Virtual Reality
August 9, 2017

(Virtual) Reality Is More Real Than Ever

It wasn’t long ago when we were sure of what was real and what wasn’t. Simply put, we knew something was real because it actually existed, and was not imagined.

But this isn’t so black and white today, because what we imagine can actually exist in new forms of reality. As we move deeper into the digital age, we find these new forms of reality so common and convincing that they actually challenge our definitions of what is real and what is not.

Let’s look at one of the more popular forms of digital reality today: Virtual reality, or VR.

Today’s Virtual World

Even the most non-technical person has heard of—and likely used—virtual reality at this point. That in itself is a remarkable evolution for the technology.

In its earliest forms, VR was all-encompassing, expensive and daunting, for both the user and the content creator. Today, VR experiences have evolved into products and processes that are much more accessible. As internet video content becomes more immersive with 360 (not just 3D!) views and our own mobile devices become more capable in connecting and experiencing this content, we see technological innovations such as Google Cardboard making what was once exclusive now inclusive.

Now, you can purchase these cardboard devices, slip your smart phone in, and experience virtual environments online for a fraction of the cost that expensive headsets would cost.

Nearly every significant manufacturer of digital cameras now makes a 360 degree capture product, ranging from simple panoramic capabilities to full spherical optics. So capturing the real world and delivering it in the virtual world has become quite commonplace.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is making a huge comeback, as well. If you like to blend what is real and what is imagined, this is your format.

Here you can composite digital objects into your mobile devices camera optics, literally augmenting the real world with the digital world. In the gaming industry, this was popularized by games like Pokemon GO, Ingress and Parallel Mafia. What separated games like these were their abilities to use geographic placement to make your own surroundings also function as the game environment. Using existing mapping data, objects and characters can be placed and locked into geo locations where players can find and interact with them.

Creating this content has (in some ways) become a bit easier as well. As technology advances, so do the tools that help in creating 360 degree environments. In the hands of experienced graphic designers and animators, the camera isn’t even necessary, as 3D environments are part of what we create regularly. Now we can enter this world and twirl around completely immersed in the digital world.

The Business Implications

So, what does this mean for business? Well, if we learned anything from the entertainment and gaming industries, it’s that people love to leave the physical world and enter the virtual world. This experience can have tremendous value in delivering corporate content to audiences.

Here’s an example. Today, you might look at your cereal box and see a scan image. You reach for your phone, download a free app and focus your camera on the box to see a secret message or branded image, and you might even be able to interact with it, rotate it, click on a link and be taken to a landing page. The business implications are endless, regardless of whether you’re serving your client’s breakfast needs or another need entirely.

You may be attending a sales conference where digital objects and information have been geo-placed throughout the venue and attendees are invited to search them out and pick up valuable information, or just have some fun.

Or maybe you received a Google Cardboard headset? You fold it up in a matter of minutes, follow a link to a video (maybe on YouTube 360), slide your mobile device into the cardboard, and you are suddenly you are immersed in 360 degrees of business-centric content.

Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it’s not.

Because technology doesn’t create engaging content and technology isn’t very good at telling stories, or designing relevant messages for your audience. Thankfully, you can rely on industry professionals to create these immersive experiences.

Because none of this technology means anything at all to you if you can’t connect your message to it, and ultimately afford the costs associated with the production. This is where a partner like massAV comes in.

At massAV we search for ways to create, engage and inspire audience, with a value proposition that fits your budget. Contact us and learn more!

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