Last month we discussed ‘using virtual reality for presentations; content, hardware & software‘. There are many virtual reality headsets on the market. Some are direct competitors like the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and some are unique and cater to very specific use cases such as the Pimax 8K headset.

The Oculus GO is great for kiosk mode, you might even say the best in its class. What makes these underpowered and relatively cheap goggles so interesting for 360 video? As it turns out there are several reasons, which we will explore on this page.

What is kiosk mode?

In order to understand why the Oculus GO in kiosk mode is the best option, we have to explain the basics of this feature. Just like television screens in waiting rooms and other public or private locations, videos are displayed on a screen. By using interactive thumbnails the user can choose from a collection of 360 videos. Interaction and customization are ideally suited to a personal virtual reality headset.

The user is in control, yet limited to the content selection loaded onto the local memory. In many ways it’s like a regular interactive kiosk, with the addition of a fully immersive 360 screen. Oculus GO in kiosk mode needs some preparation and additional software, the standard operating system does not support this mode.

The advantage of limitations

In terms of pure horsepower the GO is not a strong contender. Instead of the 6DoF technology that makes a room scale experience possible, the user is limited to a static 3DoF movement. This means turning in place, actual locomotion is not possible. This makes the Oculus GO for kiosk mode for VR apps safe to use, you could even watch presentations from the comfort of a chair. A revolving chair is advised for optimal comfort.

The supplied controller is simple and easy to use. With Oculus GO in kiosk mode it’s even possible to make a selection by merely looking at a thumbnail image for a true hands free operation. While other virtual reality products are equipped with special VR controllers that can even register individual fingers, this headset is much easier to use. The limitations turn out to be an advantage for the specific use of kiosk mode.


The superior specs are surprising

Don’t be fooled by the ‘slow’ mobile processor, or the lack of full motion detection. The 5.5 inch screen is equipped with 2560×1440 pixels with a minimal screen door effect. This translates to a sharp image with a refresh rate up to 72 Hz. Gamers will not be impressed, but for 360 video 60 Hz and higher is a fine refresh rate that allows for comfortable viewing.

The headband can be easily made to fit almost every head, two stereo speakers are built-in which bridge the gap between a headset and external speakers. The internal memory is not expandable but with either 32 or 64 GB there’s plenty of room for 4K and even 5K video.

You get what you pay for … and more!

At the release in 2018, the price of the Oculus GO was already competitive. In less than two years time the price has dropped even further. Yet the relevance as a video viewing device and as an entry level VR headset remains, the stacked App Store is filled with affordable apps for both private and business use.

Although there are cheaper alternatives, nothing comes close to the Oculus Home environment in combination with solid technical specifications. The slick design looks considerably more modern than more recent products with sleek lines, a neutral gray color and a no-frills esthetic.


Reliable hardware, superior software

Facebook, owner of the Oculus brand, created the original mobile software solution for the Samsung Gear VR. With their first standalone headset they collaborated with Xiaomi, a front runner in the field of mobile technology. So you get hardware that works and is tuned to the specific use it was intended for, combined with software that was honed to perfection during the Gear VR phase.

Do what you want

The Oculus Home Interface is a layer on top of an Android system. By circumventing the standard ‘skin’ it’s possible to unlock advanced features. This is important for Oculus GO in kiosk mode. By sideloading a special app anyone can turn this humble device into a POS system for business use.

Other devices like the Pico G2 also have the option to run custom apps, but the Pico system is more expensive and made by a much smaller company. Facebook does not endorse sideloading, however the process is reversible and does not harm the device in any way. Take control over your device and create new experiences!

Although the Oculus GO is not nearly the cream of the crop in pure technical specifications, it’s is still the best option for kiosk mode in several ways. Contact your dealer for expert advice and information about running custom apps.