Desktop VR has Arrived

Our cloud platform has traditionally been aimed at mobile VR. With the recent arrival of the consumer HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, we are proud to announce support for desktop VR!

Before we get started, let’s compare the differences between mobile and desktop VR experiences.


Mobile VR

Mobile VR refers to any headset that is running of a cellphone. This includes the Samsung GearVR and the upcoming Google Daydream.

The main advantages of mobile VR are the lack of wires, the portability and the price point. However, the fact that it runs on a mobile phone means that there is a limit on the performance and the resolution of the image and at the moment it lacks positional tracking and hand controllers.

In terms of architectural presentations, mobile VR is unbeatable for travelling. You can easily bring multiple headsets to another office and bring everyone in the building. Due to it’s low price point and low area requirement, it is feasible to own many mobile headsets so that multiple users can be immersed in VR simultaneously.


Desktop VR

Desktop VR refers to any headset that is running of a powerful desktop computer. This includes the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

The main advantages of Desktop VR are the performance, positional tracking and hand controllers. Desktop VR is less likely to induce VR sickness, since it has a higher framerate and is more responsive. It also allows for bigger 3D models since the performance is expanded by the desktop. Unlike mobile VR, Desktop VR requires a powerful desktop. It is wired to a computer and it is cumbersome to bring outside of the office. Desktop VR also has a higher price point since it requires a powerful computer and it also takes a fair amount of space in an office.

For architecture firms, using Desktop VR usually means dedicating a large office space for VR where clients will need to join you. We’ve seen a lot of firms using their conference rooms as a VR room for presentations, it is also possible to use a Dekstop VR headset sitting at a desk, but it limits the amount of physical interaction with the environment.


Comparing Mobile and Desktop

Desktop VR vs Mobile VR

Having looked at both mobile VR and Desktop VR scenarios, it is apparent that there are no perfect solutions. To achieve a good balance, we recommend using a combination of mobile and desktop VR where it is most appropriate.

You can bring multiple mobile VR headsets to your client meetings and when many people are part of the conversation. Use desktop VR for internal design, when meetings are at your office and when you are having an important conversation with a few key players. If you combine both methods, you remain agile when travelling and be able to provide a premium experience for in-house design and when clients visit your office.

Getting Started!

If you already purchased an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and can’t wait to get started, do the initial setup of the hardware and software. Install your headset and related firmware (Oculus Home or Steam VR)

Before you launch the InsiteVR desktop software, open Oculus Home or SteamVR. Make sure that all your equipment is detected with no error messages.



Close any other software (Revit, AutoCAD, Photoshop, Excel, etc) to improve performance.

When you are ready, launch an InsiteVR project with a processed 3D model on your desktop app:

  • Click “Enter Desktop VR Mode”
    • Alternatively, you can go into “Edit Cameras” mode and click the “Enter VR Mode” button
  • Put on the headset

When you are done with you VR exploration, remove the headset and click the “Exit VR Mode” button located at the top right of the screen.

Strolling in VR

We will keep adding capabilities to this feature. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy strolling through your 3D environments!

Oculus Rift documentation

HTC Vive documentation