Oculus Quest 2 Makes Look In LBE – VRFocus

The development of out-of-home entertainment continues, and in his latest column in the Virtual Arena, industry specialist Kevin Williams reveals the appearance of the Oculus Quest 2 in the commercial entertainment scene. With the launch of a brand new free roaming platform from Scale-1 Portal and the provision of a brand new business model to bring the hardware into the commercial sector.

The advancement of location based entertainment (LBE) is happening even though most entertainment options are temporarily closed due to local restrictions. Part of this development involves a new generation of arena-scale (or free roaming) platforms that allow multiple players to immerse themselves without the hassle of carrying a backpack PC.

Using the new MobileVR (Standalone) headsets was seen as a logical opportunity, but there were numerous obstacles to it, as discussed in our Standalone LBE VR Development role. However, the French developer Scale-1 Portal has announced the first system to officially deploy the Oculus Quest 2 in the commercial entertainment market and is offering operators a brand new business model.

Scale-1 Portal spoke exclusively about the new version and released the finished VOXEL ARENA, which was covered in prototype form in our industry overview last year. The first installation of this system was carried out in Canada in August 2020. The company has now made the entire system available to the operators. Now with a unique business model that allows venues to deploy multiple Quest 2 headsets in their facilities.

There are restrictions on using the consumer Oculus Quest 2 hardware for commercial purposes that are blocked by the Terms of Use (ToS). However, the Oculus for Business program was set up to use Oculus hardware in the enterprise. Scale-1 Portal is a member of the Oculus ISV (Independent Software Vendors) program, which helps developers use their systems in companies. This relationship allowed them to create a unique business model for using this hardware in entertainment.

Scale-1 Portal Voxel ArenaMultiplayer free roam VR experience from the Scale 1 portal. Picture credits Scale-1 Portal

Entertainment operators can now purchase multiple Quest 2 headsets through the Oculus Business Edition program, which also incur a mandatory annual maintenance and support fee. The operator then has access to the Scale 1 portal In the cloud version of VOXEL ARENA, the subscription service supports up to six players. Players play one of three unique games available on the platform (including Sep’s Diner and Guns & Dust) and compete on a 4 × 5 meter field.

Scale-1 Portal Voxel Arena PlayerThe ‘VOXEL ARENA’ is in operation at the Illucity Paris plant. Picture credits Scale-1 Portal

The Business Edition of the Oculus hardware doesn’t require a Facebook login (a requirement that has been controversial with the consumer VR community). The commercial version with a unique ToS for Enterprise. This version seems to be the only real fruit of the Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) that Oculus showed back in 2018 at the OC5 and that had promised the use of Quest hardware at locations.

The Scale-1 Portal business model is the only legal means for operators to deploy the Quest 2 hardware in their facilities and avoid action. It will be interesting to see how many operators take the opportunity to find an inexpensive solution for running free roaming VR and what other VR standalone systems follow suit.

The Scale 1 portal also used its time to delve into the consumer VR scene. The company will be releasing a home version of its LBE video games. Announcement that Sep’s Diner was released on SteamVR and SideQuest for home gamers last December. A multiplayer version that emulates some of the features of the LBE version is to be added. The company announced that with this consumer version it will support other standalone VR headsets like the Pico Neo series.

We look forward to providing a full overview of the VOXEL ARENA LBE experience when the first of the facilities reopens in the coming months.

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