It may seem odd to start with distribution… this is usually the last step in your VR creation process. But which headset — or mobile device, tablet, or web screen — your audieence plans on using to access your VR presentation will affect your approach to creating it. So it’s best to go in knowing exactly how you plan to distribute. We’ll discuss the Pro/Cons of each of the major platforms for Presentation distribution.
WebVR — Either on Mobile Phone or Laptop
Pros — Widest distribution possible. All you have to do is either link to your VR hosted on our InstaVR CDN or embed your experience into your web page. Thus, you could theoretically easily send to all your employees through email, Slack, Intranet, etc. Also, you can utilize our Call-to-Action functionality to allow users to click through to relevant non-VR web pages.
Cons — Not as immersive. Also, WebVR is not as good for 360 video, something we’ve discussed more in depth here. But if you’re just going to be doing an image-based VR experience, and are not as concerned about the user experience, the positives of easy distribution (like with the “Culture is Digital” project) is important.
Low-Cost Mobile VR Headset — Google Cardboard or a Generic Plastic iOS or Android Headset
Pros — Low cost, so you can purchase many of them if you need it for a company event. You can also brand Google Cardboards, making the VR presentation even more memorable. User will have your app on their phone until they delete it.
Cons — Not nearly as immersive as the other headsets. So if your presentation is for say an important client, it’s probably best to invest in a more heavy-duty, larger Field of View VR headset such as Gear VR or Google Daydream.
Higher-End Mobile VR Headset — Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, or (soon) Oculus Go
Pros — Easy to carry or ship for presentations at other offices, including clients and partners. Nicely immersive and can also be enabled for long-form VR, if necessary.
Cons — Can be fairly expensive (each phone + Gear VR will cost you about $800 USD) or lack phone compatibility (Daydream still limited to only a handful of phones).
Higher-End Tethered VR Headset — HTC Vive or Oculus Rift
Pros — Can do very detailed, high-resolution, long-form VR. No chance of overheating (as sometimes happens with Gear VR, if used for too long).
Cons — Can be expensive, as you need a higher-end computer and graphics cards to run these. Because most companies will purchase only one or two of these, only 1-2 people can experience your VR presentation at a time.
Picking the right distribution model is important. It also informs what kind of VR you create — image vs. video, short-form vs. long-form, passive vs. interactive. Definitely consider distribution model on your VR presentation before you actually even start the 360 filming or CGI creation process.