Virtual Reality used to be the technology of science fiction. Within the past few years we have seen an explosion in VR and 360 video. There have been new platforms and innovations to establish what VR video will be. News organizations, musicians, filmmakers and others have all used VR to give the viewer a more immersive experience in video. From the New York Times to Star Wars, VR has proven to be popular and much more than a novelty.
However, just as it is now, doesn't mean it will be so in a few years time. Is VR here to stay? Will it be the future of video and social media? Mike Wadhera thinks it will be.
Mike Wadhera from TechCrunch reports:
Virtual reality content can be created in two ways.
The first is with 3D graphics authored in desktop software. This is how immersive content such as VR games and interactive experiences are made.
Another approach is VR video, which captures moments of reality by recording the physical world with an array of cameras. At the low end is monoscopic (2D) 180° video; at the high end is stereoscopic (3D) 360° video. VR video also encompasses next-generation light-field video, which many consider to be the holy grail, enabling you to move around the scene freely without having your motions constricted.
The important part is that no matter the format, pre-rendered VR video can’t reach the immersion of real-time 3D graphics — yet despite this fact, the adoption curve for VR video is staggering. Oculus recently announced that people had already watched more than three million hours of video in Samsung’s Gear VR. Even if you doubt VR video’s ability to deliver on the ultimate promise of the technology, the adoption for such a young medium is impressive.
Immersion is the next frontier in mobile video
The oldest and most basic user need is immediacy, or the ability to access content in real time, which is rooted in our consumption of broadcast TV and radio media. This need helps explain the explosion of live video in the past 18 months, most notably the growth of Facebook Live and Live.ly. When people think about mobile video, they often start and stop at immediacy. As a result, immediacy features are often overvalued, in some cases to the detriment of usability. For example, Meerkat’s lack of playback greatly limited engagement on the platform.
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