Below is an article that appeared in Forbes about the Pivot Conference VR Showcase that we demoed some of our latest HTC Vive VR experiences. Link to the full article on Forbes.com – Forbes Article.
The Future Of Virtual Reality Video Has Arrived
By Steven Rosenbaum
NOV 2, 2015
As the organizer of the NY Video Meetup for the past five years, I get to see a lot of company pitches. There are some that fit into trends, some that seem a bit crazy, and every now and then a few that clearly give you a glimpse into where video is going.
This week one trend became extraordinarily clear. There is a movement in the video space from old, flat 2D video to the fast-arriving world of 360 video, known within the industry as VR video.
Virtual reality gives consumers the ability to explore inside video content. Wearing a virtual reality headset, they can stream immersive videos and take control of a 360 degree video environment. While it’s early days, brands are using VR to blur the lines between entertainment and advertising. If you’re driving in the front seat of a Porsche and enjoying the experience of driving on a race track, is that a commercial or a piece of entertainment that can sell cars. As more and more consumers find they don’t want to be sold, VR provides brands with a new way to entertain and expose consumers to their brands and products.
The first event that I attended was the Pivot Conference VR Showcase called “Virtual Reality For Brands.”
The Pivot Conference has been taking place for five years, and this year it added a series of single-subject evening showcase events to the day-long conference. The idea is to learn from, interact with and build relationships with your peers as attendees experience VR for themselves and learn how brands and organizations can take advantage of the fully immersive customer experience that the coming VR explosion can offer. The event offered hands-on experiences with Oculus Rift, Samsung VR Gear, Microsoft Hololens and Google Cardboard.
I was surprised at the quality of the VR presentations and the depth and technical knowledge of both the attendees and the presenters.
On thing was clear at the Pivot event, brands are going to be moving fast to embrace both monoscopic and stereoscopic 360 degree VR.
Then, two nights later, we introduced Alejandro Dinsmore and his company EEVO to the NY Video Community. EEVO is a creator-focused platform for high-quality VR content, offering streaming and download functionality across all hardware platforms.
EEVO delivers VR experiences to a wide audience by creating a curated distribution system for the best virtual reality content. It’s a platform where a select set of visionary creators can share their work with viewers looking to experience the new world of VR storytelling, and from the reaction in the crowd, the creative community is ready to rock.
Afterward a the social hangout the follows each meetup. And this night the crowd gathered around Alejandro and his Samsung Gear VR rig and basically didn’t want to let him leave.
Then, two days later, the NY Times announced that the weekend of November 7th and 8th, it would partner with Google to ship a free Google Cardboard headset to all of it’s 1.1 million print subscribers. Together the partners will deliver a series of VR short films via the NYT VR app for iOS and Android. The app’s first film “The Displaced” follows three refugee children from Syria, South Sudan, and eastern Ukraine. This is clearly a new way to present topical stories with video.
Brands. Destinations. The NY Times. Virtual Reality video is moving quickly from early adopters to the mainstream. Oh, and then there’s Facebook. We’ll have to wait and see what Mark Zuckerberg has in mind for Oculus Rift, which Facebook paid 2 billion dollars for in 2014. Said Zuckerberg of his commitment to Rift: “VR is the next great tech platform that’s going to define the way we connect in the future. In just a few years, VR has gone from a sci-fi dream to an awesome reality.”
And based on the week I just had, I have to say I think he’s right.
Groove Jones was one of the companies I saw at Pivot. They don’t want to be limited by committees, bureaucracy or focus group. Together the team is creating remarkable VR experiences.
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