The Future of VR and 360

Ever wonder why we like watching movies rather than go thru a novel and seeing an event in person rather than read about it? Likewise, it’s also a proven fact that visual information is share a lot more on social sites such as Facebook than textual content.

We humans are intensely visual creatures. In fact, 90% of all the information that is processed by our brains is visual. So, why is this important? Because it points to what we want - our need to create as exacting a replica of our experiences as possible, which is what VR/AR/360 are attempting right now.

There has been a lot that has been said about how VR is nothing more than a fad and how it will go the way of the 3D TV, but even a passing look at current events will tell that this is simply not true.

Where is VR/360 Right Now?

AR/VR saw an 85% increase in funding over 2015 and this trend is expected to continue in 2017 as well. If we plotted the path of VR on the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, we will find that we are right now in the early adopters category right now, preparing to make the jump across the chasm towards mass market acceptance. When might this happen? It’s hard to say. At current pace, VR may make this leap in about 3 years time as better, more affordable headsets and more content becomes available.

 That being said, VR still needs a breakthrough product that can reach more people. While Samsung’s Gear VR and the new Google Daydream View have made acceptable quality VR accessible to everyone, the products are still a step away from perfection. Apple is thought to be working on a new platform and its addition to the VR space will definitely drive greater adoption.

 On the content side of things, today’s 360 videos are deemed impressive primarily due to their immersive nature, but they still appear pixelated. An image in 360 is split into two, one for each eye, so a 1080p video is presented as 640p per eye. However, as the image is stretched across 180 degrees and a VR viewer typically displays 90 degrees, we only see 320p per eye at any given time. This is primarily why 360 videos appear so blurry.

Panasonic’s 220 Degree VR Headset

VR needs SIGNIFICANTLY higher resolution to be viewed properly and 4K is just the starting point. The hardware and streaming capability needed to present such dense content is still under development as well.

Where are VR and 360 Heading?

These challenges are no doubt daunting but are to be expected since we are still at first Gen VR. That being said, there are some really interesting developments in the works too. Here are a few that will revolutionise how we will be consuming 360 content in times to come…

 VR capable mobile devices: Jaw-dropping content is quite pointless if there is nothing to view it on. Today, mobile devices lack the screen quality and processing power to run quality VR content. However, the new generation of VR-ready smartphones will overcome this issue.

Snapdragon 835

 Sony’s Xperia Z5 come with 4K displays that is ideal for VR and 360. Other brands are also gearing up to bring phones with 4K display out this year. Likewise, new processors such as the Snapdragon 835 are being made specifically taking VR into account.

Faster, better VR cameras:

While we already have quite a few 4K 360 cameras (Kodak’s PixPro,  360Fly, Samsung Gear 360) in 2016, the first 8K 360 cameras also rolled out. Insta360 announced their first 8K camera that can capture 360 videos, images and can stream at 8K as well. Similarly, Gopro’s Odyssey provides 8K output and is designed to work with Google Jump, their proprietary stitching software.

But this is merely the beginning, we are already getting our first glimpse into 16K 360 photography. The Panono Camera can take 16K 360 photographs, stitch them up on the fly, and save them directly to the Panomo cloud. In times to come, 12K and 16K 360 cameras will become more widespread that will lower the entry barrier, enabling more people to produce and share high quality 360 content.

 Likewise, more advanced computational photography will slowly replace traditional image stitching that is known to create visual distortions such as parallax.

Faster Streaming:

While a lot of work is being done on creating high quality 360 content, distributing it will require next generation streaming technology. View-optimized streaming is an exciting solution where content within the viewer’s visible field of view (typically 90 degrees) is streamed instead of the entire 360 degrees. As they move their head, the image is updated on the fly enabling us to consume 4K 360 content.

Internet bandwidths are on the rise as well. AT&T has already started installing their Gigapower 1 gigabit/second fiber-optic lines in about 100 US cities for $90 a month. Google has also installed their Fiber Network in 9 cities and has plans to do so in 3 more soon.

Finally, even though 4G mobile internet (LTE) already has the potential to provide internet speeds in the 100s of Mbps, the upcoming 5G will allow us to tap into the Gigabit range.

Exciting Times Ahead!

For all the speculation, it’s hard to predict where VR as an industry will be in 10 years time. But at the current rate of progress, we can expect some very exciting technologies to emerge. Current 360 content is essentially the VHS of virtual reality. The good news however is that we won’t have to wait nearly as long for the transition to BluRay quality!

As many manufacturers are trying to integrate different solutions into one package, future 360, VR and AR content will be viewed on a single sleek, stylish device. People will be able to toggle between different modes with a switch and content producers will even be able to superimpose CG render directly on top of live events to give viewers a more immersive experience. The future of VR and 360 looks very bright indeed!

3 Ways 360 Videos and Virtual Reality Can Help Your Company

Millennium Falcon

As storytellers,

we are constantly astounded at the possibilities that virtual reality is presenting us with. And why shouldn’t we? All of us at some stage have daydreamed of sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Suddenly our childhood dreams do not seem so distant anymore and therein lies the potential VR presents us with -- to actually find ourselves in the adventure rather than just watch someone else go through it.

There’s science to back this up too. The Narrative Transportation Theory states that people can become lost in a character driven story thru empathy and mental imagery. When we empathize with the characters in a story, we feel as if we are experiencing the events ourselves, we lose track of time, experience strong emotions and in general, feel as if we are in the world of our characters -- and that’s precisely what VR/360 videos enable in a far more tangible way.

