VR Headsets for Trade Shows & Exhibits

VR headsets and applications for trade shows and exhibits

Last updated Jun 6, 2024

Whether you are in need of a headset for a VR Arcade, virtual tour, or trade show exhibit or education/training purposes, the world of VR has a multitude of different and often confusing array of products to choose from. With this guide, we’ve organized the best brands of VR headsets to help narrow down the selection for your specific needs.

 

Google Daydream View

Google Daydream VR Developer

The Google Daydream View was released on November 10th, 2016, to accompany Google’s own Daydream VR application platform. It’s a slight upgrade from Cardboard, featuring a motion (but not tracked) controller, a comfortable plush headset, and requiring a higher-performance phone. The headset (and apps) are compatible with Android phones with Daydream software support for Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus and Alcatel brand phones. See a complete list of supported models. Note that Google has somewhat stopped supporting Google Daydream, but we can develop apps for it, if needed.

Type: Phone-compatible headset (Android only).

Cons: 

  • Works with Daydream compatible handsets only.
  • Small controller (the platform will work with 2 controllers, but as of this writing nearly all available software works with just one).
  • No head or controller tracking
  • Some light leakage on the edges of the display detract from immersion.

Price Range: $

Our Recommendation: Best used for limited budget public apps and games with only basic user interactions. Virtual product demos, VR training, multimedia, simple games, where you need multiple untethered headsets and do not need realistic position and hand tracking.

 

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR Developer for Apps and Games

Developed by Samsung in a collaboration with Oculus, the Samsung Gear VR released on September 3rd, 2014 with a number of other revisions that have been made over the years to fit their flagship smartphones. It offers an experience slightly edging out Google Daydream View while also being a lot cheaper, especially if you have Samsung phones on hand. Support for Samsung Gear VR has been quite adequate and it offers an experience on par with the Daydream View. Gear VR works with an optional gyroscopic control pad (not tracked).

Type: Samsung smartphone compatible headset

Cons:

  • Only works with supported flagship Samsung smartphones
  • Mobile platform only
  • Controller purchased separately

Price Range: $

Our Recommendation: The Samsung Gear VR is a very good option for a mobile VR platform. It’s price range and quality makes it a far more compelling option than the Google Daydream View or the Google Cardboard with optimal performance if your phone is the latest.

 

PlayStation VR2

The PlayStation VR2 is a very powerful headset capable of displaying content with an OLED display at 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye and with a refresh rate of 90hz and 120hz, it provides a smooth gaming experience. With news of an upcoming PC adapter that will allow users to connect these headsets to their computers for use in other VR titles, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up a VR2 or if you already have one, to expand your library of content. Unfortunately, the adapter disables a few key features of the device, such as adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, HDR and eye tracking, so connecting to a PC comes with drawbacks.

Type: Standalone Headset (Designed for PlayStation).

Cons:

  • Lacks key features when tethered to a PC, such as eye tracking
  • PC Adapter is $60, along with the $449 headset
  • Limited library when restricted to use on PlayStation consoles

Price Range: $$$

Our Recommendation: The PlayStation VR2 is lightweight, comfortable to wear and a juggernaut of a device for the content it is made for. And with its recent inclusion to the PC ecosystem, the compatibility for many applications and games expands, albeit with some caveats.

Meta Quest 2

Released on October 13, 2020, the Meta Quest 2 features a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor and a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye with the Fast-Switch LCD displays. What separates this standalone headset from the rest is its 6DOF (6 Degrees of Freedom) tracking with its pair of controllers and room-scale tracking without the need for base stations. Meta’s cloud point tracking allow for easy development of multiplayer VR experiences, while the spatial mapping features offer limited skinning of real environments. The integrated spatial audio speakers eliminate the need for a headset. The Meta Quest 2 also has hand tracking controls (eliminating the need for controllers), and added the ability to stream Desktop VR to the headset (using Oculus Link). It can also be tethered to your PC if you require more intensive graphical power.

