HTC Vive vs Oculus: An In-Depth Guide On Which Headset Is Better For Business and Personal Use
April 08 2020
Within the last few years the VR headset market has exploded. It’s getting harder to make an optimal choice as VR manufacturing companies even offer multiple devices.
In this article, we’ll compare headsets from the tech giants of the VR market: Oculus and HTC. Each company manufactures several devices, and each of them is more suitable for a certain activity than the others.
Let’s start with a general overview of every latest model from Oculus and HTC. We’ll then move to a in-depth comparison between them across several mediums:
Lastly, we’ll dive into the realm of business applications to figure out which headset is the optimal solution for business-related tasks, such as training, marketing, and management.
There’s a lot to cover, so without further ado, let’s dive in.
Oculus Go Overview
Oculus Go is a tetherless, self-contained VR headset released by Facebook in May, 2018. The device supports only three degrees of freedom and is not applicable for roomscale simulations. Thus, the Oculus Go casual VR experience is mostly suitable for passive media or applications based on simple standing interactions.
The headset is currently priced at $199 for a 64GB version and $149 for a 32GB version.The price includes the headset itself and a simple wireless controller. Oculus Go can provide a great gateway into VR for casual users with its low cost, decent image quality, and a simple set up process. However, it’s not the best choice for sophisitcated business applications or hardcore gamers.
Oculus Rift S Overview
Oculus Rift S, unlike Oculus Go, is a tethered PC VR headset that needs to be connected to a PC to function. It was released by Facebook in March, 2019 and was designed to replace the first generation original Rift CV 1 headset.
This device is priced at $399 and comes with two Oculus Touch controllers out-of-box. The headset supports six degrees of freedom, which makes it applicable for complex VR interactions. It also features an inside-out tracking system that doesn't require any additional periphery and sensors to be installed, making the setup process easier compared to other tethered headsets.
Oculus Quest Overview
Oculus Quest is a step up from Oculus Go. It provides the same level of comfort with a fully tetherless experience. It also supports six degrees of freedom and can be used for more immersive VR experiences.
It’s priced at $399 for a 64GB version, and $499 for a 128Gb version and comes with the same two Oculus Touch controllers that Rift S does. Just like Rift S, it doesn’t require any external periphery, and can be used right away after the purchase.
The fine image quality, self-contained cable-less experience, and decent tracking system make Oculus Quest a good choice for both personal and business applications.
HTC Vive Pro Overview
HTC Vive Pro is a tethered PC VR headset that was released by HTC in January, 2018. It provides six degrees of freedom, excellent visuals, and an accurate external tracing system.
This headset is more difficult to set up than Oculus devices because it requires the installation of external base stations to activate the roomscale tracking system.
The headset is priced at $599, and the price doesn’t include controllers and base tracking stations, which need to be purchased separately. It also requires a more powerful PC to operate than the Rift S.
There’s also an HTC Vive Pro Eye version available that supports eye-tracking and fixed foveated rendering, priced at $799.
HTC Vive Cosmos Overview
HTC Vive Cosmos is a high-end wireless PC VR HTC headset with attractive, quality graphics, and less attractive inner tracking system issues.
Featuring an inside-out tracking system in the same manner as Rift S and Oculus Quest do, HTC Vive Cosmos inner tracking doesn't work as smoothly. A recommended solution is to purchase an external tracking system similar to that of HTC Vive Pro.
The headset is currently priced at $699 and includes a pair of controllers out-of-box. There’s also a Cosmos Elite version that comes with more accurate SteamVR external tracking and is priced at $899.
HTC vs Oculus: Video Comparison
Oculus Go Video Quality
Oculus Go comes with a 5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440 px 538 ppi LCD panel, and delivers a decent image quality that you wouldn't expect from a headset in its price range.
The device uses Fresnel lenses that became a major step-up from everything that was released prior to Oculus Go. The amount of Godrays was significantly reduced, especially in comparison to Oculus Rift CV1 and HTC Vive Pro.
On top of that, Oculus Go uses a full RGB stripe pixel display, where every pixel on screen is displayed by three subpixels. That makes Oculus Go nearly as good as HTC Vive Pro in terms of screen door effect, even though HTC’s screen resolution is significantly higher.
In fact, you can see in the below that the image quality of Oculus Go is not that far away from HTC Vive Pro, which is surprising given that the latter is almost three times more expensive.
