How to do a VR Demo

As far as VR has progressed, skepticism still remains as talk of hype cycles, stagnant hardware sales, and AR “beating” VR dominates the conversation. However, many have yet to experience the feeling of being immersed in a virtual world. It’s a thrilling and unbelievable experience, especially for first-time users.  With any new technology, education to show the possibilities of the medium may be required.

We wrote this guide to help you demo VR to first-time users and potential clients.  To do this, we’ve organized by the different VR hardware in-market to help you create the best VR demo experience.

Smartphone-based VR

A beginner’s view of VR: 360° photo or video on mobile or desktop

Immersive content doesn’t require a headset to prove how engaging it is. Your phone’s mobile gyroscope can provide for an interactive experience, and many don’t know it exists.

Users will see how their phone shifts from being a 2D screen to a portal as they rotate their phone around to take in the full sphere of content. Bonus: without a headset, users won’t feel the isolation that many cite as a con when experiencing VR.  

Hint: If you’re trying to do a vr demo for how content can fill a 360° space, go simple: choose a lush 360° photo of an environment and let your user take in the sights. Good content, even if simple, wins, no matter what. 360° just makes it better!

For desktop immersive content, SVRF is a good option. It works as an immersive content search engine and always features cool content, like this 360° photo of a flower tree .

Go cardboard

Take it a notch higher and fully immerse your user. Take that 360° content and place the phone in a cardboard headset. 

vr demo cardboard


What to view on your Cardboard? Check out mobile VR content hosted on the web. The OmniVirt Explore page has user-uploaded content. (Note: YouTube 360 mobile is broken)

Hint: Consider showing two kinds of content in your vr demo. One that is more discovery-driven to allow for users to take their time and explore a virtual world and one that is more narrative in nature, where they are directed to action (but still have some agency in their experience). This can help show the possibilities of the kind of content that VR enables. 

Amp it up with Daydream and Gear VR headsets 

This viewing experience will be seated (like with the Cardboard) where the action unfolds around you. Consider demo-ing a more cinematic experience. Try the VR film Invasion! by Baobab Studios. Or choose from the libraries of VR content apps like Within or Jaunt. 

vr demo content

Gear VR and Daydream also come with controllers so a VR game may be a fun experience for a vr demo. Try Merry Snowballs from Hatrabbit Studios, a Team OmniVirt favorite!

Virtual Reality Systems

Go premium with HTC Vive or Oculus Rift

Here’s where full immersion comes together with body movement. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift support 6DOF, meaning you can walk around a given virtual world in a set space.

This vr demo requires a more intense set-up (and a gaming computer that can handle the specs required). Consider having the computer monitor screen-casting the experience for others to experience the demo secondhand. 

vr demo

Upcoming: Standalone VR Systems

Oculus Santa Cruz and HTV Vive Focus will be untethered headsets that enable full 6DOF tracking, so you can move in a scene, without the intense hardware (sensors, cable connecting to computer). This will make the VR demos easier to conduct while maintaining a high level of content quality.