Type: Standalone wireless (Android-based), but also supports Desktop VR through streaming.

Cons:

  • Wireless experience, albeit with some loss of graphical power.
  • Battery lasts up to 2-3 hours with moderate use.
  • Dynamic environments (such as busy trade show floors and changing lighting) may cause the spatial mapping to flake out.

Price Range: $$

Our Recommendation: An all-around good performer for a variety of uses, especially those requiring advanced user and hand tracking for interactivity. Great for uses that require mild degrees of environmental mapping of static environments. One of the most versatile headsets offering a wide range of features across both mobile and desktop VR platforms, starting at $200.

 

Meta Quest 3

The latest in the line of Meta VR devices, the Meta Quest 3 brings top specs for regular VR users at a premium price. It utilizes a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor to deliver a better experience for its users, including faster loading, and color passthrough for its cameras. Meta Quest 3 also features a resolution of 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye with refresh rates ranging from 72-120hz, showcasing stunning visuals with any application that you use. With returning features such as hand tracking and PC support, the Meta Quest 3 is a great step up for anyone who wants to experience a high-end VR device.

Type: Standalone headset (Android-based)

Cons:

  • May be priced a bit high for the average consumer
  • Around 2 hours of battery life
  • Lack of eye tracking functionality
  • Hand tracking isn’t supported on most apps, most use is navigating the menus

Price Range: $$$

Our Recommendation: The Meta Quest 3 is an impressive device with freeform spatial tracking and an expanding Meta system. The controllers are comfortable and easy to use and the headset is lighter than its predecessor for a more ergonomic fit. For $499, this device and its features are a must have for those getting into VR and for those looking for a worthwhile upgrade.

VIVE Pro 2

Released June 4th, 2021, the VIVE Pro 2 comes with a resolution of 2448 x 2448 per eye, a 5K resolution display, with a refresh rate of 90hz, as well as a 120 degree field of view. The VIVE Pro 2 is the latest model in its lineup. Included with your VIVE Pro 2, comes with the VIVE motion controllers and two base stations, which aid in head and controller tracking for a full 10 foot cube of movement around your position.

Type: PC Tethered headset (Windows only).

Cons:

  • Requires a fairly powerful PC.
  • Wires.
  • A decent amount of clear space is needed for the installation.
  • Can be a little complex for new users.

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: For high-detail, high performance games and demonstrations. Exhibits and training exercises that need head and hand tracking or complex user interactions.

 

Varjo XR-4

The Varjo XR-4 is a beastly new headset aimed for professionals who require stunning resolution for their next VR project. However, the 4K x 4K per eye resolution becomes quite the understatement when taking a look at the XR-4’s other impressive features. The XR-4’s built in dual 20 megapixel camera makes it both a virtual and mixed reality headset with its passthrough. The XR-4 also comes equipped with spatial audio and noise cancelling microphones for an immersive experience. Not only that, but the XR-4 is entirely wireless with no need for base stations, allowing users to experience mixed reality without limitations.                

Type: Standalone Headset (Windows only)

Cons:

  • Recommends very pricy computer specs
  • Better suited (and priced) for Mixed Reality purposes.
  • Most expensive headset on this entire list (as of June 2024)

Price Range: $$$$$$$

Our Recommendation: If budget isn’t a concern, the Varjo XR-4 is the be all, end all option for professionals who are looking to expand their capabilities from VR to XR. Do  keep in mind this device needs some strong hardware to accompany it, as Varjo’s website recommends an i9- 12900K, an RTX 6000 Ada, and 32 Gigs of RAM to run the XR-4. From agencies and exhibits that need the flexibility of Virtual and Augmented reality out of the gear, this is the top choice. 

VIVE Focus 3

The VIVE Focus 3 is the most costly of the VIVE lineup. Released on June 27th, 2021, the Focus 3 keeps the trend of a 5k resolution with 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, and a refresh rate of 90hz. The Focus 3 is also wireless, ditching the wires of the Pro 2 and allowing a greater freedom of movement and room space. The headset is designed to be lightweight and comfortable for extended periods of use.

