//When Should You Make Your VR App In-House?

When Should You Make Your VR App In-House?

You know you want to build a VR app. But should you build it yourself or outsource it to another firm?

The decision between building a Virtual Reality application in-house or outsourcing is an important one. It involves many factors — budget, timelines, personnel, access to equipment — just to name a few. The decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.

At InstaVR, we’re agnostic on in-house vs. outsourcing. We have many companies come to us specifically because they want to take ownership over the whole creative process. Conversely, we work with a large group of agencies, consultants, and production companies who use our platform to build out VR applications for their clients.

There’s not always a clear cut decision between building in-house versus outsourcing. But let’s discuss a few major factors and how they might sway your decision.



Many companies choose to build their VR apps in-house because of budgetary reasons. VR is relatively new to them, so they don’t have a line item on their yearly budget from which to allocate large sums to an outside firm. With nothing more than a 360 camera, a laptop, an internet connection, and an InstaVR Pro account, they can have an elegant VR application for under $1,000.

Conversely, if you have a forward-thinking management team who will allocate enough budget, working with outside experts in 360 media can be very fruitful. You can still even author the app yourself using InstaVR, with the outside production company just doing the production work of capturing the 360 media for you.

InstaVR Tip: Trying to secure budget for your VR project may not be easy. Before turning to an outside firm to help you create your final VR app, use a lower end 360 camera and InstaVR to create an in-house Proof of Concept. After going through that process yourself, you’ll have a better understanding of what the budget trade-offs would be on a larger scale project.



When do you need your completed VR app done by? Doing things in-house may save you time. With InstaVR, you can have a fully functional VR app finished in hours, not days or weeks. You’ll still have to go out and capture your media, and conceptualize your narrative. But you’re not at the mercy of others’ schedules as much, nor are you reactive to what your outside firm presents to you.

We put “may” in italics above because sometimes working with an agency or consultancy will actually speed up the app creation process. Many firms now specialize in 360 media, and have used InstaVR extensively before. What may take a few weeks could take them a few days. Outside firms tend to have Apple and Google Developer accounts already, so you may best be served working with them if you’re looking to submit to iTunes/Google Play.

InstaVR Tip: Though you can create a VR app same day using InstaVR, we generally suggest budgeting out a week or more for your project. Why? Because after authoring, you’ll want to solicit feedback and iterate before actually packaging a final version to distribute. Just because you can now create VR very quickly and easily with InstaVR, doesn’t mean you should rush things.



Does your company have someone experienced in photography or videography? Does your company have a creative thinker, who can storyboard out the narrative you’d like to see unfold in your VR experience? Is Virtual Reality a priority at your company that you’re willing to invest the time in to do well?

If the answer to above questions is “yes”, then by all means create the app yourself. All you need is the person to do 360 media capture, the person to author the app in the InstaVR Console, and the time available to do both of those activities. Sometimes it’s the same person doing both.

But if you’ve never done 360 recording before or have VR as a “nice to have” on your priority list, you might consider engaging with an outside firm to do the VR app creation. They can help with the creative process and ensure that your employees are focusing on what they doe best. The worst-case scenario is where you spend a lot of time yourself on the project, but can’t deliver good media or an engaging VR experience for your audience.

InstaVR Tip: If you have someone enthusiastic about VR in your firm, the finished application is much more likely to be impressive and deliver ROI. It takes a passionate person to creatively and successfully make use of the medium. It’s often better to have an employee passionate about VR building out your application, rather than just the person with the most appropriate job title.


Access to Equipment

Do you want a high-end user experience but lack a high-end 360 camera? You’re going to have to either invest in the hardware or outsource the project to somebody that already has it. For instance, if you’re creating a one-time app but want to use the Nokia Ozo, you’re better off outsourcing the project or seeing if you can rent an Ozo. Actually buying an Ozo will cost you $25,000. Many digital media consultancies and agencies already have the right equipment, and fold that into the overall scope of the project. So a one-time high-quality project could actually be cheaper if done through an outside contractor, since they amortize out the cost of equipment over a longer period of time and across multiple customers.

InstaVR Tip: Just having a 360 camera is not enough these days. You need a higher-end one, with at least 4K resolution, if you’re trying to present your work to others. It’s OK to buy a sub-$500 camera for personal use or creating a Proof of Concept app. But you’ll either need to invest decently in good equipment or outsource to a company that already has it, if you want a professional looking app. 



We love direct in-house customers as much as we love consultancies/agencies/production companies. But just because we say that middle schoolers are creating virtual reality using InstaVR, doesn’t mean every company should exclusively build their own apps in-house. Weigh the above four criteria, and choose the path that provides you the best end result, in the timeframe and budget that you need it in. And don’t worry if you have to change your mind after choosing one direction initially — hopefully you’ll be making lots of VR applications going forward, so going from in-house to outsourced (or vice-versa) is not uncommon.

If you have any questions on InstaVR, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Head of Sales, Andrew Woodberry, andrew at instavr.co or +1 925-708-3928.

2017-09-15T13:26:35+00:00 September 15th, 2017|General|