Oculus Go comes with fixed foveated rendering that renders the center of the image sharper than its edges, optimizing overall headset performance.
Overall, its LCD display allows you to clearly see text and watch videos. However, it comes with some drawbacks. The refresh rate is at 72 Hz, which is lower than the standard 80 Hz for PCVR headsets nowadays. Even so, the display is still much better than flickering mobile phone-based VR systems that operate at 60 Hz.
Also, there’s a problem with rendering black tones, but the issue is pretty common among LCD displays in general. The field of view is around 101 degrees, which is slightly lower than Rift’s 110 degrees.
Oculus Rift S Video Quality
Compared to the original Rift CV1, Oculus Rift S is an all-around upgrade in the video department. It features a single 2560 x 1440 px LCD panel that operates at 80 Hz.
Although the specs don’t look that impressive on paper in comparison to Oculus Quest (2x 1600 x 1499 OLED), HTC Cosmos’s 2x 1600 x 1440 AMOLED 90 Hz, and even old Rift (OLED, 90 Hz), don’t let that fool you: the picture you get for the price is great. Plus, the difference between 80 Hz and 90 Hz isn’t noticeable at all.
That’s because Oculus Rift S comes with the same set of Fresnel lenses and RGP-stripe pixel display as Oculus Go, so there are far fewer issues with God rays. Due to the increased resolution, the quality of image is superior to both the original Rift and Oculus Go, and is closer to the HTC Vive Pro. The picture is clear, the colors are vibrant, and there’s minimal screen door effect.
The field of view is at 110 degrees, which is slightly better than that of the original Rift. Unfortunately, there's a drawback: Oculus Rift S doesn't have an IPD (interpupillary-distance) adjustment because it only has one LCD panel. Using the headset might cause additional strain on your eyes if your IPD isn’t within a sweet spot.
Lastly, black colors are not that black, which is an issue for LCD displays in general. This deficit really takes away from scary games and dark environments, but overall it’s not bad compared to what other headsets offer.
Oculus Quest Video Quality
Oculus Quest with its two 1440 x 1600 px Pentile OLED displays provide a clear, crisp image on par with Rift S, even though its refresh rate is set at 72 Hz. The refresh rate drop is barely noticeable compared to the original 90 Hz on the Rift due to the Oculus Quest using the same high-quality Fresnel lenses as the Oculus Rift S and Go have.
To optimize its performance, this portable headset also uses fixed foveated rendering in the same manner as Oculus Go, but the quality of image is better because of the higher resolution of the displays. It also deals better with black levels due to OLED displays.
HTC Vive Pro Video Quality
Even though HTC Vive Pro was released almost two years ago, it still offers one of the best optical experiences on the market now. Although, it’s pretty unfair to compare it with Rift S and Oculus Go headsets given that those cost two or three times less.
HTC Vive Pro comes with an 2880 x 1600 px 615 ppi OLED display at 90 Hz refresh rate and 110 degree field of view. It’s variation, HTC Vive Pro Eye, uses exactly the same display, so there’s no difference in the image quality between the two devices.
At such a great resolution, the OLED screen makes all the difference. The colors are pleasantly vibrant and the text and image is crisp and clear. It’s biggest advantage, compared to LCD-displays, comes from how well the HTC Vive Pro display handles black tones. The picture is pretty detailed, and HTC Vive Pro needs a pretty hefty PC to run on. However, it doesn’t require extreme PC configurations to run smoothly because it doesn’t have 4K resolution.
The HTC Vive Pro Eye version supports eye-tracking technology with foveated rendering. However, it works a bit differently than the Oculus Go and Quest devices with the same tech. Because the HTC Vive Pro Eye can track eye movements, it can render an object the user is looking at in a higher resolution. Both the Oculus Go and Oculus Quest have fixed foveated rendering and render the centre of a scene with more detail, no matter where the user looks.
HTC Vive Pro Eye foveated rendering in action. Source
HTC Vive Cosmos Video Quality
HTC positions Cosmos as a headset with the highest resolution on the VR market; which is true. The headset runs with two 3.4 inch LCD panels that have a combined resolution of 2880 x 1700 px at 90 Hz refresh rate and a field of view of 110 degrees.
The screen resolution is higher than both Oculus Rift S and Valve Index with almost no screen door effect. The colors look strong and natural, and even black tones look surprisingly well despite the LCD display. The same goes for God rays and glare effects that are managed relatively well, even in comparison to exemplary Rift S and Valve Index headsets.