Type: Wireless Headset (Windows only)

Cons:

  • Controllers aren’t as comfortable
  • Fairly expensive price tag

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: The VIVE Focus 3 is an good headset to use for its tracking functionality and passthrough, as well as its impressive display quality.  

 

HTC Vive Focus Plus

HTC Vive Focus Plus Development for business applications

The Vive Focus Plus is an outstanding standalone VR headset for use in business applications. It features an improved comfort design for long term use and easier cleaning. Kiosk Mode simplifies the first time user experience with simple app launching. VIVE Enterprise allows professional monitoring and management of multiple headsets. The integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 powers the 1140×1600 per eye displays and motion tracked 6DOF (degrees of freedom) controllers offer a quality experience for an untethered headset.

Type: Standalone wireless (Android-based)

Cons:

  • Because the headset is targeted towards business applications, game support may be limited. That doesn’t mean games can not be developed for it!
  • A bit more expensive than other base models.
  • Premium features for business have additional fees.
  • Tracking may not be reliable in dynamic environments, such as busy trade show floors.

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: The Focus Plus is a great option for business looking to for VR training kiosks, virtual tours, and exhibit demos (within an enclosed space) that do not require high end visuals. The tracking and controllers allow for detailed user interactions, while the lack of tethering is convenient and offers a degree of portability. The VIVE Enterprise platform allows for easy cross device installations, updates, and monitoring.

 

Bigscreen Beyond

Bigscreen has presented what they call “the world’s smallest headset.” Released on the late end of 2023, the Bigscreen Beyond weighs only 127 grams and is designed to fit around a head with very minimal discomfort. In terms of specs, the OLED display resolution per eye is 2560 x 2560 and has a refresh rate of up to 90hz with an 102 degree field of view. The headset itself does require base stations for proper tracking and is custom built to better fit your face with a 3D Face Scan. The price is more on the expensive side, costing around $1000, but for the lightweight factor and its sharp quality, it highlights how the smallest devices can still pack a big punch.

Type: Standalone headset (Windows only).

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options for VR headsets
  • Base Stations  and controllers must be purchased separately.

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: The Bigscreen Beyond is a custom fit made to be worn for long sessions and made to last which would make it a good device for trade shows, long-term exhibits, VR arcades. The head tracking allow for a great deal of user interaction and movement as well.

 

Apple Vision Pro

Apple has brought forward their own mixed realty headset with Apple Vision Pro. Released on February 2nd, 2024, the Vision Pro offers remarkable passthrough quality, similar to that of the Meta Quest 3. The headset is capable of displaying multiple applications around the space of a room and can be pinned in place for ease of use. With a 4K display and a refresh rate of 90hz, 96hz or 100hz, there’s no lack of quality for any use, exhibits, trade displays, etc.

Type: Standalone Headset (Apple-based)

Cons:

  • Price leaves a lot to be desired, even with its features ($3499)
  • Battery life is quite low, with only 2 hours of general use
  • Other headsets provide a similar experience with less costs

Price Range: $$$$$$$

Our Recommendation: The Apple Vision Pro is a good look into how VR technology is evolving and if you’re willing to pay the price, you’ll come away with a solid headset for all of your needs. But again, it is a hefty price that many consumers would not be able to afford readily. Especially when there are other headsets that perform just as well at a more affordable price. In conclusion, the Vision Pro is a look into the future of Mixed Reality.

 

Valve Index

Virtual Realist for Trade shows and exhibits

The Valve Index is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to raw performance. Boasting a resolution of 1,440 × 1,600 per eye at a refresh rate of up to144hz, it offers excellent image quality across a wide (100°) FOV, with an unbeatable refresh rate (which helps reduce motion sickness). The Index also features its own spin on built-in headphones, which Valve is calling “nearfield off-ear speakers.” Essentially, the speakers hang a bit farther away from the headset which makes it easier to take on and off. The base stations for the Index are also compatible with any VR headsets using SteamVR 2.0, so if you’re looking to switch to the Index from a Vive Pro, you won’t need to buy new base stations. Along with the advanced power and image quality, the Index was designed with comfort for long use sessions in mind.

