Virtual Reality in 2016

Virtual Reality in 2016

Posted on 13 April 2016 by Aaron

Over the past few weeks we’ve really been geeking it out with some VR headsets and the latest apps for Android and iOS. You’ve maybe seen some of the Instagram or Twitter posts.

With some Google Cardboard or a plastic headset that holds your phone you can instantly be taken into someone elses or a computer generated world where you can explore your surrounds by looking all around you.

Apps like Cardboard or VRSE are portals for well made showcase content. VRSE in particular has some very immersive short films and documentaries. The three that really stood out for me were:

Catatonic

You are strapped to a wheelchair and are being wheeled around a scary lunatic asylum in a black and white world. Strange noises or voices make you whip your head around to notice freaky figures in the shadows or doorways. At one point a doctor takes your hand and it will make you look downwards to the hands to see what he is doing. He then injects your hand which may make you wince at the reality. Not for the feint hearted!

U2 - Song for Someone

As much as I cannot stand Bono or U2 I have to give them credit for this awesome showcase of VR technology and binaural audio. The experience starts with sitting in the middle of the band and they start playing a song. As the video progresses you are introduced into the worlds of other musicians around the world singing the same song. Look around and you look around their worlds, bedrooms, living rooms and concert halls. It’s almost like you are ‘Quantum Leaping’ all around the world.

The Displaced – By The New York Times Magazine

This is a very touching and involving video telling the story of 3 children who have been driven from their homes because of war. Each child tells their story and introduces you to the war torn world around them. If an image tells a thousand words then these VR videos tell millions. You are free to look around all around you and are not constrained to what a standard video lens would show you.

 

A Virtual Future

These experiences have got us really excited as to what the future holds for this technology. With nearly 70% of people in the UK owning a smart phone that’s a massive audience ready to interact with tech like this.

We have already been thinking about ideas of how VR technology could work for some of our clients. Being first to market with something groundbreaking like this would make for great PR for these companies.

The only drawback about this technology at the moment is the cost. The setups that are available at the moment are rigs that cluster together 6+ GoPro’s plus you need to buy the software to ‘stitch’ it all together. Things will be changing over the next few months though with large companies battling to get their 360x360 VR Cameras out there first.

Ricoh released a camera last year, whilst it works well the quality is a bit questionable. Samsung will shortly be releasing the Gear 360 Camera which looks like it has significantly better quality.

This is a video by celebrity YouTuber CaseyNeistat using the Samsung Gear 360.

The one to really keep your eyes on though at the moment is the Vuze camera. It offers 360x360 and also 3D 360x360 and at 4K quality. It even seems to be pretty good at capturing video in low light conditions.

Stay tuned to The Weather Blog and who knows you’ll maybe get to see a VR Tour of the office some time in the near future …..

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