The only drawback is that the field of view is limited due to the thick foam inlay that prevents users from getting closer to the lenses. For the same reason, the sweet spot is relatively small, which might cause additional blurring on the edges when the headset is being used.
Video Quality Summary
Both HTC headsets are slightly superior in terms of visual quality, yet the difference might not be justified in regards to the higher cost.
Oculus headsets tend to provide the most optimal visual quality for the price.
HTC vs Oculus: Audio Comparison
Oculus Go Audio Quality
Oculus Go audio reaches you via small air tubes located on the strap. The sound doesn’t come directly into your ears, but is released more so in front of them. Imagine holding two mobile phones close to your ears to get the idea. Thus, the sound is not isolated, and in a quiet room people close to you will be able to hear what you hear. On the flip side, you’ll be able to hear everything around you as well. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes it difficult to watch movies in a loud environment or hold private conversations through VR.
The quality of the sound itself is not great, but it’s surprisingly decent for a low-end headset. It lacks basses and dynamic range, but the highs and medium frequencies are there, which should be enough for most activities. Spatial audio can deliver some nice 3D-effects too.
That said, you can always plug in headsets through built-in 3.5 mm sockets and use earbuds or headphones instead. Unfortunately, Oculus Go doesn’t support Bluetooth headphones directly, so you might need a Bluetooth transmitter if you want to use wireless headphones.
Oculus Rift S Audio Quality
The Oculus Rift S built-in audio is not that great compared to its direct predecessor, Oculus Rift CV1, and there are few reasons why.
With the Rift S, Oculus made a switch from onboard headphones that were located directly over the ears, to a spatial audio system located in the headband. Rift S out-of-box audio is now more similar to that of Oculus Go and Quest.
While spatial audio worked okay for standalone headsets that benefit from less wires and straps, it was seen as a huge downgrade for a PCVR headset advertised as a step up from the original Rift. The change in audio was something Oculus fans just couldn’t let slide. The extensive criticism of built-in Rift S audio even forced Oculus developers to swiftly release an audio patch, which didn’t seem to help that much.
Compared to the original Rift, built-in Oculus Rift S audio lacks bass and immersion. The sound doesn't come directly into your ears, and there are issues with low volumes.
Overall, audio issues urged many Rift S customers to look for alternative audio solutions. You can use headphones to patch up the problem, connecting them with either standard 3.5 mm audio jack or using a Bluetooth PC adapter to connect wirelessly. Some customers even resort to 3D-printed headset mods that reproduce the original Rift’s audio handles for headphones or adapt existing solutions, like Koss portables and Bionik’s Mantis.
Koss Portable Mount: Source
Oculus Quest Audio Quality
Oculus Quest audio is pretty much the same directional audio system built into straps that Rift S offers. Therefore, it can be upgraded the same way as Rift S if you need to isolate the sound or increase its dynamic range.
HTC Vive Pro Audio Quality
HTC Vive Pro comes with a built-in headphones amplifier. They sound great, especially in comparison with built-in audio of cheaper headsets. The sound is balanced and clear, and there’s a volume controller on the left earcup. Built-in headphones also provide active noise cancellation with the option to enable “Alert” and “Conversation” pass-through modes. Like all the other headsets in this article, HTC Vive Pro also supports 3D audio.
However, there are two known issues with audio in HTC Vive Pro headsets.
First, sometimes people complain about a crackling and distorted audio. This, however, is purely a software issue and is usually resolved by selecting a proper audio output.
Second, some customers complain about the insufficient bass. This shortcoming has mostly to do with poor contact between ears and built-in headphones. These problems can be solved by either using 3D-printed clips or rubber bands.
HTC Vive Cosmos Audio Quality
There isn’t much to be said about HTC Vive Cosmos audio. The built-in headphones offer more or less the same quality of sound as those of HTC Vive Pro. They just feel a bit better in terms of design and durability. Apart from that, the sound is equally clear and loud enough.
Some people might have issues of putting them close enough to the ears. In that case, you can always resort to the third-party headphones or use similar modifications to what HTC Vive Pro customers use.
Audio Quality Summary
Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, and Oculus Rift S feature strap-in spatial audio. Unfortunately, users tend to upgrade the audio for more immersive experience.
HTC Vive Pro and Cosmos both come with built-in over the ear headphones that provide decent audio quality out-of-box. Although, the headphones might need some modifications if they’re don’t fit to your ears as well as you’d like.