Type: PC Tethered Headset (Windows Only)

Cons:

  • It’s pricey, and hard to come by right after launch.
  • To get the maximum frame rate, you need a pretty powerful gaming PC.

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: The Valve Index is an absolute dream to use if you have the hardware to back it up. We recommend this headset if you have the game or application that really pushes graphics or requires long sessions. For exhibits requiring the best detail and a wider field of view, while keeping the potential of motion sickness at a minimum, this is a solid candidate. The unique controllers have little support in popular games, but for custom software builds it will be no problem.

 

Vrgineers XTAL 3

Featuring a sleek geometric design with a 4k display per eye, the XTAL 3 has a wide variety of notable features that makes high end VR more realistic. To aid in usability, the XTAL 3 offers an automatic IPD system, meaning the headset can detect and adjust the position of the lenses to best suit your eyes without manual adjustment. Like the Oculus Quest, it also features hand tracking for a controller free experience (powered by Leap Motion). The headset also has a built in microphone. Most importantly, the modularity of the headset allows the user to connect to a range of different tracking systems, with support for multiple types of VR controllers being a major plus as well. Built for high-end use, it is the best option for uncompromising VR experiences, simulations, and blowing people’s minds.

Type: PC Tethered Headset (Windows Only)

Cons:

  • Bulky headset design
  • While the 3rd party hardware compatibility can be a positive, it often can be a hassle to combine hardware across multiple manufacturers
  • Requires a powerful custom PC setup for the headset’s max potential

Price Range: $$$$$$$$

Our Recommendation: This headset is very heavily marketed to a professional audience for use in high end demes and simulations. It claims ample security with no backdoors. That being said, this headset is very expensive, with a launch price of EUR 9,294 ($10,000 US). There are other headsets with good resolution for a much lower price. But if you’re looking for a realistic, high end graphical experience with tracking and integrated mic, this is a worthwhile investment.

 

Pimax Crystal Light

The Pimax Crystal Light is very versatile, with the option to use inside-out tracking or expand the distance of its tracking using Lighthouse Tracking. Although the device is lighter than its predecessor, Pimax Crystal, it has no battery, meaning that its portability is limited to how it is wired. It dons a 2880 x 2880 resolution and a variable refresh rate and includes Local Dimming, which allows the black levels of the display to produce deeper black levels for a more accurate and sharp display. The headset can be purchased separately or together with the controllers and with or without its Local Dimming functionality if you are looking to save some money.

Type: PC Tethered Headset (Windows Only)

Cons:

  • Will need to be connected to a PC, no wireless option
  • Lacks some features from the Crystal iteration, like an automatic IPD

Price Range: $$$$

Our Recommendation: While the headset is quite powerful, a lack of any wireless option will be disappointing to most. But the Crystal Light is capable of delivering a high-end performance for those looking to make the most out of their VR experience.

 

Workinman Interactive – Engaging Virtual Reality Exhibits

Virtual Reality Developers

Hardware aside, it’s the software experience that will win over your users. Need a full-service developer for your VR business application, trade show, interactive exhibit, or game? As premier Unity Engine developers, we support all platforms and all headsets, and can help you craft a rich, captivating experience to win over your customers. From product demos for trade-shows to virtual tours of campuses or museums, we put together highly memorable experiences for the budget conscious. Chat with us today to get started on your next AR or VR project.

Services

  • Game Development
  • Interactive exhibits
  • VR and AR guides and tours
  • Product demonstrations
  • Product and process training in VR
  • Interactive builders and designers
  • Custom business VR and AR applications
  • Educational products
Previous Post
Workinman Designs a Virtual Aquarium for the Museum of Play
Next Post
Chromia Studios & Workinman Rock Blockland Cleveland
Loading Workinman.com