VR productions is a video production company working with 360VR video. We have been producing 2-D corporate video since 2006 and want to bring this immersive new technology to our clients. Although at present we are concentrating on 360 video VR we will be incorporating more interactive computer-generated virtual reality over the next year. At present we are researching the implications of virtual reality for training, education, communication and marketing.
Some companies and brands have already explored this way of communicating with great success. The possibilities for training and education are inspiring. The military have been using virtual reality training for a while and companies are now finding innovative ways to train their staff using this technology. Studies have shown that the retention levels and emotional engagement through VR training vastly outshines that of traditional video. More subtle learning and behaviour change can also be powerful with virtual reality. VR can offer an impactful form of hypnosis and mental reprogramming enhancing soft skills such as assertiveness, leadership and a success mindset.
Marketing is still an unknown quantity in the fast moving field of VR Production. Storytelling and brand placement within the 360VR experience require new methods though the engagement can also be much more powerful than with 2-D video. Some early adopters are experimenting with brand marketing in VR with great success. The creation of VR video content is a new field with new rules and applications compared to traditional film making. Over the coming months we’ll be bringing ideas and ways that businesses and organisations can use this for marketing, training and communication.
What is the difference between 360 video and the classic virtual reality experience?
360VR video differs from classic virtual reality using CGI in that the degree of interaction is limited. However, the degree of presence attainable through 360VR can be breathtaking and the technology is now within reach of the general public. The feeling of presence is what gives the VR experience the extreme empathy and engagement with the content. It would be nice to interact with a video realistic world but for now we have to accept just having autonomy over our field of view. Technologies such as light field rendering should be with the content creators over the next few years making the experience of pre recorded content much more authentic. At some point in the future, 360 video and CGI virtual reality will merge. 360VR is likely to be a gateway to more advanced technology coming our way over the next few years.
What is google cardboard?
If you haven’t experience virtual reality, pick up a Google cardboard and drop in your Smart phone. It’s not full on VR but it’s a good taster. Cardboard is a standard that other manufacturers are using as a guideline. The cardboard type headsets have none of the positional tracking of headsets like the Oculus Rift. However, the degree of presence you can attain through even a simple cardboard headset is quite breathtaking. VR headsets are likely to evolve rapidly over the coming years.
Is Virtual Reality just a fad?
Virtual reality has been around for 50 years and several attempts have been made to give it momentum. It’s never really taken off before largely due to the technology limitations. This has changed significantly in recent years and is now reaching the consumer. Facebook spent 2 billion on the VR headset company oculus a couple of years ago giving a boost of confidence to developers. Exactly how it fits into our lives has yet to be seen though it looks like it’s here to stay and may have a profound effect on us. Some authorities are calling it a paradigm shift on the scale of mobile phones and even the Internet. I am seriously impressed by its potential and am putting a lot of research into how this technology might be used in the corporate world as well as education and training.
Will VR replace video production?
I don’t think so. Video that you can watch on a 2-D screen with other people on numerous devices is with us for a long time yet. It’s obviously a more intense experience in VR and it lends its self to short experiences of less than five minutes. Sometimes though we’ll always want a more casual viewing experience. I think VR and 2-D video both have their place in our future world.
Are there dangers in wearing VR headsets?
Some people, especially the older generation might feel more self-conscious wearing a headset. The word from market research though is that the younger generation seem to feel quite happy about wearing a headsets. Some people think we will get to the stage where it will feel as natural as holding a mobile phone up to your ear. There are some health risks associated with VR headsets. The effects of being immersed in a virtual reality can cause the viewer to lose awareness of the physical surroundings and bump into things. There are also concerns about eyestrain and the physical effects of viewing a screen at close distance. It is important to have a VR headset properly adjusted for the viewers eyes to reduce risk. Adjustable lenses should be a must though is not included in popular headset such as the Samsung gear VR. If you have an interpupillary distance close to average you should be okay but if the distance between your eyes stray too much from the norm, you may risk eyestrain and blurred vision. Future headsets over the next few years should have these issues sorted out.
Will VR make people less social?
I’ve heard some discussion at conferences within the industry about how VR might work in a social environment like a cinema. I can see it defining a new type of cinema event involving intense experiences separated by social breaks. We’ve yet to see how it affects our social life and our interactions in society though Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook believes that this is the key to communication and connecting the world. Facebook are working on creating virtual environments where users can interact with each other. This has potentially far-reaching implications for how people engage in the corporate world. Virtual meetings that can be attended via a personal avatar could make for easy scheduling not to mention a decrease in travel expenses and fossil fuel consumption. A virtual meeting could also have built-in multi media elements such as slides, graphics and video.
Will VR change the world?
360 VR video certainly can create sense of presence and empathy with the characters in the experience. One might hope that this could lead to an increased level of empathy and compassion for the world at large. To be able to experience the perspective of another human being of different race or gender can go a long way to creating more cohesiveness in our world. Research at Stanford has suggested that experiencing another human being’s perspective can have a profound effect on us. A consciousness change will change the world. Virtual reality may have a part to play in this.