Charity:Water,

Early attempts with the tech are already yielding fantastic results. In December 2016, Charity:Water, a New York Based nonprofit that provides clean water to villages throughout the world showed a 360 video in VR for fundraising. The video was of a 13 year old girl in Africa who got clean water for the first time. The experience was so powerful that guests actually began to cheer and some even had tears in their eyes as they took of their headsets.

To a company trying to convey an experience to prospects, the opportunities here should be readily apparent. Here are 3 major ways VR can help your brand stand out...

 Using Oculus Rift and Virtual Reality to Visualize Data on Salesforce

Using Oculus Rift and Virtual Reality to Visualize Data on Salesforce

#1 Virtual Reality CRM

VR has lots of salespeople excited. The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) stated in a report that VR storytelling will emerge as one of the most preferred methods of digital advertising thanks to its ability to tell immersive stories. While the internet has allowed us to connect with people anywhere, it lacks the personal touch that comes with speaking to someone. With VR based CRM, salespersons will be able to create highly customized experiences for their prospects and meet them "virtually" anywhere! In fact, Salesforce is already betting big on how VR will enable salespeople to visualize data and drive better engagement.

# 2 VR Powered Internal Communications

VR presents new and exciting opportunities to disseminate knowledge within a company. VR powered training has the potential to be just as good as real, hands on training, with added advantages.

 NASA on VR Training for the International Space Station and Hyrbid Reality

NASA on VR Training for the International Space Station and Hyrbid Reality

For starters, training in real life has the inherent risk of things getting out of hands. Training accidents are some of the most common there are, especially when dealing with heavy machinery. With VR you can ensure that your new recruits practice their skills in a safe environment, where they can learn from their mistakes without any potentially fatal consequences.

Also, instead of having supervisors spend hours training new recruits, a VR training app can be played as many times necessary to ensure your employees have perfected a skill.

Many organizations such as NASA have already found great use for VR in helping their people get a better understanding of the job, its nuances and stresses.

With virtual reality and 360 videos, more powerful interactions can be created between management and staff. New recruit can strap on a VR headset for a virtual tour of the company. The possibilities what VR can help you accomplish here are endless!

# 3 VR for Branding and Marketing.

Greenlight Insights, which tracks trends in immersive media, recently found that most consumers held brands that were using VR and/or AR. Their report states 71% consumers thought companies using VR were forward thinking. Another 53% stated they are more likely to purchase from a brand which sponsors a VR experience. This is only one of many such studies that prove VR and AR have captivated the imagination of the public.

VR & 360 are also a readymade fit for many industries. Enterprises in automobile, tours and travel and real estate sectors are ideally placed to use VR to power their sales initiatives. Companies such as Audi and Volvo have already released 360 VR videos to showcase their products.

Case in point, we recently created a 360 tour for Fourscout, a network security tools creation service.

 ForeScout RSA / VR

ForeScout RSA / VR

 ForeScout RSA / VR

ForeScout RSA / VR

These are but a small fraction of what virtual reality and 360 videos present us with. As the technology matures, we will see more applications and ways to drive engagement so we at 360 Pro Films are definitely excited about what the future is holding for everyone.

Exciting to be at Cinequest VR Film Festival in Silicon Valley

On video shoot, working with GB films

Working on a corporate video for ForeScout where the viewer get transported to different locations, can't wait to show you what we did!

There is a funny shoot were we are all hiding behind the tree!

We have just been accepted to Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose!

Really excited to be accepted in the Cinequest Film Festival! it's local and pretty large with a large support for VR 

Tickets for our film is here if you are interested in going:

:http://payments.cinequest.org/WebSales/pages/info.aspx?evtinfo=59951~78899376-35a9-4153-8303-e1557be2dc32&epguid=d52499c1-3164-429f-b057-384dd7ec4b23&#.WJuhSrYrKL7

OUR FIRST FILM FESTIVAL!

So excited, we got into our first film festival.

Our work will be showing in Seattle at http://www.techdocfest.org/

from Jan 27-29 at the VR/360 Lounge, check it out if you are there!

USA Today Network launches weekly VR news show

  • USA Today Network is producing the first-ever branded weekly virtual reality show slated to run Thursdays at 2 pm Eastern on the USA Today app, VR Stories app and YouTube.com/VRtuallyThere according to a company press release.
  • Toyota is the brand sponsor for the show called VRtually There.
  • The car maker will feature the first “cubemercial,” what Kevin Gentzel, USA Today Network’s chief revenue officer, described as “a showcase of our pioneering effort in building an ad standard in VR.”

After years of promises, virtual reality is approaching critical mass. Technology, computing power and cost is catching up with the hype, in part because of investment from tech giants like Google, Facebook and Samsung. Publishers and marketers alike had to be heartened with Juniper Research’s recent report that found VR hardware sales might hit $50 billion by 2021. By producing this VR news show, USA Today is giving the tech a thumbs up and Toyota is taking the plunge on the brand side with its sponsorship.

“We believe in creating amazing experiences for our guests, so we’re excited to help launch USA Today Network’s innovative VR show, bringing incredible virtual reality experiences to its audience. The Network’s approach to bold storytelling and use of new mediums aligns with our brand and our creative approach for the new 2017 Toyota Camry,” Lisa McQueen, Media Manager for Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., said in the release.

About the show, Joanne Lipman, USA Today’s chief content officer pointed to the innovative storytelling possibilities of VR news and said the media company’s in-house VR production is unique to the industry.

NEWLY FORM

NEWLY FORM

We are really excited to launch 360profilms. 

We feel the need to have a company that is committed to creating quality 360 / VR films and to tell great story to everyone out there.

The future for 360/VR films looks exciting and we can't wait for you to join us on this journey!

Jayson Tang / Founder