The Best Enterprise VR Headsets for 2021
Over the last 3 months, our internal team tested 5 Virtual Reality Headsets from Oculus, Pico, and HTC for real-world enterprise readiness. After reviewing them separately, it’s time to put them head-to-head and see who comes out on top as the best enterprise VR headset in the market today.
Our Enterprise VR Headset Ratings
How We Decided
- We acquired the headsets with our own funds and were not provided them by the manufacturers
- Besides the listed devices, we considered 4 other headsets, but opted against them due to a lack of enterprise features and focus on the gaming market.
- Across 7 enterprise testers, we spent over 30 hours putting the headsets through their paces
For enterprises wanting to deploy a VR headset that “just works” with ready-to-go device management features, it’s hard to beat the Oculus Quest 2. However, buyers should definitely purchase the Elite Strap for a significantly improved fit and comfort level. For companies who are planning to build their own apps in-house or need more customizability in a headset, the Pico Neo 2 is about as open as it gets, but at the cost of comfort and potentially some nausea issues with some users. Unless you have a specific use case requiring large-scale or multi-person tracking, we don’t recommend looking at any tethered headsets like the HTC Vive Pro Eye or Valve Index, which are specifically meant for gamers.
Summary of the Enterprise Headsets Tested
Below is a quick summary of our key findings for each headset that led to the scores in the table above.
The Oculus Quest 2 for Business is the best headset we have used so far. With their elite strap, Oculus knocked it out of the park in the realm of comfortability while creating an immersive experience that stands out from the competition. Their business package targets enterprises with a strong managed experience and allows for quick integration into an operation, given you already know what apps and developers you want to work with. What we liked the most was that Oculus provides an all in one service, where device management, support and services all come from Oculus, not third parties.
The downfalls with the Oculus Quest 2 for business, like the competition, is the accessibility of apps. With no app store, enterprises are forced to work directly with developers in order to download their apps. Additionally, the cloud of Facebook hovering over Oculus Privacy & data collection and strong limitations on customization of software may be a concern for businesses. But all in all, most enterprises should be able to look past that as it varies greatly from the consumer model. Also worth noting is that the mandatory annual service fee for device management may be unwelcome with some budget-conscious companies.
If you asked for a headset that was built with the sole goal of being enterprise first, the Pico Neo meets that need. From the managed experience to customizing the software, there are almost no restrictions on what you can build, deploy, and run on Pico headsets. As a result, Pico certainly stands out especially if an enterprise has custom developed VR software as there are virtually no hoops to jump through to upload custom software. Additionally, Pico is extremely light on the data that they collect with an “opt-in” approach. Enterprises using Pico can fully control the on-device experience and what is recorded/reported.
On the down side, Pico headsets aren’t quite as polished as Oculus’s offerings and there’s no device management experience out of the box. We also ran into issues where some users experienced “VR nausea” with the devices, likely due to the limited options for adjusting fit and lens position. If you are looking for a clear, no strings attached product that will get the job done, Pico is the choice for you. However, if you are looking for a more polished, immersive experience with more mature device management, we recommend the Oculus Quest 2 for Business.
HTC’s Vive Enterprise products are a mixed bag, which is nice from the perspective of choosing what you want, but not so nice if you need a strong enterprise headset. For enterprise purposes, we found the gamer-oriented (and difficult to setup) Pro Eye to not be what businesses want in an office unless they have a specialized use case for it. The requirements of a powerful computer and being tethered makes it virtually impossible to freely distribute and is only suitable for rooms that are prepared for its service.
The Vive Focus Plus, however, directly competes with its Oculus and Pico counterparts. Its ability to use 3rd party device management tools may gain favor with some enterprises, as they may already be familiar with the services of third parties such as VMWare or Mobile Iron. We also liked the app availability of the Focus Plus. The opportunity to access the consumer store is a “nice to have” considering some apps can be acquired without reaching out directly to the developer. Plus, if a device manager doesn’t want their team accessing the store, they can restrict it from the device management system.
Enterprise VR Improvements Needed for Next Year
- One thing that we noticed was missing in all Enterprise focused VR systems is a standalone enterprise app store. Having to work directly with an ISV to develop and deploy every single enterprise app can be a hassle, especially for apps that are standardized and can be utilized immediately with no customization needed.
- We definitely believe that the future of Enterprise VR (and VR in general) is untethered headsets. While right now the Quest 2, Pico Neo, and Vive Focus Plus can run some great apps, they are still somewhat limited in comparison to their tethered counterparts like the Vive Pro and Valve Index. We’d like to see next-gen enterprise headsets adopt more powerful processors.
- One area where several of our users had trouble was entering network credentials and app logins using the headset controllers. Unless you know complicated credentials off the top of your head, users had to take on and off the headset to look at either a screen or label and also expressed frustration at being unable to use a keyboard. We’d like to see more input options for initial setup in the future, perhaps with phone pairing to pull credential options to choose from.
- VR headsets are slowly getting smaller and lighter, but comfort is still an issue for many users. Looking forward to enterprise VR use cases where users might wear a headset all day, comfort and especially adjustability still has room for improvement.
- If VR wants to last in the enterprise market, it needs to consider the importance of tracking the hands of the user and offering non-controller input. Allowing easy access to keyboards, hand tracking, and environment overlays to let users find real-world objects to interact with will be critical hardware improvements in this space.
We continue to monitor developments in the XR space, including new releases of enterprise-targeted hardware and software. As more companies target the business market for their XR offerings, be sure to check back here for our thoughts on how well they can work and what services you’ll still need professionals for.