2023 WorldViz Budgeting Guidelines for Scientific VR Labs


When you pencil out what you will need for a proper VR project, there are some important building blocks to consider. First, will you be using a VR headset or a VR projection system, or both? Second, you’ll need a rendering computer with ample graphics capabilities, and possible wide-area motion tracking and other sensor systems such as eye tracking or biofeedback. Third, you’ll need VR software for creating and rendering your applications. Last but not least, you’ll want to think about your facilities, personnel, installation, training and support. Here is an overview of each component to give you an idea of what you may want to spend.

  • Oculus Quest 2: $299-$399
  • Vive Pro Eye Full Kit: $1,399- $1,599
  • HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Windows Mixed Reality: $1,249‍
  • LCD screens with 2160 x 2160 resolution per eye, for a total resolution of 4320 x 2160.
  • 98 Degree FOV
  • 120 hz eye tracking, 90 Hz Display
  • “Sub Degree” gaze accuracy
  • Integrated Heart Rate + Face Camera to determine cognitive load for enterprise and research applications
  • “Inside-out” tracking, meaning no external tracking devices required, 6DOF motion tracking achieved through onboard outward facing cameras
  • MSRP $1,249‍
  • The first “pro-sumer” eye tracking headset and the most popular
  • Dual OLED display with a total combined resolution of 2880 x 1600.
  • 120 hz eye tracking, 90 Hz Display
  • 110 Field of View
  • “Outside-in” 6DOF Tracking with Base Stations external tracking sensors that need to be mounted in the corners of a room to establish tracking space
  • MSRP $1,399‍
  • Leading consumer headset from Meta (AKA Facebook)
  • Standalone functionality and PC via Air Link or Link Cable
  • Single LCD with a total resolution 3664 x 1920 Combined, 89 degree Field of View
  • 120 hz capable display, adaptive frame rate
  • “Inside-Out” Tracking
  • MSRP $299 or $399 depending on storage configuration
  • No built in eye tracking but gaze can be calculated by heading direction‍
  • Vive Cosmos/Elite Line: $749
  • Vive Pro 2 Full Kit: $1,399
  • HP Reverb G2 Windows Mixed Reality: $599
  • Valve Index: $999
  • Pico Neo 3‍
  • StarVR One: $3,200
  • VRGineers XTAL announced: $5,800
  • Varjo VR-3 announced: $3,195
  • Varjo XR-3: $5,995
  • Pimax HMDs: $449~$1,299
  • One wall stereo Projection VR system: Cost dependent on projector, rendering hardware, mounting and tracking requirements. Typically $15,000 ~ $30,000.
  • Multi projector with multi wall systems: Hardware cost determined by type and numbers of projectors, rendering hardware, mounting requirements and blending requirements ROM: $50,000 ~ $85,000 for 2-sided integrated Projection VR system and installation. $100,000+ for a multi-sided showroom.
  • Traditional “CAVE” type system with rear projection array, cinema class projectors, floor projection, motion tracking. ROM: $250K — $500K all the way up to $1 Million plus depending on size and sophistication. These systems have a very large physical footprint.‍
  • An emerging class of immersive virtual reality / mixed reality systems is based on direct view LED technology to create an alternative to CAVE / Projection VR systems. These systems would be very bright and have a low physical footprint but would have unique facilities requirements including temperature management and power consumption.Cost is variable depending on the area that needs to be covered by LED panels but typically the cost is double to triple that per square foot as a high end CAVE system, i.e. $1 million + depending on size and configuration.‍
  • For VR headsets: The rendering computer requirements are similar to a high end computer gamer setup. Currently the highest end is nVidia 3090 GPU but 3070 and 3080 are good alternatives and more widely available. For CPU an Intel Core i7 or i9 processor is recommended. Speed of the processor is more important than multiple cores. The cost for such a computer setup is $1,000 ~ $5,000.
  • For Projection Systems: One Wall Projector or Multi Projector Multi Wall systems computer cost is $2,500 ~ $6,000. Graphic cards nVidia Quadro 5k/6k is $1,950 ~ $4,300 per unit. Multiple units may be needed if the system is multi-sided.‍
  • For consumer VR headsets: Basic tracking is included in VR headset price for Oculus Quest, Valve Cosmo and Windows Mixed Reality headsets such as the HP Reverb. These VR headsets contain inside out tracking for hand controllers and VR headset position. The Vive Pro 2 and Vive Pro Eye require an additional external tracking system called Base Station which is typically included in the purchase bundle.
  • For scientists and researchers who are utilizing consumer VR headsets but require a higher degree of accuracy and resolution or access to absolute position tracking data they may need to purchase a specialized optical positioning system such as the WorldViz PPT system pictured below. The cost for such a system starts at $28,000 to track a single VR headset user in a 30 x 30 ft area.
  • For projection system: Specialized tracking is needed if hand and head tracking is required for first person interactivity. This type of system costs typically between $18,000 (Wall configuration) and $28,000 (Corner configuration) depending on the number of projectors.
  • Eye Tracking: $200 ~ $1,700 as built-in or add-on
  • Bio-Physio measurement: $8,000 ~ $20,000
  • Haptic Devices / Force Feedback: $50,000 +
  • Mocap: Starter system is around $20,000+
  • Data Gloves: $4,000 ~ $20,000‍
  • Xsens (inertial based tracking system)
  • Optitrack (optical tracking system)
  • Vicon (optical tracking system)‍
  • Unity: $1,800 ~ $2,400 per year; per seat
  • Unreal: Free initially. After commercial success, 5% royalties for sales over 1 million
  • WorldViz Vizard: $4,000 ~ $6,000 per academic permanent license. $6,000~$10,000 per commercial perpetual license. Multi-seat licenses start at $2,000 per academic perpetual license
  • 3DS Max
  • Maya
  • Sketchfab
  • Blender‍
  • For corner projection systems: Flat uniform walls with white matt paint in a room with ideally high ceilings.
  • For room layout: Use energy saving lighting and block out daylight and sunlight. Eliminate reflective surfaces by using carpet or rubberized flooring.‍
  • Cost for VR personnel in your facility depends on salary levels.‍
  • Cost for installation: Typical cost for a one-person installation (if required) varies from $2,000 ~ $10,000 depending on location, install duration and requirements for the system scope.
  • Cost for training: Often around $1,000 ~ $8,000 depending on length and location of the training and required level of training (entry or advanced).
  • On site training is typically more costly than remote training.‍
  • Cost for support: WorldViz support costs 10% ~ 15% of the total system cost per year. The exact amount will depend on system specifics, location, expected support level and purchased period.‍

VR Application Development Considerations

VR Application can be done in house or outsourced by hiring a company like WorldViz. Phases of VR development includes:

  • Pre-production: Identifying project goals and storyboarding
  • Prototyping: Mock up / gray boxing with placeholder assets
  • Milestones: Graphics development and logic
  • Quality assurance: Testing and fixing bugs
  • Distribution and execution‍
  • Purchasing art assets
  • Developing art assets
  • Unity: C#
  • Unreal: C++
  • Vizard: Python
  • Pre-configured gaming computer: $1,000
  • Low cost VR headset such as Oculus Quest 2: $299
  • Free and open source software and in house development: Free‍
  • WorldViz Headset VR — Vizard + Computer + VR Headset: $8,000 ~ $15,000
  • WorldViz Headset VR with Eye Tracking: $10,000 ~ $20,000
  • WorldViz Vizbox: $5,000 ~ $10,000‍



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WorldViz is an industry-leading provider of virtual reality solutions for R&D, enterprise and public sectors. For more information, visit www.worldviz.com.