GPU Caddy (optional):
Assuming your existing laptop or desktop has a USB-3/Thunderbolt 3 connector, e.g. the latest generation of MacBooks and similar, you can also utilise an external GPU caddy which can house a graphics card of your choice. Just check that your chosen one does not have a proprietary connector like Alienware Graphics Amplifier for instance.
- BizonBox 3 starting at £225 + VAT; and NVidia GTX 1080 starting at £430 + VAT
Works with all Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops including MacBooks.
- Razer Core V2 starting at £390 + VAT; and NVidia GTX 1060 starting at £230 + VAT
Works well with Razer Stealth/Blade and some Windows laptops only.
- Many more…
Large TV Screen (optional but recommended):
Apart from a PC we also recommend getting a large TV screen so that spectators can see the same visual feed as the person with the VR headset on. This helps with induction, navigation and overall engagement of the audience. Any screen with HDMI input will do.
Room-scale VR is by far our preferred option since the user can navigate freely within several square meters of available office space either through physical walking or via virtual teleporting. The downside is that this setup is less portable and requires calibration (~10 min) each time the sensors are moved to a new location so it is not as convenient for client-site presentations and trade shows as the portable VR listed below. However, for permanent installations we highly recommend this headset especially as it has a wireless add-on option.
- HTC Vive Business Edition starting at £980 + VAT
Includes deluxe audio strap, 2 tracking base stations, 2 wireless controllers, 4 face cushions and 5m cable exntension.
HTC Vive Consumer Edition starting at £500 + VATCheaper, however, it voids the warranty if used in commercial environment. Includes 2 tracking base stations, 2 wireless controllers, 2 face cushions.
Tripods (optional but highly recommended):
HTC Vive comes with mounting brackets to attach the tracking base stations to the wall. Assuming you’d prefer not to drill holes within your office environment, you will also need to procure some form of photographic light stands so that the base stations can be positioned above the height of a human on the opposite sides of the available VR space. The base stations come with standard 1/4 inch photographic mounts, one at the back and one at the bottom. Just remember that you will need two such stands and any of the following will be sufficient.
- 2 x Faith SpeedLight Stand starting at £41 + VAT.
The cheapest, lightest and most portable stands with built-in tilting head and small footprint.
- 2 x Konig & Meyer One Hand Microphone Stand starting at £40 + VAT; and 2 x Cullmann Cross Ballhead CB2.7 starting at £20 + VAT.
Microphone stands with sufficient height, heavy base and very small footprint.
- 2 x Manfrotto Nano Stand starting at £36 + VAT; and 2 x Manfrotto 492 Micro Ball Head starting at £32 + VAT.
Arguably the most popular stands for VR, however, they have a large footprint which helps with stability but limits the available space.
Wireless add-on (optional):
TPCast is a company associated with HTC that provides a wireless add-on for the Vive headset. This enables a truly untethered experience without the possibility of getting tangled in the headset cables. However, it is slightly more fiddly to set up and it comes with a dedicated router to enable wireless signal transmission. The provided battery pack lasts about 5 hours so it is highly recommended you buy a spare one, too.
An alternative to a full room-scale VR is Oculus Rift. This relies on different tracking technology, although the specification of the headset itself is nearly identical to that of HTC Vive. The main advantage of Oculus is its portability since the tracking cameras need to be calibrated only once and can easily be repositioned in a new location as the tracking is fairly forgiving. In theory, it is possible to set up full room tracking by utilising more cameras from Oculus, however, for such a setup we would recommend HTC Vive instead. Note that the tracking cameras are placed on a table and thus do not require wall mounting or additional stands.
- Oculus Rift + Touch starting at £332 + VAT
Includes 2 tracking sensors and 2 touch controllers.
At 3D Repo we already broke one because the headstrap attachment is not as strong as that of HTC Vive. Therefore, we recommend caution when travelling with Oculus Rift to different locations.