Last week, Facebook officially announced the Oculus Go at its f8 conference, and the device was made available to consumers shortly thereafter. It sold out in less than 30 minutes. We wanted to share our perspective, because here at STRIVR, we’ve put more headsets on real customers over the last three years than just about anyone else in the industry. This has given us really good insight as to what people like and don’t like when using VR. We’ve also been pitched just about every new headset under the sun, so we have quite a high bar for quality.
The Oculus Go is the newest VR headset with some features the VR community has been anxiously waiting for since the Rift and Vive debuted to consumers in 2016. Perhaps the most important among those features is that the Go is completely untethered. Yes, that’s right, a truly wireless device; no cords, no need to attach to a computer, and no mobile phone for the display. It simply connects to WiFi to download a virtual experience and then the user can enjoy the experience at any time, either using WiFi or completely offline.
What’s our take? Overall, we’re impressed—Oculus did an excellent job with the Go, and it represents a major leap forward for the entire VR ecosystem. Go is a fantastic device both ergonomically and from a visual perspective. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and the controller is both easy to hold and easy to use. The visual display is the best we’ve seen to date, even in comparison with some of the headsets that claim to be 4K per eye (and by the way, are the size of a small UFO on your head). The Go’s best attribute is its overall usability. Lack of tether, ergonomics, and quality of display are beyond any other device, distinguishing it in our testing. The Oculus Go is the beginning of a new world in which VR becomes more accessible in both price point and usability.
So, now that the Go is available, is it right for you? We’ve had access to Oculus Go for some time now and in some of our test experiences it outperformed the Oculus Rift. We have already begun rolling out the headsets with some of our customers. These customers are scaling VR training to multiple, geographically dispersed locations and want more affordable hardware that takes up less space; they will mainly use the Go for daily, self-paced training in VR. By making multiple headsets available and strategically placing them in classrooms, on factory floors, or in offices, our customers can deliver this powerful training more often and to more employees. Some of our customers are even designating entire rooms in their facilities as “VR rooms”—designed for 24/7 access to virtual training.
The truth is, Go vs. Rift, Go vs. GearVR, Go vs. Daydream, or Go vs. any other device is really a moot point until we learn how you will incorporate STRIVR training into your existing talent development lifecycle. Where, when and how will you use STRIVR? If Go is the right hardware for the job based on the implementation strategy, then we’ll recommend it. If Rift is better, we’ll recommend that. And so on. The important thing is to get the hardware right relative to the use-case, especially from the beginning. We tell customers all the time not to worry about saving a couple thousand dollars on hardware when getting VR off the ground. It’s critical that the initial implementation goes well or you may not get another chance. We ask customers to identify how they’re going to use VR within their talent development process, and then we recommend the best way forward, both today and in the future.
There have been a handful of watershed moments for VR in the last three years. We were honored to be a major part of one of them last year. The release of Oculus Go has a real chance to be the next. Stay tuned…