There has certainly been a lot of buzz about virtual reality and many have predicted that it will soon be one of the hottest trends in the events industry. We set out in search of real-world examples of how virtual reality is currently being used. Despite the hype, virtual reality use is still quite limited in our industry. Here is a quick round-up of what we discovered.
On March 3, 2017, the Guinness World Records for the “Most People Using Virtual Reality Displays” during a presentation was set at YPO EDGE in Vancouver. During his presentation, Ziv Aviram, CEO and co-founder of Mobileye, surprised the 1,867 participants with the experience of driving a driverless car in virtual reality.
Intel Virtual Reality News Conference
In January, at CES 2017, Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, delivered his news conference in virtual reality via the Oculus Rift headset. Intel teamed up with HypeVR to develop ultra-high-resolution, live-action VR capture. Intel streamed the world’s first live sporting event using its next generation processor, code named “Cannon Lake.” Intel plans to bring VOKE VR to Oculus Rift this year.
Events DC is using Samsung Gear VR headsets and virtual reality reels to showcase the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, RFK Stadium and other venues. The approach is to immerse the viewer into events at the various venues and give them a chance to experience the venues in action.
This is the result of Events DC teaming up with Interface Media Group:
Events DC is also in the process of organizing virtual reality bike rides at WeDC through the vibrant landscape of Washington, D.C., to view historic landmarks and Events DC venues.
Pop-up Event Marketing
Art of Marketing is Canada’s largest marketing conference. Using Samsung Gear VR, MetaVRse demonstrated a number of applications for virtual reality including 360-degree photography and videography.
For the PWC Partners’ Conference, MetaVRse demos included applications for virtual tours, entertainment and presentations.
With virtual reality, pop-up venues can literally pop-up just about anywhere. How about a virtual art gallery like the one that popped up in Amsterdam’s Museum Square last year?
Wedding and Event Videos
Wedding and event videos in virtual reality deliver 360-degree footage that puts the viewer in the center of the experience. Australia’s 360 Films and New York’s Virtual Reality Network deliver immersive surround video production for weddings and events. When viewed through virtual reality headsets, Virtual Reality Network videos are rendered in 360-degree degree, 3-D format. It’s a unique way of capturing events.
While it may not seem like it, virtual reality is moving fast. For example, at CES 2017, Samsung’s President, Tim Baxter, announced that sales of Samsung Gear VR headsets (retail price: US$100) have exceeded 5 million.
Virtual reality interfaces still need to deliver smoother animations and better video quality. Notwithstanding, by next year, we can look forward to seeing the technology deployed widely. Mobile phones with 360-degree video cameras anyone?