The fast-emerging concept of virtual reality has opened the door to training opportunities that were thought impossible just a few years ago. Suddenly, you can build content that isn’t just engaging your employees but giving them actionable advice in an immersive environment.
At the same time, embracing VR training has to include more than just a fascination with the concept and the development of some great content. You also have to make sure that your trainees have the right equipment to make the most of this opportunity.
Especially for larger and dispersed organizations, that means three things: portability, affordability, and scalability. When taking these factors into account, a pair of VR glasses that are perfect for a small group of employees may be unaffordable or difficult to use for larger groups. So without further ado, here are the top three best and worst virtual reality glasses for your VR training courses.
The Three Best Glasses for Virtual Reality Learning
1. Oculus Rift
In many ways, the Facebook-owned Oculus is the pioneer of VR. Its signature headset, the Oculus Rift, tethers to a PC, allowing you to connect complex and even interactive content to its lenses.
That capability, of course, comes with a price. The Oculus Rift is available for $500 per item, making it difficult to scale for larger training initiatives. On the other hand, its interactive opportunities give it the edge for hands-on professions, while the prestige of the name makes it perfect for executive education.
2. Acer’s Windows 10 Headset
Think of it as a more budget-conscious alternative to the Oculus Rift VR glasses. Like its better-known counterpart and as its name suggests, Acer’s Windows 10 headset will be tethered to a Windows computer to draw its processing power, which allows for interactive content.
At the same time, Acer’s alternative comes in at $300 per unit, making it more affordable than most other tethered VR headsets available on the market today. It is also portable, allowing you to ship it to a dispersed workforce.
3. Google Cardboard
For learning departments with limited budgets, Google’s Cardboard is by far the most cost-friendly option. Available for as little as $15, it offers basic VR capabilities for anyone with a smartphone. The design is consciously cheap and portable, consisting of the material that gives this headset its name.
While it is the most scalable option available, one note of caution for this virtual reality training option: interactivity is not possible. Your content will be limited to passive viewings of VR videos, which - depending on the industry and subject matter of the training - may limit your educational options.
The Three Worst Glasses for Virtual Reality Training Courses
1. LG 360 VR
Built by one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world, this headset should provide a viable alternative to Google Cardboard as an affordable, scalable training opportunity. Unfortunately, the quality of the product says otherwise.
Low video quality is the first drawback many reviews will mention. Due to both light leakage and lagging images, it can induce headaches - an especially big problem for longer training content. Also, this headset has to be connected via a wire to a specific LG phone, making it difficult to use for diverse audiences. The price tag of $99 is not worth it for training opportunities, given that cheaper alternatives like Google Cardboard exist.
2. HTC Vive
According to most reviews, the HTC Vive has surpassed the Oculus Rift glasses as the most powerful and capable VR headset on the market. Unfortunately, that advantage manifests itself in a price upwards of $800, making it difficult to scale for most organizations.
The capabilities of this option are undoubtedly enticing. But the price, along with the relatively bulky equipment that makes it difficult to ship, should lead most learning professionals to stay away. The HTC Vive is above all a gaming headset, not ideally suited for virtual reality training programs.
3. Google Daydream
On its surface, Google Daydream is at once affordable and capable of some interactivity - making it a potential fit for most virtual reality learning opportunities. That is until you realize that despite its $79 price tag, this headset only works and showcases its capabilities with Google Pixel phones.
That in turn, makes scalability an inherent problem. The chances are that the majority of your workforce will either use iPhones or Android phones. Unless you plan to distribute Pixels with the Daydream to engage in training (which drives up costs significantly), a more broadly adaptable headset will be a better choice for your eLearning needs.
Building a Comprehensive Virtual Reality Training Program
Choosing the right glasses is a vital part of making sure that your employees can make the most of your VR training courses. You need to make sure that the content is easily accessible and viewable for a wide range of audiences. At the same time, building quality content, and integrating that content into a larger training program, is just as vital.
The delivery needs to be just right. Ideally, your employees should be guided by a comprehensive model in which each step allows them to build their skill set and knowledge. Depending on their role and prior experience, they may need to follow different learning paths.
That’s where an effective Learning Management Solution comes into play. A platform like Knowledge Anywhere allows you to build customized training opportunities at every level of your organization, built for both local and remote employees. Visit our website to learn more about the opportunity, as well as your ability to build virtual reality courses into your training program.