The HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset that retails for around $900-1,100. It includes the headset and two handheld remotes that allows the wearers to immerse themselves into a 360 degree world. The Vive requires a computer to operate, and runs games and applications off of a software called Steam. Since it uses a computer, the Vive offers a higher quality experience than other competing headsets which are self-contained and therefore not as high resolution. The headset itself does not require much maintenance or frequent updates since it runs from the computer software.
A virtual reality experience through the HTC Vive headset could serve many types of arts organizations. Although the cost per headset is high, maintenance is infrequent, and it is easy to adapt to. The 360 degree view allows the user to have a unique experience that is more interactive than simply watching a performance or viewing a 2D art work. The headset also allows users of all abilities to navigate a virtual space, which opens up arts organization to new audiences.
This technology is currently in use at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, where they have invested $38M towards a digital wing of the museum. The museum’s VR station allows visitors to immerse themselves into one of Dali’s paintings for three minutes at a time. This allows for a unique and educational experience for students or general patrons where they can learn more about the artwork, artist, and painting style. This experience is a new and refreshing way to engage visitors into the world of Dali’s art that is unlike the traditional, academic experience of examining a painting as it hangs on the wall.