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Oculus Quest for Business: An Enterprise-focused Overview of Capabilities & Caveats

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Last month Oculus released the Oculus for Business program for enterprise customers. The company promises a secure and reliable VR solution for enterprise customers with the capability to manage VR deployments and have a tailored in-headset experience. Is this the new backbone of immersive technology built with the enterprise in mind; is user friendliness and adaptability at the core of this technology? Read on to find out.

Guest Article by Onno Bos

Based in Switzerland, Onno is a freelance senior solution architect working on a virtual reality platform for a multinational enterprise. He has previously worked on large scale cloud and SAAS implementations. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

I have been working with Oculus for Business, preparing my client to deploy VR at large scale and integrate it with internal solutions. During this time the team reviewed both the software and hardware to understand their key capabilities and the challenges to overcome. I would like to give a first hand insight into the Oculus for Business platform that I have learned from this period. I will use seven qualities of enterprise solutions to review the capabilities of the platform: user experience, availability, performance, scalability, adaptability, security and economy.

First, a quick primer. What is Oculus for Business?

Oculus offers a platform called Oculus for Business which is built on Facebook Workplace. Oculus for Business is presented as a secure and reliable VR solution for enterprises. It includes software to set up and manage VR headset deployments, a tailored in-headset experience, and enterprise-grade customer support.

Image courtesy Oculus

The only hardware the company offers with these capabilities is its Quest headset with a custom built enterprise specific operating system and a SAAS offering to manage VR headsets in the cloud. The headset costs around $1,000 which includes a one year license of $180 and a 24-month warranty and customer support. That is a steep price for a device that is not constantly used like a computer or mobile phone; at that price point the device will mainly be used for specific tasks as a shared device (for example to complete a training course).

User Experience

Oculus for Business software has a simple intuitive user interface that is built on top of Facebook Workplace design principles. The menus are clear and easy to understand. The navigation is simple, no additional training required. However the user interface is missing key functionalities for deploying large numbers of headsets. There is no search functionality to find or filter specific devices in a list. You can’t add additional metadata to a headset easily identify it by your own criteria, and there is no functionality to export a list of devices from the application.

Scalability

The device on-boarding process of Quest through Oculus for Business is simple, however a time consuming activity. For on-boarding there is an Android app from Oculus (no iOS app available at this time); you can onboard up 25 devices at the same time, however you need to have access to a good wireless network with access to the internet to complete the setup successfully. Plan your time well, if you plan to on-board a large number of devices you will need a considerable amount of time.

Image courtesy Oculus

Enterprises with a large number of mobile devices accessing company network resources tend to use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like MobileIron or Workspace ONE. Oculus for Business will overlap with your MDM solutions in the organisation.

Functionalities like certificate delivery, remote wipe, remote lock, and device pincode enforcement can only be done with your MDM solution. The Oculus Quest headset runs on Android fork which doesn’t contain Android for Enterprise, which means that functionality like ‘silent deployment’ of certificates, VPN, and automatic proxy configuration is not possible. This can only be done with help of the IT department and must be done for each headset individually.

Oculus for Business offers the functionality to deploy your own VR content to multiple headset at the same time without any manual actions required. To distribute content to your headsets, the system will trigger a process on your headset to download the content using a URL that you specify. If your download location uses HTTPS you will need to use the certificates that are signed with trusted authority and not a certificate signed by your organisation. The only option to secure your download location is by adding custom request headers, no other protocols or certificates are supported. Oculus for Business doesn’t offer any concept of enterprise content stores for self-service and you can’t install a VR application using your own MDM solution or using manual side-loading.

Adaptability

The Oculus Quest headset available as part of Oculus for Business is specifically tailored for enterprise. After you put on the headset you enter the main menu area which is simplified compared to the consumer version; all settings have been hidden from the end-user behind an admin menu which can only be accessed using a pin code and the Oculus application store has been removed.

SEE ALSO

34 VR Apps for Remote Work, Education, Training, Design Review, and More

This means that content needs to be pushed to the headset and there are no options from the user to download content from Oculus store or an enterprise store. It would to be able to customize the look and feel of the main menu area to the needs of the customer, however this is currently not possible.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-for-business-enterprise-review-overview-capabilities-caveats/

AR/VR

MLB The Show heads to Game Pass, and Mario has passed away | GB Decides 190

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Join Transform 2021 for the most important themes in enterprise AI & Data. Learn more.


On this week’s episode of the GamesBeat Decides podcast, reviews editor Mike Minotti shares some deeply troubling information about the nature of the game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Also, Mike and fellow editor Jeff Grubb talk about MLB The Show launching on Xbox Game Pass, Mario’s death, and Balan Wonderworld. Join us, won’t you?