HTC vs Oculus: Tracking & Precision Comparison
Oculus Go Tracking & Precision
Oculus Go supports only three degrees of freedom (3-DOF). It can track upward, downward, and rotational movements, but can’t recognize if you lean forward or backwards. This is, perhaps, one of the biggest limitations of the headset that contributes to its low cost.
For this reason, Oculus Go can’t be used for advanced roomscale simulations such as VR manufacturing training or sophisticated gaming experiences.
In addition, Oculus Go ships with a single lightweight controller, meaning the headset can’t be used for applications that involve using two hands. However, this limitation can be addressed by using third-party software such as VRidge that allows you to turn your mobile phone into a second 3-DOF controller. It won’t lift the limitation of three degrees of freedom, but can help with 3-DOF applications that use two controllers, e.g. Beat Saber.
The Oculus Go standard controller is lightweight and can be configured for either left or right-handed use. It has a thumbpad that acts as both trackpad and a button, and a single trigger at the back. You can also replace it with any supported wireless gamepad controller that supports Bluetooth connection.
Overall, Oculus Go doesn't have many tracking issues, which largely has to do with its simplicity.
Oculus Rift S Tracking & Precision
As opposed to Oculus Go, Oculus Rift S supports six degrees of freedom (6-DOF), making it possible to use the headset for complex VR interactions and roomscale applications.
However, unlike many other VR headsets, including original Oculus CV1 and HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Rift S doesn’t require any external sensor stations positioned across the room to track user movements. Rift S provides “inside tracking” through five cameras built into the headset that track controllers and user movements.
Here’s a video from Facebook that explains in details how inside-out tracking within Oculus Rift S works:
In terms of precision, initially Oculus Rift S inside-out tracking wasn’t perfect. Built-in cameras couldn’t properly track controllers too close to the headset, as well as when one controller occluded the other. However, these issues were swiftly addressed with patches just a month after the Rift S was released, dramatically improving Oculus Rift S tracking precision in general.
Unlike Valve Index, HTC Vive Pro and even Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S doesn’t support complete finger tracking and can only track index finger position at the moment. Although, there’s a possibility of that in the future.
As for the controls, Rift S comes with two wireless out-of-box controllers. Both of them feature face buttons for thumbs, a very sensitive pushable thumbsticks, a trigger button, and a button that mimics gripping. Those controllers are a slight variation of the original Rift Touch controllers, and are often considered among the most comfortable on the market.
Oculus Quest Tracking & Precision
Oculus Quest supports six degrees of freedom (6DOF) without any additional sensors and base stations required. The headset features four embedded cameras that allow it to track walking, leaning, ducking, and other movements, which is a huge step-up for a self-contained device, especially compared to Oculus Go.
The tracking itself is pretty accurate, even in dim lights. However, there might be occasional issues with bright light outdoor environments. It’s not recommended to use any Oculus VR headset outdoors though, as direct sunlight compromises the tracking capability of both the headset and controllers, while Fresnel lenses magnifying ability can damage displays.
The controllers are of the same high-quality as Rift S with haptic feedback and finger-tracking.
HTC Vive Pro Tracking & Precision
HTC Vive Pro uses a Lighthouse tracking system, which is one of the most precise roomscale tracking technology currently on the market. To use it, customers need to set up at least two base stations that are bought separately or within any of the pre-existing HTC Vive Pro kits. It’s also possible to use base stations from the older HTC Vive kits, however there will be a difference in tracking accuracy due to Base Stations 2.0 that come with HTC Vive Pro being more advanced.
SteamVR 2.0 Base Stations Source
Users can install up to four base stations, increasing the play area up to 10 m x 10 m (32 ft 10 in x 32 ft 10 in).
HTC Vive Pro can also track fingers and hand gestures with the help of dual cameras installed on the front of the headset. For full body tracking additional peripherals, such as VIVE Tracker, need to be purchased.
As for the controllers, they’re also purchased separately or as a part of a kit. Just like with base stations, you can also use controllers from the previous HTC Vive system, and there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
It’s worth mentioning that the HTC Vive Pro Eye version of a headset supports eye-tracking and facilitates a controller-free environment where users can start interactions by simply looking at something.
HTC Vive Cosmos Tracking & Precision
HTC Vive Cosmos features six inside-out tracking cameras positioned on the headset, which is three times more than Windows mixed reality headsets have and one more than Oculus Rift S has. Unfortunately, the tracking was dismal since the release.
