How to activate Kiosk Mode on the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go is widely regarded as the first consumer headset that is suitable for general use. VR headsets for PC like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require some technical expertise and are more expensive, and simple smartphone cradles like the Gear VR and the Google Cardboard require separate hardware to function.

The user friendly approach of the Go makes it a great solution for presentations, events and commercial use. Unfortunately the standard interface does not allow a professional user to limit the functionality to a particular app or video. Is it possible to use this VR headset in Kiosk Mode?

Why use Kiosk Mode?

Every business user that has ever handed an electronic device over to a customer knows how important a Kiosk Mode is for commercial use. If you show a video on a tablet you don’t want the user to switch apps, if you show an interactive PowerPoint presentation on a laptop you don’t want the user to format the hard drive by mistake. It’s pretty straightforward to turn off interactive features on these devices, making them ideal for commercial presentations and Point of Sale exhibitions.

Oculus Go for presentations

VR headsets are interactive by definition. Even a passive 360 video requires the viewer to physically wear the device. This poses a problem for business use, in particular during a crowded event without a direct view on the screen.

A simple Kiosk Mode for Oculus GO that allows the exhibitor to limit the interactions makes the process much easier and more reliable. For instance; booting the device on a single app or playing a looping video. The Oculus Go is a portable and wireless device that would be perfect for commercial applications … in theory at least.

Activating the Kiosk mode

The Oculus Home screen is basically a skin layered on top of an Android operating system. This OS is pretty easy to alter for custom use, that’s why so many manufacturers use Google Android to run on their mobile devices. It is already possible to ‘sideload’ apps on the Go, but those apps still run within the standard interface.

By using a special piece of software, the standard boot sequence can be circumvented and replaced with an alternate application. This allows the Go to run in Kiosk Mode. You could compare it to a sandbox that allows the user to ‘play’ freely, using safe borders that you can define. Perhaps you want to show a 360 video, or you might want to disable the buttons on the device.