GamesBeat

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/04/02/mlb-the-show-heads-to-game-pass-and-mario-has-passed-away-gb-decides-190/

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AR/VR

Solaris: Offworld Combat Gets PSVR Physical Launch In June, Planned Digital Release In May

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Solaris: Offworld Combat is coming to PSVR this June with a physical release from Perp Games. According to a First Contact Entertainment representative, the digital version is planned to release a month earlier in May.

Perp Games on Twitter: “We’re not finished just yet. Solaris Offworld Combat is the next game to be getting a physical box release. Coming in June to global markets! Will you be buying it? https://t.co/5sphrqsh10” / Twitter

Solaris: Offworld Combat on PSVR

Originally, Solaris was coming to PSVR late last year around the same time as the Quest and PC VR version of the game but got delayed. Now, it’s slated for release in just a couple of months.

The latest VR shooter from First Contact Entertainment (creators of Firewall Zero Hour) is a sci-fi competitive VR shooter that feels a bit like Quake in VR due to its speed and intense arena levels. It’s a very breezy, fast-paced game that’s accessible and easy to quickly jump in and out of. The closest comparison is probably Hyper Dash.

Soalris is a notable release because other than Firewall Zero Hour, there really haven’t been many options for shooter fans on PSVR. Alvo is coming soon too, but the headset is on its last legs at this point.

The PS Aim Controller continues to be one of the best things about the PSVR platform, so I’m all for seeing more games support it, but it’s a shame games like this didn’t hit PSVR earlier in its life cycle. Hopefully PSVR 2 on PS5 is backwards compatible and it can give late-life cycle games like this one new life when it releases.

Solaris is coming to PSVR very soon with a planned digital release in May and physical release from Perp Games in June. For more on this game make sure and read our Solaris: Offworld Combat review and stay tuned for all the latest in VR.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/solaris-offworld-combat-gets-psvr-physical-launch-in-june-planned-digital-release-in-may-6067883a7b61f2d57cc2aa70?s=rss

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Black Box VR Developers Share Thoughts on the History and Future of VR Fitness

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The VR fitness genre is still relatively new, all things considered. Even though the space is still somewhat niche, it’s absolutely growing at a fast pace as seen by the number of games and players that continue to spring up. How did we get to this point though, you might ask?

Continue reading on VR Fitness Insider.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/black-box-vr-developers-share-thoughts-on-the-history-and-future-of-vr-fitness-60677f1588a4542c7b3f4922?s=rss

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US Army Signs Contract For Wide-FoV HoloLens Headsets From Microsoft

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Microsoft won a large US Army contract to supply advanced AR headsets for frontline soldiers, based on the HoloLens platform.

The US Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program aims to equip infantry with AR helmets for situational awareness and convenient display of sensor outputs.

The contract is worth up to $21.88 billion over 5-10 years. While the order has been widely reported as 120,000 units, a US Army statement to Breaking Defence suggests that is the maximum, not a fixed quantity.

Early evaluation units based on HoloLens 2

In 2018 Microsoft won the $480 million evaluation contract for just over 2500 units, based on HoloLens 2 with some modifications and an extra sensor.

The current, ruggedized, upgraded IVAS

The evaluation found the hardware not rugged enough for military use, and identified problems with the sensors at night. Since then the hardware has been significantly upgraded. It’s more ruggedized and houses many more sensors.

The field of view has been significantly increased from roughly 40°x30° to 80°x40°. That’s significantly wider than any other see-through AR headset on the market.

Reported use cases for the headset include:

  • overlaying icons on friendly units, objectives, threats, and points of interest
  • built-in night vision & thermal view modes
  • live picture-in-picture feeds from drones, including the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) personal drone
  • simulated weapons & enemies for training exercises
  • scanning nearby people for high temperature (COVID-19)
  • facial recognition for hostage rescue situations

The Army is also testing integrations with vehicles, such as soldiers being able to see-through the walls of the armored vehicle carrying them. That means on dismounting they’ll be situationally aware.

Some Microsoft employees have protested providing technology for the military, but that’s unlikely to have any effect given the enormous potential value of the contract.

IVAS is still in the late testing & evaluation stage, and the scale of deployment will depend on future budgets. But if things go to plan, frontline soldiers could be equipped with these game-changing AR capabilities by the end of the decade.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/us-army-signs-contract-for-wide-fov-hololens-headsets-from-microsoft-60674ff1b6ff13366d9363db?s=rss

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