04 Mar Virtuality
“Like a shipwrecked mariner adrift on an unknown sea; Clinging to the wreckage of the lost ship Fantasy; I’m a castaway, stranded in a desolate land I can see the footprints in the virtual sand”. In 1996 Neil Peart, lyricist and drummer for the Canadian rock band wrote those lyrics for the song “Virtuality”, a song about the “new world” the internet revolution had brought into the mainstream. This “virtual reality” he spoke of was video games, and the fantastical adventures one could take by plugging in a controller and going off into a world of wonder. But today, that sort of fantasy adventure just isn’t good enough. Virtual reality is no longer about playing a video game, it isn’t even limited to the video game. Modern VR is about experiencing – living- the desired content.
Howstuffworks.com describes today’s virtual reality, one of play and one of content, thusly:
Scientists, theorists and engineers have designed dozens of devices and applications to achieve this goal. Opinions differ on what exactly constitutes a true VR experience, but in general it should include:
Three-dimensional images that appear to be life-sized from the perspective of the user
The ability to track a user’s motions, particularly his head and eye movements, and correspondingly adjust the images on the user’s display to reflect the change in perspective
The Guardian puts the two current understandings of VR another way:
One is the ability to watch 360-degree videos that put you inside specially filmed footage and allow you to look around, but not move or fully interact with the footage. The other is interactive virtual worlds that let you explore computer generated environments, either alone or with other people.
But so what? How do we know this isn’t some passing fad like the Pet Rock in the 1970’s? Because money talks. As The Guardian also reports, “Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg didn’t spend $2bn buying Oculus VR to release a niche headset for high-end PC owners, even though that’s pretty much what its first commercial version – retailing for $599 plus the price of a powerful PC (if needed) – will be.” Other tech giants, such as Google, Samsung and Microsoft have also followed suit and are investing in VR divisions. In fact HTC reported selling 15,000 of their $800 Vive VR headsets within 10 minutes of release.
VR stands to revolutionize video, which is already revolutionizing internet marketing. In fact, big names like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are already diverting funds to VR advertising, utilizing Google’s virtual reality system known as Google Cardboard, which permits users to build a VR headset out of used boxes, as a receptacle for one’s smartphone which then transforms into a VR screen.
In a world where video becomes more than novelty entertainment, but a full on, interactive experience, companies are going to need the latest and most innovative technology to ensure their end user’s quality of experience is dependable with no disruptions if they wish to stay relevant and competitive. With NPAW’s YOUBORA software, this task is made easy and simple. Why risk NOT being prepared for the VR revolution, when the future is now.
Just another thing to think about from us here at NPAW.