There are many known issues with HTC Vive Cosmos’ inside-out tracking, including controller occlusion and a high sensitivity to the environment lighting. Its developers tried to improve the situation with a series of patches, but, unlike Oculus Rift S, weren’t too successful.
The ultimate solution was to revert back to the original external tracking, such as the one HTC Vive Pro uses. However, to enable external tracking, Cosmos users have to additionally purchase a faceplate and at least two external base stations. That, of course, has left many Cosmos customers unhappy due to the already high cost of the standalone headset version.
HTC Vive Cosmos controllers are standard: they have a thumb stick, a menu button, a trigger, a grip button, two face buttons, and are bulky in comparison to Oculus Touch controllers.
Tracking & Precision Summary
Oculus Go provides limited 3DOF tracking, while both Oculus Quest and Rift S feature decent 6DOF inside-out tracking for immersive VR experiences.
HTC Vive Pro wins in terms of tracking accuracy, but requires additional base stations that need to be purchased separately. Ultimately, HTC Cosmos is way behind the curve in terms of inside-out tracking compared to Oculus solutions.
HTC vs Oculus: Comfort Comparison
Oculus Go Comfort
First of all, Oculus Go is wireless. It doesn’t have to be connected to a PC to function, and it doesn't need any external sensors or base stations either. The whole process of configuring it for the first time takes no longer than five minutes and is pretty straightforward.
The headset is made of lightweight plastic and doesn't feel heavy on the face. With an overall weight of 468 grams, the device is almost the same weight as the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Pro. Oculus Go’s embedded display structure protects from the dust on the lenses, unlike simple mobile headset solutions.The device has adjustable straps to attach the headset to your head.
The main issue comes from the battery life: the battery works on average 2 - 2.5 hours, and requires approximately 3 hours to recharge. Although it’s possible to use Oculus Go while recharging, it’s not recommended because the headset gets noticeably hotter.
In regards to IPD, Oculus Go has no physical IPD adjustment, which might put additional strain on the eyes during the prolonged usage. However, the sweet spot in the lenses is huge, so Oculus Go accommodates most IPD distances.
Oculus Rift S Comfort
Unlike Oculus Go, Rift S is a cabled device, so there’s a cable management issue. However, because the device has inside-out tracking, it doesn’t require external sensors to operate. Therefore, there’s no need for multiple USB cables and the setup is as simple as with Oculus Go.
In comparison to the old Rift headset, Rift S comes with a new halo design, providing a super comfortable experience while using the headset. On the other hand, Oculus Rift S weighs a bit more than Oculus Go and original Rift (about 500 grams), so it feels a bit heavier than the original Rift in terms of frontal weight distribution.
Oculus Rift S also provides a useful pass-through mode that you can use to observe your surroundings without taking the headset off. Keep in mind, this feature was included into HTC headsets from the start.
One of the biggest issues for Oculus Rift S in terms of comfort is that the headset doesn’t provide any IPD adjustment. So, if the user’s IPD is above 68 mm or lower than 60 mm, looking at a virtual world through Rift S may be a bit discomforting. On the bright side, with Oculus Rift S you can manually adjust the lenses away from your eyes to accommodate glasses, while Oculus Quest doesn’t have such functionality.
The Rift S controllers are also lightweight and pretty comfortable to use, just like the original Rift ones. The only issue here is that the battery doors are held by magnets and can begin to slide off while the headset is in use.
Oculus Quest Comfort
As with Oculus Go, the main comfort-related perk for Oculus Go comes from a totally wireless experience: no PC, no cables, no additional periphery. The setup process is pretty simple and doesn’t take much time.
Compared to Oculus Rift S and Oculus Go, Oculus Quest is heavier on the front with its 571 grams of total weight.
The headset is mounted with a trio of head straps to accommodate for its increased weight. The rig generally feels pleasant, yet is less comfortable than the Rift S halo strap. Unlike Rift S, however, Oculus Quest provides a slider for manual IPD adjustment. It also has a pass-through, black-and-white mode to observe surroundings without having to take the device off.
Quests’ battery lasts for approximately 2 to 3 hours, and fully recharges via USB-C cable in about 2 hours.
