Our clients ask if their Matterport virtual tours can be seen in a VR headset. Yes, all tours are VR-ready. Notice the VR icon on the bottom right corner and click it to view in a Oculus Quest browser.
One advantage is to get an immersive experience. The other is to be able to interact with the tour using controllers. So, the user can move from one scan point to another.
Look for the VR icon in the bottom right corner of any Matterport tour. Click on it when the virtual tour loads in the browser (Meta Quest’s browser is launched from universal menu – Apps) and you’ll now be interacting with the Matterport model from a VR headset. There’s a sample tour of a public policy college in Hyderabad, at the end of this article.
The Mattertags (blue icons in the tour that provide additional info on the equipment) are not visible in VR mode though. Still, there is quite a bit of difference watching a showroom in a desktop or mobile, compared to a virtual reality headset.
Before you dismiss the technology as something for advanced Matterport users, gamers and kids, go over the entire article because you’ll be coming across these exciting new concepts very soon.
Enter the Metaverse
This super-cool VR headset is the newly-launched Meta Quest Pro. For the unversed, Oculus is now Meta. So if you were looking for an Oculus Quest 2 to show your Matterport tour to your customers, you’d rather buy this one because it is backward compatible. Yes, Matterport tours are viewable in this latest device.
Shown above is the Meta Quest Pro headset and controllers in the charging dock.
Notice how the rear end of the headset is somewhat similar to the front part. This is a weight-balancing design that reduces fatigue while wearing the device for extended periods.
Eye fatigue and nausea are common for those who use VR headsets for prolonged periods. This is a good time to talk about VR vs AR vs MR.
In VR, you’re seeing something that’s not really in front of you. For instance a Matterport tour of a museum while you’re sitting in your office. What you see has nothing to do with what’s around you, so those are virtual.
In AR, you’re seeing something that can be imposed on an object in front of you. For example, you can see the new iPad Pro in your desk, or an animal in your floor. This is augmented (adding on to something).
The third is a combination of VR and AR – that is Mixed Reality.
The Meta Quest Pro is a MR headset because it allows you to see what’s in front of you and doesn’t actually block your vision fully. Here’s a video to explain this better:
The designers in the video are using items in front of them to communicate with their colleges who are in a different location. So that’s the world of Mixed Reality.
Facebook as a social media platform is exploring how individuals can create avatars of themselves and collaborate in a meeting room, for instance. The possibilities in gaming and entertainment are endless, but for our purposes, let’s stick to business.
Collaboration Made Easy
Life is not all rosy when you’re no longer an individual contributor. Collaboration is not only necessary but also inevitable.
Let’s take the below situation. Here, the team is discussing a project using Microsoft HoloLens 2 MR devices. Think of the amount of time they’ve saved by being able to actually visualise and communicate.
Similarly, the MR tech is popularly used in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, education and other fields. They are applicable in many verticals, like Matterport tours.
The HoloLens is designed for business purposes and not for recreation, yet.
There are holograms that adapt to your environment, like staying fixed on a table. Advanced VR headsets factor in many parameters like your head movement, eye movement, hand gestures, voice commands, etc.
In Industrial training or any other training session for that matter, mixed reality can make a big difference – using holograms to explain something.
With virtual tours, there is still the need to capture a location with a professional 360° camera, which is where we come in. This data is then used by developers to add layers above it or to create holograms from it to give an actual immersive experience to the user.
As an individual, you may not be able to purchase the HoloLens but wait for the Meta Quest Pro to be released in India.
Another company at the forefront of VR innovation is HTC Vive. The Focus 3 is an enterprise headset with 5K resolution. Other highlights include Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, 120° field of view and a 90 Hz refresh rate.
The ergonomics is balanced with a quick release for detachable face and rear cushions. This is particularly important for showrooms or customer experience centres where multiple customers may use the same headset. The cushions, although sweat-proof, can be easily sanitised before the next person uses.
Unlike any other VR headset, the Vive Focus 3 has an active cooling system. This fan gives the much-needed comfort while spending hours in the Metaverse. The advanced hand tracking technology offers click, drag, scroll and typing options. The face, eye and wrist tracking accessories make your avatar a tad more realistic.
Look and Leap
The Magic Leap 2 is an advanced AR device for enterprises that’s about twice as expensive as the HoloLens 2. Matterport uses the older Chrome or Firefox browsers, so it may not work with modern headsets, like the Vive Focus 3 or Magic Leap 2.