Virtual Reality on the entertainment front: How it could change the industry

By @chelean on
Oculus virtual reality
A visitor uses Oculus virtual reality goggles at the exhibition stand of locomotionVR at the world's biggest computer and software fair CeBit in Hanover, Germany, March 14, 2016. Reuters/NIGEL TREBLIN

Virtual reality (VR) was believed to have started in the 1950s, but this emerging technology can be traced even before the conception of digital technology. From 360 degree murals to simulation devices, the virtual reality technology soon turned into a game changing technology that science enthusiasts are anticipating.

Several industries today that have already used VR , which could be the next big thing in experiential entertainment. An increase in the number of companies that introduced VR is also evident in companies such as Samsung, Google and Oculus.

During the CES 2016 , Oculus VR president Jason Rubin was excited to announce the release of the most awaited VR gadget this year: the Oculus Rift headset. Rubin admitted that the company has been targeting entertainment, including video games, music and immersive experiences, as its pioneering application. Samsung also showcased their next smartphone accessory which is the Samsung Gear VR. Just as Google Cardboard , another VR technology, is expected to conquer the mobile and gaming industry.

Future outside of gaming

A balanced, comfortable and completely adjustable VR headset was released by a known game console empire. Surprisingly, CNET figured out possible ways to use the PlayStation VR headset (PSVR) apart from gaming.

The PSVR headset lets users enjoy watching movies in cinematic mode and allows 360 videos to play on its updated media player. On its cinematic mode, users are able to watch regular movies from DVD or Blu-ray. The setup screen works similarly with traditional cinemas but at a limited 225 inch virtual screen at a distance of 2.5 metres. However, the user can choose among small, medium and large virtual screens.

Using its updated media app, the PSVR allows viewing of videos and photos on 360 mode. Facebook defined a 360 video as a video created with special camera that shoots and records in all 360 degrees of a screen. Users can then rotate the screen to view scenes at different angles.

Apart from gaming, Live Science predicts that VR would find itself dominating the film and music industry. Moviegoers are already enjoying 3D movies through VR gadgets and mobile apps. Film and television, as well, have incorporated VR technology in their production and were proudly showcased in the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Music VR experience

Music has also slowly embraced and incorporated the immersive VR technology in their products. Most recently, annual music and arts festival Coachella announced that it will be releasing its first VR version of the event in partnership with Vantage.TV, which means festival goers and fans all over the world can experience a 360 panoramic experience of the music festival.

Though far from having to use a VR headset, Grammy Award-winning popstar Taylor Swift’s “AMEX: Unstaged” video was the first 360 video to give fans an immersive experience on the making of her “Blank Space” music video. The VR-based video also bagged the 2015 Emmy Awards for Original Interactive Program.

The future of virtual reality is predicted to be the next big thing in entertainment. According to Raconteur, just as fans are getting harder to please, incorporation of VR in entertainment envisions a new and impossible technology that is hard to ignore. The need to constantly be Internet-connected also increased the viability of signal enhancing products such as network extenders like those from 5BARz international, routers and even smart Wi-Fi connections.