Where is VR and where R V?

If someone told you responding to your ideas, “Come on, let’s get real”, what would you answer?
The reality differs for all of us as we all see the world from different points of view.
With today’s technologies, we have enormous possibilities and everyone can create their own reality.

MediaOwl will take a look at Virtual and Augmented realities answering a few questions:

– Where are we and where will we be in a new future with the help of new technologies?

– Where is VR? What are key differences between 3DOF and 6DOF Virtual Reality experience, Augmented Reality, Video 360 and 3D? What are the benefits and difficulties in using each of the types?
What are the key features that should be considered while creating the content?

– How does Television today use the popularity of such technologies as VR and AR?

What is the future to come next?

Author Anna Verbovska (MK Media Group)

PART 1

To write the article, I needed the opinion of professional that would have experience in both areas: Television and VR. Let me introduce Cesar Couto Ferreira, an International Television Executive and Virtual reality entrepreneur. Having long-time experience of work at Viacom and Vice Media (2003-2014) and being now a start-up business developer, he will help us to immerse into the world where VR and Television meets. According to Cesar, «everything comes from the future».
Let us see what will come next!

Let’s have a look at the current ventures and projects Cesar works on.

«After almost 9 years in the direction of content on MTV networks,
with constant releases of television channels, and following my professional experience in the VICE Media that served to increase my appetite
for other platforms of digital communication,
I have decided to embrace an old tech passion: virtual reality.

Avenue Planet, based in Miami, is a fantastic VR project that is a bit ahead
of its time, with a content hub of 360º videos and V-commerce.
I believe that the way we buy products online is outdated and soon we will embrace a purchase that allows us to immerse into the product and enjoy
the storytelling of the brand, with an empathy never felt before.
We just need to reach mass market in virtual reality. That’s the big challenge!

At the same time, I’m leading FÁBRICA DO FUTURO, a creative hub in Brazil,
in the city of Porto Alegre. ”Factory of Future” aims to speed up the start-ups
and scale-ups of Brazil, focusing on information and communication technologies, in order to revolutionize the city’s creative industry
and put Brazil on the map of global start-ups that need a large scale economy.
Why go to the Silicon Valley tough arena when you can test your MVP’s
in a country with 220 million people?»

How do you see our future reality?

«Thinking strategically is no more than thinking tomorrow today.
Having this vision in mind “Everything comes from the future!”, of course
I could have a more futuristic speech but that’s not the case. Sometimes tomorrow could mean 50 years. It is hardly possible to predict so far.

I believe that television isn’t going to an end, like so many have predicted.
In a culture of distance and digital isolation, extremely concentric,
TV can be the solution to still have some time with
your family and friends.
The television content remains very strong, either in programming
or in streaming services. In fact, I think fiction is better than ever.

I think that we are somewhat limited by technology at the moment.
Virtual reality is completely immersive and we are only experiencing A/B test times, whether in technology or in the construction of narratives.
The potential is immense. I hope that consumer electronics
will be able to lower the prices so that people can purchase the products,
whether they are headsets or haptics.

The virtual reality will have this extra factor that have never been explored before, that is a fact. Imagine watching a content and really feeling the scene
of an actor or actress on your deep skin. The experience will be multisensory with addition of 3D audio. I believe that in the same way that we denigrate the quality of the video in the past with VHS and other supports,
the music will suffer the same process reversible in quality.
Soon the MP3 will be unwanted and audio will be good again.
I believe we can have better experiences regarding second screening. Augmented reality will have a huge impact
on the transformation/adaptation of television»

Let us look at the last phrase closely. Television should adapt to new realities. Why not VR? Being extremely enthralling, VR remains extremely expensive. AR surprises with its growing popularity and accessibility. Mobile AR has more than twice as many users in 2017 as the entire AR/VR headset market will have by 2021, according to a  report from research firm Digi-Capital included in VAST Media’s white paper («Augmented Reality»). The stunning success of Pokémon Go in July 2016 has shown the real potential of AR and consumer hunger for the technology. Broadcasters that catch the wave of innovations and apply them to their campaigns, get an incredible support in AR.

VAST Media’s white paper mentioned a number of colourful examples of successful applications
of AR by the majors:

  • FACEBOOK CAMERA EFFECTS (HBO / MTV / FOX / ABC).

– «Game of Thrones» (HBO). The fans would love to try how it feels to become one of series’ heroes. HBO gave the opportunity to be transformed into the Night King, the leader of the army of the dead.

VFX & Design: The Mil

– For the music lovers MTV launched the Moon Person camera effect with an astronaut’s helmet and featured sound effects, complementing them by the countdown to «Video Music Awards».