HTC Vive Pro Comfort
HTC Vive Pro also needs to be connected to a PC. But, unlike Oculus Rift S, it takes significant time to set up HTC Vive Pro in a new environment because you also need base tracking stations and connecting cables. Overall, the cable management was improved in comparison to previous HTC models: the bundle of cables placed on top of the wearer’s head was replaced with a slim cable routed around the headset. On the back of the headset there’s a knob to adjust how firmly the device sits on the head.
HTC Vive Pro can also be augmented with a VIVE Wireless Adapter that allows for untethered operation.
The controllers are heavier than Oculus Touch controllers and are overall less comfortable to use. Even so, the difference isn’t too dramatic.
Like all HTC headsets, HTC Vive Pro provides an IPD knob located in the bottom corner of the headset to manually adjust the distance between lenses.
HTC Vive Cosmos Comfort
Although it’s a PCVR headset, Cosmos supports out-of-box wireless operation. If you are playing casual games or passively watching videos or scenes, the set-up isn’t difficult. But, if users decide to upgrade Cosmos tracking system with external base stations, the setup would be more similar to that of HTC Vive Pro, minus some cables.
In terms of comfort, HTC Cosmos offers a new halo head strap design, which feels more comfortable than what HTC Vive Pro offers. The headset weighs 645 grams and feels heavier on the front than any other headset in this guide.
There’s an IPD adjustment wheel on the front panel, but the sweet spot between 61.3 mm and 73.3 mm is relatively low. People with IPD less than 60 may feel uncomfortable when using the headset for longer periods.
As already mentioned, the controllers are unnecessary bulky. Each of them weighs approximately 211 g, which is 50 grams more than Oculus Touch controllers. The difference is especially perceptible with applications that involve lots of hand movements.
Oculus Go is a simple, lightweight, easy-to-setup, tetherless headset that provides great comfort. However, it requires frequent recharging. Oculus Rift S is a bit heavier, yet compensates that with a new convenient halo design. Oculus Quest is a heavier version of Oculus Go in terms of comfort, but, unlike both the aforementioned, provides manual IPD adjustment.
HTC is a relatively-comfortable headset that requires pretty thorough external setup. HTC Cosmos is the heaviest headset of all, although it can operate wirelessly out-of-box.
As for the controllers, Oculus Touch controllers are superior to HTC ones in terms of ergonomics and design.
Business Applications: Oculus vs HTC
Oculus For Business
Oculus Go, given its balance of low price and decent quality, as well as self-contained headset experience, is a perfect match for businesses that can make use of simple VR simulations. Practical cases may include 360 training videos, explanatory guides, expos, or very simple demo interactions.
Taking into account how limited the Oculus Go tracking system is, the headset can’t be used for complex VR training simulations such as manufacturing training or aviation safety guides.
Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, purchased 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to strengthen their inner associate training program over three main areas: soft skills, customer services, and new technology. According to Walmart executives, Oculus Go-based VR training instilled additional confidence in workers, as well as boosted the training retention levels and increased test scores by 10-15 percent.
Nissan developed a TECH DRIVE simulation that ran on Oculus Go headsets and allowed potential customers to experience the latest Nissan safety and driving technology. Using the VR simulation, guests can observe how a car handles different driving situations without having to recreate potentially dangerous scenarios in real life.
Unfortunately, Facebook recently withdrew the support for Oculus Go from their Oculus for Business platform. The Circuit Stream platform, however, provides full support for Oculus Go business applications, as well as for more than ten other different VR devices.
On the other side, Oculus Quest with its advanced 6DOF tracking capabilities is positioned by Facebook as a full-fledged replacement for Oculus Go; even though the headset has a slightly higher price.
It’s increased mobility as a self-contained headset facilitates quickly setting VR training environments without having to use PC stations or additional periphery.
Recently, Ford Motor Company in cooperation with Bosch announced that they were using an Oculus Quest-based virtual reality solution for training Mach-E technicians. The VR simulation allows workers to “understand components and steps required to service these high-voltage systems, then confidently perform diagnostics and maintenance.” In the future, Ford may expand their VR training to other vehicles.
Oculus Rift S, compared to Oculus Quest, has both downsides and upsides. The image quality is slightly better, as is tracking. Furthemore, Rift S allows for prolonged periods of simulation as it gets power directly from PC, while Oculus Quest has to be recharged every few hours. But Rift S lacks mobility that Quest offers and requires a PC to function.
All in all, for most VR training and business simulations, Oculus Quest is a preferred option. That is, aside from cases where the simulations are particularly lengthy and last longer than 3 hours on a constant basis. In these cases, there are still better options that we’ll mention below.
