Josh Constine, Editor at TechCrunch, Alfonso Amat, CEO – IAMAT, Remo Gettini, Sr. VP Technology – Dreamworks & Adam Balest, Sr. Product Leader – Fandango had a blast during  “Immersive Experiences” Session at Globant’s CONVERGE 2016 in San Francisco. The discussion outlined the latest updates of Virtual Reality industry, the new ideas and applications where VR is used.

Is Virtual Reality here yet?

For the past decade VR has been evolving yet much more needs to be done to be taken into the mainstream.  This marks an opportunity to create immersive content for infotainment, education and training as well as entertainment purposes. The scarcity of good resources and content is alarming, when we are assuming that the market is mature enough to utilize VR in the ecosystem. Enterprises have started playing with VR to see more developmental arenas. The manufacturing industry is currently experimenting with mixed reality in value chain activities to improve collaboration and the ability to visualize the product getting created, leading to fragmentation of this technology among industries, sectors and departments.

Use case scenarios of Virtual Reality in different sectors.

Fandango is researching on VR, with a range of hardwares and thinkers, listening to the voice of the consumers. VR in E-sports lets people watch others play, and they can interact with the players in the immersive experience, and get statistics or information on the game and players. There is a good example of the therapeutic usage of VR in burn victims. A company has  created a VR game based on an arctic world, throwing balls through the hoops while gliding through the glaciers. Using immersive VR for pain control in burn victims that  are in lot of pain during bandage change, the company found that patients experienced 20% less pain, and it made a significant impact in the mind of the patients. VR has also shown that it can have a positive effect when dealing with post traumatic stress and it  can be effectively used to help patients take back control during stressful situations. Organizations should be proactive in putting together immersive experiences creatively, and setting examples around the organization in order to show or educate employees on how immersive experiences can be beneficial and productive. The exposure will help broaden their horizons on the potentials of the VR technologies, and how the content is intended to be applied.   The goal is for employees to start thinking in terms of what more they can do with VR. In the case of a  developer or designer, they will start thinking of new designs or integrating more features around this technology. To make VR a success, 25% is on the technology but 75% depends on the business model. The key is to put this hardware or platform on the hands of the consumer.

Importance of immersive content.

The contents produced by some studios seem to be more immersive than the tech demos, and that raises a question on what other companies should do if they want to start producing immersive contents. Stories should be combined with experiences, and to channel the story in terms of technology planning and thought is a must. To make things more interesting, VR can be resourcefully used:

  • In long features viewing like movies, to create short term emotional impact like trailers or extra features.
  • In-flight entertainment and hotels, to immerse consumers into relaxing experiences  in order to enjoy compact spaces.
  • Utilizing impactful content, at nooks and corners during VR engagement, one can make room for consumers to interact thus enhancing the moments. Users will get the opportunity to interact behind the scenes, and interact with entertainment, touching the moment. If a sudden content is slipped in middle of an ongoing experience where a momentum has already been built, that can allure audience by surprising them, make audiences go back to the experience and check out what they have missed.

New dimensions of immersive experience.

There is a possibility that rather than waiting for the content to show up, there will be a trigger to understand our intentions and present us with information.It’s an exciting time to experiment with immersive experiences, whether it will allow us to interact more freely and not be dependent on touch or other  actions. We should start thinking about integrating all of these efficiently. Organizations like Uber are tailoring content to engage consumers while riding, this is  based on time span. With Big Data, and newer technologies like Amazon Alexa, innovation platforms are open for interpretation.

The idea of technology following us everywhere is really exciting. Like having wireless earbuds with long lasting battery life, wide range of connection and better services connected, where we can speak our preference and access services. This scenario will open up an entirely new domain for immersive media. It might happen that products will go to consumers and ask their needs and provide them with their requirements.

Consider this.

While the current traction rate of VR is not making content producers creating tons of products on immersive experiences,  we are standing at a point of a revolution where  more companies will be making short features to create the emotional resonance.

Great content is the key to gain higher traction of people switching to immersive experiences. While great positive development takes its own shape, we should also consider issues of people spending too much time on the virtual world, thus forgetting about the real world. And we will need to have norms prepared to prevent that from happening.

You can watch and know more about the session here.

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