Regardless of commercial or personal use VR will always need a launcher to help manage your experience. Think of it as a VR concierge, fetching your valuables and keeping you informed with helpful knowledge.
Springboard VR was started by a small team who had been running their own arcade. Using their knowledge of customer management in VR they not only made their own lives much easier but paved the way to smooth operations for many other businesses around the world. Springboard VR shows video demos to customers, ranks games by difficulty, allows for easy calls for help and time management. This fluid experience maximises the customers time interacting with VR. While it remains to be seen how Springboard does in terms of ROI this is certainly a business for the long term, it’s value in location based VR is never going to go away. Its ability to remove the headache of commercial licensing alone is a huge benefit to start up businesses.
Steam VR is one of the most established VR platforms and operates on Oculus, Windows MR and Vive. It has the benefit of direct plug in to experiences, opposed to springboard which runs over the top, this brings a small decrease in load times and processes running on the CPU. It’s design is very much for home use and requires an experienced hand to operate some of its finer features. When used in an arcade operators need to be very aware of the customers experience at all times, unless they are well used to the platform. Steam does allow for direct commercial licenses of most of their games to be brought for a monthly fee, this is often highly costly but simple.
More and more systems are popping up as the demand grows and the hunt for the most effective business models continues. Immotion is currently working on our own Oxygen system for bespoke content and machine management. Having control end to end will offer the smoothest service and keep costs low for businesses wanting to offer VR that is unique and cannot be achieved at home. While VR arcades find their feet the race will be on to stay ahead as VR breaks into the consumer market in more and more meaning ways.