • What is the nature of the models/information being shared?
  • What is the expected length of a virtual environment session? Ie: 5 mins, 30 mins.
  • How important are, for example, color reproduction, image detail, sense of size/scale, and more.
  • What software does your team use?

Making Your Decision

Wearables or large format displays have the potential to enable personal and collaborative work across shareable platforms, and across great distances. Your decision will be informed by realizing the possibilities and potential limitations of each technology and solution configuration. Further, you might need to make informed compromises based on good/better/best solution recommendations. As a result, with the right information, you will better understand which technology investment will enable your workflow and achieve your goals.

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