Digital Journeys 2015 took place in Brighton and welcomed digital marketing experts across a range of disciplines to inform and challenge our perceptions of customer journeys today.
Rewind’s Founder & MD Solomon Rogers presented on “Virtual Reality in the Real World”.
Sol shared insights into why virtual reality is important and exciting right now, some VR case studies and future gazing around mixed and merged realities.
“We’re an award winning virtual reality, digital and physical production studio. We take pride in our dynamic and diverse team of visual artists, creative technologists, programmers and production staff. ”
Sol shared a number of examples of their AR and VR work, more of which you can see on their website. Here are some:
Formula 1 AR
“For our Formula 1 Augmented Reality project, you stand on the Formula 1 podium, shake a bottle of champagne, and virtual spray goes everywhere! You get to feel like you’re an F1 winner, it’s a lot of fun. The video is automatically edited, uploaded onto social media and it gets shared with you. One of the guys in the office has to travel around to every Formula 1 race with a champagne rack. Poor guy, he's having a really tough time!
The ultimate deck chair
We were briefed to make a deck chair with a difference, the ultimate deck chair. The chair we created had a slush puppy machine, wireless sound system, a GPS sunshade and a sand pit! We used a VW base so it could be driven around and designed all the tech. It was a huge hit with beach goers and the media. We even reached Canada, the Discovery Channel wanted to interview me, the “crazy British inventor” behind the chair.
Click below for the full case study
VR delivery platform for Björk
Rewind was commissioned to create a unique VR delivery platform for Bjork’s stunning new video for one of her latest tracks ‘Stonemilker’, this was captured by VRSE. The bespoke application designed for iOS devices blends high fidelity 360 footage with revolutionary binaural technology created by Two Big Ears. What does that mean? Binaural audio basically means directional. So if she sings to you from one side, and you have your eyes shut, you know that she's singing to you from that side.
It was mixed by the BBC, so the audio's not only of Bjork, but it's also of the orchestra that's placed around you. So you can hear the strings on one side and the drums on another. It's a really, really beautiful piece. We've had people crying when they experience it.
This was displayed in MOMA, New York, and also Rough Trade in the UK.
VR experience for Red Bull
Working directly with Red Bull, Rewind was commissioned to produce the ultimate interactive flight experience for the Red Bull Air Race. The experience allows members of the public to sit directly in the pilot's chair and experience the blistering pace and quick turns of an Air Racer. The kit is then taken around the world for people to experience at key events.
VR content, marketing and technology
VR is a brand-new medium. It's not TV. It's not film. It's not games. It combines the knowledge from these disciplines and builds something new. And it's growing incredibly fast. Graphs like this have been turning up over the last six months...
A head-mounted display is everything from Google Cardboard through to the Oculus Rift. All of them are going to need content. People are starting to say it’s a $200 billion industry, at which point anybody who's anybody will say, "Well, we need to be involved in this." Either we need to make content for it, or we need to work out how to market to it.
From the 90’s to Oculus to now
Nineties virtual reality was so bad that everyone tried to ignore it, and head-mounted displays have been around for a while. And then Palmer Luckey founded Oculus and bought everything together. He did a Kickstarter for $250,000 and got $2.5 million. And then, before they even released one product, Facebook bought them for $2 billion. He's a very happy 23-year-old.
Casual VR is a big thing. All of you have a Google Cardboard. I recommend taking it home, download as many apps as you can. Just type VR into the iOS store, the Android store and then just see what it's about, because it's really super accessible. The top line of devices on this slide are pieces of technology that you need a phone. So everything from the Viewmaster, through to a 3D printed one, to a Cardboard. The middle ones need some hardware. But the bottom three are the ones that are going to change everything next year. So bottom left is the Sony Morphius, which plugs into a Playstation 4. Great, amazing piece of hardware. It's the Val Vive in the middle, which goes into PCs, and comes with its own already huge ecosystems of apps. And then Oculus is the one that everyone's excited about. And they've actually put a stake in the ground and said it's coming out Q1 next year. Bottom right, though, is another one which is really going to be a game-changer. That's the Microsoft HoloLens. And then Apple have hired a head of VR. Watch this space.
VR, AR and marketing
It was about hardware. Now it's all about content. All of these devices and all of this talk of technology means nothing if there's nothing to view on it. If there's no
- branded content
- product placement
…because it's so new, no one has a real direct answer yet of how to market into those places.
Sol shared how real virtual is because of the way our brain consumes information and what it ‘sees’. He delved into the technicalities of creating virtual reality experiences and CGI but emphasised that, “the biggest thing, though, is bad content is bad no matter what. You can’t dress up bad content and hope people won’t realise. You have to make compelling content from the start. You have to evoke emotion, emotion connects and builds communities.”
VR for good
VR has the ability to allow someone to transcend their own disabilities. Taking them from their bed to somewhere freeing, allowing people to not only walk again, but go beyond to anything that’s in their imagination. Rewind is looking for partners to help them in this mission.
The future for Virtual Reality
There's going to be things like:
- Full size kits you can put on at home that will allow you to run in VR
- Force feedback accessory weapons
- Jackets with impact solenoids, so if you get shot, it hits you just as hard
- HoloLensso you can have virtual meetings ‘sitting across the table’ from one another
Everyone who's doing VR right now has only been doing it for 24 months, every time we make a new project, we learn. A friend of mine at DreamWorks said, "Anyone that says they're a VR expert is a liar." Our fledgling industry needs its own refined hardware, bespoke software tools, expert talent and the support of new education degree courses. To allow this industry to create truly amazing virtual reality content.
Thanks very much."