Virtual Reality: Is the way we watch TV in future ?

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Virtual reality technology captured its place in this culture through movies like The Lawnmower Man and also the Matrix, still as books like ready Player One, that steven spielberg is adapting for a movie. They presented visions of technology whereby strapping on a VR headset enabled people to explore virtual, computer generated worlds.

The cultural touchstones are freshly in mind for the TV business, because it tries to understand whether real-life headsets will be used to deliver new types of drama, documentary and storytelling. Multiple attempts in past decades to create VR a real-world success floundered. However, the release of a brand new generation of VR headsets in 2016 from Sony, Google, Samsung, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus VR has brought the technology back to prominence.

Virtual reality has been promised for many years, however in my conversations with the top developers in the field, it quickly became clear that never before have so much cash and talent bet on its close arrival. Headsets can begin going on sale this year, and competition can increase dramatically through 2016. Initially they will be bought by hardcore gamers and appliance geeks. They’re going to be expensive as very much like $1,500 with all the accouterments. And even as with cell phones, everybody else can mock the first adopters for mindlessly embracing unnecessary technology with no helpful purpose.

Virtual Reality experiences in their current form range from avoiding zombies in survival-horror game Resident Evil 7.  Exploring the ocean depths with David Attenborough to looking at Paul McCartney play live from an onstage vantage point, experiencing solitary confinement or exploring a Syrian shelter.  We can all have superpowers. because in virtual reality you’ll be anyone, you’ll go anyplace, and you can create anything, said HTC’s Rikard Steiber in a keynote speech. We’re simply at the beginning of what the technology can do. It’s a brand new computing platform it’s going to be the next mass medium.

The challenge is that in 2017 VR is much less popular than those apps. YouTube has over one billion monthly viewers, Instagram has over 600 million and Snapchat has 158 million daily users. By contrast, even VR evangelists admit that only around twenty million headsets are sold. Still, with analysis company Green-light Insights predicting that by 2021 headset owners can spend $9 bn a year on VR content, TV producers and broadcasters are keen to begin experimenting with the technology now.

This is as much an ingenious challenge as a business one. Several VR experiences till date have either been games or non-interactive video the admire early tv shows adopting the conventions of radio, and early cinema doing a similar with theatre. But like TV and films VR has the potential to evolve its own language and formats. Good VR includes a proposition that’s unique to VR. It sounds extremely obvious, however it’s key. It’s to be better in VR, or only in VR, said Greg ivanov from Google’s Daydream team, in a panel session at MIPTV. “A lot of media companies have a tendency to take what they need and put it in VR. That may be a decent bridge, but it’s not the ultimate destination for VR.”

Some of our greatest directors are transitioning from theater, and they understand groups of individuals, dynamics and choreography,” said solomon Rogers, whose studio Rewind has simply released a VR experience based on the film Ghost in the Shell.

Very few people are becoming rich from creating virtual-reality stories in 2017. However this might serve to encourage experimentation and risk-taking. As well as partnerships between TV firms and VR tech startups to know what VR offers that’s unique. Their hopes are that this in turn can persuade more people to buy a headset. A threat for the business is that if peoples 1st experience of VR is not good – whether it provides them motion-sickness or simply turns them off with clumsy storytelling and sick thought-out interactivity – they will not return for a long time.

TV firms are cautious but intrigued by the possibilities. you’ll be able to expect to see variety of shows get VR spin-offs in 2017 and 2018, as well as some attempts at VR-only experiences. “VR continues to be very much jury out,” said Kim Shillinglaw, from TV producer Endemol Shine. In the meantime, the VR tech corporations can continue attempting to stoke that curiosity, with HTC’s Steiber drawing on virtual reality’s pop-culture heritage with a reference to Keanu Reeves’s character in the Matrix. As he exhorted the TV industry to get concerned. “Hopefully, like Neo, you’ll take the pill and run down the rabbit hole with us.”

Virtual reality

Top Virtual Reality experiences

Home – A VR Spacewalk A collaboration between the BBC and VR agency Rewind, this takes its viewers on a 15-minute spacewalk.
Ghost in the Shell tying in with the new Scarlett Johansson film, this takes a number of its scenes into VR.
Farpoint Developed for Sony’s PlayStation VR, this is often a narrative-heavy space adventure.
Volcanoes – an Immersive experience German broadcaster ZDF created this 360-degree film, going close-up with an erupting volcano.
Adventure Time: I See Cartoon Network released this TV spin-off for kids, but included ‘time-out breaks’ to reassure parents.

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