– Fox used the karaoke passion attracting viewers to musical dramas «Empire» and «Star». Fans could sing along to the song «You’re So Beautiful» from the «Empire» cast while wearing golden and/or purple headphones with the series’ logos on them.

  • OWN APPLICATIONS (AMC, TBS)

– By using the AR app of AMC Networks «The Walking Dead Encounter» for the series
«The Walking Dead» users could enjoy two features: «Create a Scene» for shooting a photo or video by placing a walker into a real-world environment and «Scare Me!» where the app surprises a user by randomly placed walker. Imagine such modes with additional sound effects!

– While some could catch a walking dead, others were hunting around New Your City for collectible Conan O’Briens eating 15 different deli sandwiches. Conan O’Brien is the host of Late Night comedy talk show «Conan», Team COCO. First fans that caught the whole collection won tickets to one of the New York show tapings and could meet Conan.

  • MOBILE GAMES (SHARKNADO, SYFY)

– SYFY used the passion for mobile games by promoting the premiere of TV movie «Sharknado 5: Global Swarming».
Virtual Sharknados (a waterspout that lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them in Los Angeles according to movies) could be seen by this app in different countries across the globe.
Users could fight flying sharks with number of virtual weapons.
Type of sharks and the collection of weapons could be amplified by unlocking new levels and could be used as stickers and filers in the app’s photos. 

 

 

  • MURALS, MARKETING MATERIALS, OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE

Using AR broadcasters can draw attention of their viewers to marketing materials and whole campaigns bringing them to life. In this case, users scan real-world objects like print ads, murals or billboards with their phone’s cameras and find additional content.

– Documentaries can become even more exciting if you can see the animal becomes alive in your hands. I would love to have such possibility! Meantime the app of BBC Worldwide was set in order to promote in Asia new natural history series “Planet Earth II” and it was available only there. Using the Blippar app, users could scan 19 common objects that surround us to unlock a short AR experience. The curious feature is that together with educational facts about the animal a user could also learn how the animal is connected to the object the user scanned while entertaining.

– FOX gave a brilliant example of interaction with viewers and making them part of the show. The channel in cooperation with a music recognition app made a promo to its new gameshow Beat Shazam. Users just needed to scan the Shazam codes on print ads or billboards in New York and thus receive an access to AR experience with virtual host Jamie Foxx. It was a unique opportunity to play with the host that asked to guess the name of the played song.

Due to difficulties of implementing VR into television, it is possible to make a mixed reality approaching the impressions created by VR. The channel FX (Fox group) organized «Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience» with a HoloLens 10 minutes experience for its series «Legion». The campaign made possible to try feelings of the main character David Haller who is diagnosed as schizophrenic but soon discovers to have telekinetic and telepathic abilities. Fans dived into his life with fragmented perception. By getting into the installation of a hospital, visitors were brought by actors dressed like doctors through a questionnaire to find out if they remember where and who they are. Wearing the HoloLens, users soon started seeing glowing holograms all over the room and were asked to move the AR objects.

 

In order to transmit the ambient of chaos the AR experience were complemented by the voices known from the show that gave the new instructions with a mix of real actors’ commands.  Similar to some experiences David Haller faces on the show, users were confused and were unable to distinguish the real and AR orders.

It is the question of imagination scale how broadcasters can use AR for engaging and promotion without any limits except of budgets. Nevertheless, there is craving for VR in TV industry as well. It is a completely different level of interactivity and there is a desire to achieve it. How can content creators become VR experience creators and why are they different concepts?

Content creators are not VR experiences creators

Cesar Couto Ferreira comments in his article «VR through lenses Heisenberg’s principle»:

«We all have a completely different universe of empathy, emotions, depth of field in every sense of metaphors. Content creators are not VR experiences creators.»

What is missed in the experience of content creators?  

«Producers of 2D content, such as television, sometimes have the habit of withholding through passivity, working in the shadow of the subconscious. Virtual reality has to be much broader sensory. This factor has a tremendous implication in narrative construction. Some questions are still unanswered. News teams are a good approach to what VR can provide as an empathy machine but these are times of profound experimentation.

I believe that the way we relate to our future avatars can subvert entertainment and fiction to the point of ourselves being part of stories in real time. The embodiment is one of the most powerful unique aspects of VR, to have a different body and experience another human life can be something amazing».

A degree of embodiment varies for different type of experience: Augmented or Virtual reality (can differ by number of Degrees Of Freedom: 3DOF or 6DOF), Mixed reality, video 360, 3D video. Sometimes a creator can achieve the goals with even simpler and cheaper technologies than he/she imagines. There are some key features that should be adhered to in order to make
a high-quality product comfortable for viewing, which will be reviewed in SECOND PART
of the article.

To be continued…

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