Let’s take a minute, and understand the difference between VR and 360-degree videos
As you know, the Virtual reality is often considered a fully immersive, computer/mobile-generated experience that is achieved by wearing a head-mounted display. The VR headset allows the user to interact with their surroundings just like in Video Games built for Oculus Rift gaming.
360 videos, on the other hand, are played on flat screen and are less interactive. These videos are available on YouTube, Facebook, and many other mobile apps. So, there are headsets with their own displays (Oculus Rift) and other cases that use a smartphone for the screen and processor.
Google Cardboard is the best example of the cases that use a smartphone for the screen. And with the success of Google Cardboard (which sold more than 5 million sets in the first month), the company is now heading towards a new dimension. Recently, Clay Bavor who heads Google’s Virtual Reality revealed Daydream as their new VR platform at Google’s I/O conference for software developers.
What is Daydream VR platform?
Just like how Android platform created opportunities for developers in mobile devices, Google wants to do the same with Daydream with an aim to design an ecosystem around it. As you can see, the YouTube app is well designed to fit anyone’s search needs.
In fact, it is so entertaining that it won’t let you take your VR unit off. And although the user interface is not yet finalized, it will definitely provide a quick and easy access to every single one of YouTube’s main features.
With the Google VR family of products like Expeditions (Cardboard), Jump, and Daydream (Mobile), they are partnering with multiple virtual reality production companies to create a wide variety of immersive videos.
Project Arena is another Virtual Reality Project started to enhance the VR landscape into a gaming space. The two modes of this VR game will give you an experience of you into the world of Tron, and use the “Disk” just like Sam Flynn used in the movies.
Apart from these VR initiated projects; three brands have started their own VR gear coincidently having their own niche and appeal to different consumers.
It was first unveiled to the world in 2012; Oculus Rift has an OLED display, 1080×1200 resolution per eye with 110° field of view. This is a Desktop VR device, and cannot be connected to your PlayStation. They have their own Oculus games available on Oculus VR site like Adr1ft ($20), Chronos ($50), Lucky’s Tale (Bundled with Rift), The Climb ($50), and Time Machine VR ($20) to name a few. There is amazing Oculus uses like you can immerse yourself in the movie like Avatar, get a virtual online education, attend concerts, and get personal physical training etc., with just $350 to $400.
Sony’s PlayStation VR, launching this October, offers a great game lineup like Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Waltz of the Wizard, puzzle games like Tumble, virtual Jenga, Super Hypercub etc. The price of PlayStation VR is set to cost $399 and this requires owners also have a PlayStation 4, unlike other VR Headsets which are well adaptable.
While PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift work on a single screen mode, VIVE maintains dual camera that acts as a second wall behind the user. To setup HTC VIVE, you need to place two sensors in your room that will act as a thin blue line boundary and will act as a playroom for the user.
It’s called “chaperone mode,” and its practical application is to prevent you from moving too far outside the area that you’ve set up for the Vive and potentially stumbling into furniture/plants/animals/etc, around your home and hurting yourself.
For gaming, Vive is powered by Steam VR, which is an extension of Valve’s existing game distribution platform with a pretty hefty list of game titles, and will cost you $799 / £689 / 899, which is $200 more than Oculus Rift.
360 and Branding
With Virtual Reality being adopted by mainstream media as the next social platform, marketers and advertisers face a new set of a challenge ahead in time. As the technological innovation around VR is rapidly evolving around gaming, and motion reality, brands can use their products as the catalyst for their 360-degree campaigns. There are many 360 degrees recorders available in mobile devices like Bublcam, Nokia OZO, V.360 and Samsung Gear 360 to get started.
Virtual Reality is also giving fans a chance to indulge in the live basketball, soccer, and derby arenas. Recently, brands like UEFA teamed up with Nokia to add Virtual Reality to Euro 2016. The OZO will give VR viewers a 360-degree shot throughout the stadium during multiple games, including some of the England, Wales, and Northern Ireland matches.
With the help of NextVR, the NBA is planning to launch a live Virtual place for the fans, where they can stand side by side of their basketball idols. Also, one of America’s most beloved games – The Kentucky Derby, is planning to add virtual reality into action. This means you can go feel the cold touch of thoroughbreds running down the track.
So, if you want to join the Virtual Reality parade, and have created the content, then you can utilize the following platforms apart from the usual YouTube,
This is a flexible, high-performance viewer for all kind of panoramic images and interactive virtual tours.
This works in the same philosophy of YouTube. You will get a vast library of videos where you watch and share VR videos.
This website is dedicated to 360-degree videos and photos available in a vast library just like Vrideo and YouTube have.
Kolor Eyes is a GoPro owned company that produces 360-degree players. When you download their mobile app, you will get an access to the database created by GoPro users.
Even though these platforms may support you in your marketing campaigns, people are not going to stumble upon your curated content out of Blue. You can use Cloud-Based CMS for VR and 360˚ Content provided by viar360, but the Virtual Reality moment has just started and needs an attention of the demographic audience to grow day by day.
Google’s new initiative will try to bring people who can’t afford these expensive gadgets priced around $399 to $700. There are many cheaper versions of VR devices available in the Indian market such as VRfirst, AuraVR, and Boxlight which will give you an immersive experience.
Daydream initiative is created to focus the development of the app, and generate better content for the masses. Just like Google cardboard (which is Android based), Daydream will open spaces for developers on android’s platform as the team is supposedly focused firmly on phone-based VR.
As Google’s chief of VR – Bavor says that for Daydream apps, Google will “take a very, very strong stance” on quality, performance, frame rate, and image latency, we can aspect better VR experience in future.
Being an artist, movie buff and a media enthusiast, content writing is my career train. I am a proud alumni of Symbiosis Institute of Media Communication (Pune) and currently working for Vidooly.