There’s that certain something in the 360-degree video and virtual reality, but what is it?
When I first got a 360-degree video in front of me on YouTube where I got to turn the ‘camera’ myself with my mouse in any direction whatsoever while the video played, I realised that there was something new before me and that it made sense. At the same moment, it occurred to me to wonder what that sense might be. I honestly don’t fully understand it yet either, but I do understand that there’s always sense for a marketer in an exciting experience! Those who first adopt the application and learn to use it have at least the advantage to take on the change with confidence and readiness.
In this article, I’m not going to deal with the hype and investment boom around virtual reality – let’s just conclude that it’s significant and you can go into that from this link. I’ll concentrate on the content, so let’s get to business:
Choose where you look
In a 360-degree video, the viewer can turn the camera angle in the direction they want. In other words he is in the middle of the events of the video! It’s a new and exciting experience. For example, in the video below: grab onto the screen and find the singer!
N.B. For now, YouTube’s 360 videos only work in the browser on the desktop. When viewed on the computer, use the latest Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer browsers (not Safari!). With your smartphone and in Safari, you can see a so-called stereoscopic whole 360-degree picture, which isn’t much of an experience. If you want to use your smartphone, use the YouTube application which allows 360-videos.
The video was produced by the OneMinStory network’s Medialouhos.
A 360-degree video is at its best when viewed with VR goggles and so that the viewer gets to take part in the events. It leaves an indelible impression! Unfortunately at least for now, VR equipment or goggles are a rarity, and hardly anyone uses them primarily to watch commercials.
How can a marketer use virtual reality now?
It’s new, successful, exciting and the wider audience doesn’t have easy access to it. Just like a celebrity! Connect your image in a genuine way to virtual reality and offer your customers real encounters in a new kind of environment.
We arranged a VR booth at the event of our customer Plastex, where the video artist Arto Ant-Wuorinen got to try out virtual reality for the first time. Participants got to try their hand at three-dimensional drawing in virtual reality with the Tilt Brush application of Google. Even the more sceptical and grown-up experimenters were entranced by the experience! All of them learned to draw literally brilliant works at once, move amongst them and experience:
WHAT IS A DRAWING LIKE THAT’S A SCULPTURE AT THE SAME TIME?
The experience was, above all, fun, intense and refreshingly new. It was a unifying topic of conversation, but not too technically educational, because it’s possible to get involved in the experience immediately. The apparatus is already at such a good level (thanks to the Finnish virtual reality association FIVR for the loan of the equipment!).
The 360-degree video is immersive, above all, i.e. practically very captivating, because it places and, at best, submerges the viewer on an experiential level right in the middle of events.
Where’s the story?
How is a story told in virtual reality or with a 360-degree video? In the same way as before; it has a beginning, middle and end, and something changes along the way and in the thinking of the viewer.
Carrying the viewer along in the story, at the same time as they take part in the events and literally use the camera themselves, is challenging. However, it is done. A good example is virtual reality games.
In the same way as in many games before, the idea is to walk along a particular ‘reality tunnel’. Another way is the situation that begins and ends at a specified time, like in the music video seen before.
Control must be given up
In virtual reality, the teller of the story has to understand that the viewer’s use of time, state or experience cannot be controlled completely, and that’s not the intention either. To the horror of many story-telling professionals, in order to succeed, the teller has to give up control in virtual reality and in the 360-degree video.
The only way to control is to create such a spectacular experience, story or application that it sucks the viewer in. The viewer’s experience of freedom, and its natural and inspiring creation, are the most important requirement for the success of the telling of the story. That, in itself, is already some kind of experience and a challenging goal. In addition to that, a story can also be told. The events around can have a beginning, a middle and an ending. We can cause a change in the thinking of the viewer with the story, just as with other story-telling devices.
Here is a music video filmed with Nokia’s Ozo camera in one take. There is a clear story and it requires the seamless cooperation of more than a hundred actors. There’s no way to hide behind the camera…
An informative application is a clear case
Training, teaching and the informative application are the most most clearly usable applications of the 360-degree video and virtual reality. Learning has been found to be many times more effective if visual aids, such as video, are used. Learning is even more effective if the learner personally takes part in doing. In the experience of virtual reality, those two superchargers of learning are combined! That’s also my own experience of the Tilt Brush event. Learning how to use it is so instantaneous that it totally bewitches you and you feel like you’re in an amusement park. Learning is fun!
Here’s a 360-degree informative presentation video of the CERN particle accelerator.
Good news from Finland
Did you know that there’s a Finnish company involved in the platform competition of virtual reality and the 360-degree video? It has been refining its product for years, and has international customerships and turnover from all around the world? Thinglink began its journey with photo-enriching openable action points, thinglinks. With photos, thinglinks haven’t yet completely revolutionized the world. But, they have risen to be a tool and media for informative 360-degree realizations that stands out in the world (this 360 application too works best on the desktop, i.e. a PC, for the moment).
Through development of the technology and platform, Thinglink is ready for virtual reality, and all kinds of 360-degree video applications. Customerships are pouring straight into Thinglink’s lap when an easy way to create a new, interesting experience is sought. Thinglink is a Finnish start-up, whose most prominent evangelist is the Sales Director of the European region, Sani Leino. By producing good content, he distributes value to everyone working in sales and story-telling and thus is worth a follow!
Why am I writing about VR and the 360-degree video?
OneMinStory produces videos on the basis of the current marketing needs of companies. What do the hype issues of the future have to do with them? Hype stories are a part of the reference development of the content production of companies. By taking virtual reality now as the topic of already ‘ordinary’ videos or other contents, I’m offering value to those who are interested and puzzled by the subject. At the same time, I learn about what’s to come. You can do the same.