HTC For Business
HTC Vive Pro faces the same dilemma as Oculus Rift S: being a tethered, PC-dependent solution that also requires external sensors to properly operate. However, the device offers better image quality and tracking capabilities compared to Rift S, so it can facilitate more immersive environments.
Adidas, a multinational manufacturer, is an excellent case study. The company uses HTC Vive Pro headsets for creating shared virtual spaces. In these spaces, Adidas product and design teams effectively develop, assess, alter, or reassess new and existing products.
Previously, Adidas employees collaborated using 2D sketches, approximations, and verbal discussions. These techniques led to siloed decisions, false interpretations, and the loss of critical information. Now the Adidas team members work together in front of 3D products in real-time, greatly reducing the number of errors, bottlenecks, and inefficient workflows.
HTC designed the HTC Vive Pro Eye businesses. Although, it’s not that different from HTC Vive Pro apart from the added eye-tracking and fixed foveated rendering features.
It has its business use cases, especially if companies want to track where their customers direct their attention or to increase the virtual image quality without spending more on graphical resources.
BMW partnered with NVIDIA and Zerolight to create a virtual reality simulation. Their simulation allows customers to configure, explore, and even sit inside virtual BMW vehicles.
While customers can instantly customize vehicles to their taste or interact with different parts of a car in virtual reality, BMW can track to where their customers direct attention the most and understand how they interact with digital products; further optimizing the experience.
HTC Vive Cosmos, as it stands with less-than-decent inside-out tracking and high price tag, has yet to be justified as a sound business investment.
Special Mention: Valve Index For Business
Having developed and optimized tens of different VR applications, including business VR simulations for training, collaboration, and marketing, we’ve tested all of the headsets currently available on the market.
Although this article is primarily focused around Oculus and HTC solutions for virtual reality, we have to mention that headset is currently the leading option for complex business VR solutions where precision and tactile feedback are of the utmost importance.
The Lighthouse tracking system, which is currently used by all HTC headsets, was originally developed by Valve. Valve Index uses an improved version of this tracking system. Therefore, its tracking accuracy is precise and provides accurate finger tracking; making microgestures in VR seem remarkably real.
Our Circuit Stream team used Valve Index to create an VR training solution for INVISTA; a multinational integrated fiber, resin, and intermediates company. The VR solutions we made for them needed to reproduce stringing a textiles machine. The stringing process is complicated, involving a complex fiber-management process that requires precision and instant tactile feedback.
This VR simulation helped INVISTA cut their employee training time by up to 50%, save millions of dollars in operational time and raw materials, and improve overall operator safety. If you want to learn more about the implementation, and all the additional benefits of using VR in such a complex environment, read our case study.
Or, join our free demo and see the Valve Index in a real use-case scenario.
We’ve tried all of the above headsets in different projects, and here’s what we found.
Oculus Go tends to be the perfect headset for casual VR experiences and lightweight business applications. It offers untethered access and an overall simple and intuitive set up process.
Oculus Quest slowly becomes an all-around replacement for Oculus Go. It offers better quality and wider functionality for a slightly-higher price.
Oculus Rift S remains a popular choice mostly for personal use. Compared to Oculus Quest, it offers a wider range of games, as well as slight improvements in tracking and graphics. The device also enables longer VR sessions because it’s PC-powered doesn't require recharging. Overall, it’s a very appealing personal VR device for an adequate price.
HTC Vive Pro still provides one of the best experiences in terms of visual quality on the market. However, it costs almost three times more than Oculus devices, which really diminishes its “value-for-the-price” factor. In terms of business applications, HTC Vive Pro is getting a bit outdated and its Eye version is yet to find solid support from businesses.
HTC Cosmos is a consumer-targeted headset with tracking issues that overcome all of its strengths, leaving the headset’s high price even more unjustified.
Valve Index, a PCVR for more or less the same price, outperforms HTC headsets by a large margin in every aspect: visuals, audio, comfort, controls and precision. Its specs and performance leave no foreseeable future for the current HTC products within the existing business VR landscape.
There are other headsets out there that serve particular interests as well. Playstation VR has its own headset for gaming while Varjo, Pimax, and HP Reverb with their 4k resolution (and price point) target enterprise sector.
We hope our guide will help you to make the most balanced decision. The VR market changes rapidly, and we’ll be updating this article as soon as new products and information emerge. Stay tuned and stay informed!
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