Our long road to getting virtual reality on the road
Virtual reality might allow you to travel to far away worlds with the touch of a button but travelling with virtual reality equipment in its current generation, even across the city, can be an awkward and cumbersome experience.
Over the last two years we have run the gauntlet in search of a virtual reality travelling case that allows for professional, compact, safe & convenient transportation of virtual reality equipment for ourselves and our clients. The journey has been surprisingly long and required a few iterations to get the formula just right.
Although there are solutions for virtual reality cases on the market, our needs and that of our clients were not being met by any one single solution, and it quickly became apparent we weren’t alone in this need. We needed a transportation solution;
- that could be brought into the overhead luggage compartment of a plane
- that could hold its content in a safe & secure foamed interior
- that had space to hold a VR headset, sensors, and VR ready laptop & power adaptor
- that was easy to transport with both wheels & an extendable handle
- that was professional in design & presented VR in a ‘simple to use’ light
Easy I hear you say. Well not quite, there are indeed many options to choose from, and a quick google search will show you a nice selection of what’s already out on the market, however each ticked some but not all of the criteria listed above.
With one of our client’s admitting to our horror that they were just bubble wrapping equipment and throwing it into a luggage case, the race was now on to find a solution that met our needs and could be rolled out to. After disregarding all ‘off the shelf’ solutions we start down the custom build road;
Iteration 1 – The Rock & Roll Case
Our first stab focused on safety and internal space. It allowed for an Oculus or HTC Vive, its respective sensors, controllers, wires and a large laptop in large interior compartments. The exterior was solid wood and metal meaning it would likely survive any degree of rough & tumble though its flimsy handle seemed to bend even with the weight of the empty box. Although safe & secure it was miles away from convenient and was a huge hassle to travel through an airport, let alone into a client or customer meeting.
Iteration 2 – The Hitman’s Case
Our second try looked at a much smaller form factor, far more professional in aesthetics, with a twinge of a suitcase design to it, something you expect Leon to be seen with walking around town. Again it allowed for both VR equipment and laptop in a secure compartment, was considerably smaller though not small enough to follow you onto a plane and ultimately was too heavy to lug around with no wheels or extendable handles.
Iteration 3 – The Homebrew
With little luck outsourcing our custom requirements we took matters into our own hands and after buying a simple carryon luggage with wheels & handles we went to work to design a foam interior that met our needs while still allowing all hardware to fit comfortably and safely within. The result surprisingly not only met all our needs but was also a fraction of the price.
It might not survive a fall from a speeding Humvee or a kick off a rockstage, but for our needs and that of our clients were perfectly met, and anyway, we will leave those more adventurous types of journeys for inside of virtual reality.