“I don’t want to scare anyone but a revolution is coming.” These are the oddly ominous words with which Rod Findley, ECD, C2K Communications, began his session at Goafest 2017.
In a session titled ‘The next wave of reality’, Findley spoke about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and how marketers can use these innovations in technology to reach out to the consumers and leave a lasting impression.
Now, imagine stepping out of the city hall just after getting married and instantly setting out on that dream honeymoon. Now, imagine doing this without having moved an inch from outside the city hall premises. With immersive technology like virtual reality, it is as easy as dreaming to get a virtual tour of London while standing in the middle of a crowded New York street and it is just as easy to stand in King’s Landing looking out at the rugged mountains while being cooped up in your sofa.
Calling immersive technology the next sea-change, Findley said, “The first major change came with the PCs when online marketing evolved, from then it progressed to mobile. But I feel that immersive technology is the next medium that we should talk about.”
Explaining the differences between VR, AR and MR, Findley said, “Virtual reality allows you to immerse yourself in a different world, it completely surrounds you. Augmented reality is when you can scan digital markers into real space using your tablet or phone like Pokémon Go but it doesn’t have the same immersive feel that virtual has. Mixed reality is something that is just coming out. In mixed reality you can still see the world around you but it scans the environment and super-imposes images into the space. So it is like augmented reality but it is also immersive.”
Findley believes that there are two ways of creating content for VR. The first is live shooting where everything is shot in 3D and in binocular 360 degree. But the challenge in doing so, Findley believes, is that it ties one down to the camera moment, it is not a situation where one can move around. The other way of creating content for VR, according to Findley, is to create content in graphics.
Naming the seven drivers for great VR experience, Findley said, “The first driver is immersive, the second is interactive, the third is memorable. The VR experience is extremely memorable and it is scientifically proven. A 2D video of a singing experience was played to an audience and the same experience was played to them in VR and the ability of people to remember things from the VR experience were tremendously higher than the 2D experience.”
“The fourth driver is that it allows discovery. With VR you have to allow the audience the prospect of discovering things for themselves. VR also increases the sense of empathy with a subject. The next driver is proxy, VR can be used as a great training tool. The last driver is novelty,” added Findley.
Virtual reality is intrinsically a solo experience but how can marketers take that solo experience and extrapolate it?
“What you can do is when you create a VR experience you should also create an app that has that VR experience in it. That will be something that you can share and something that people can download. In this way the experience can be expanded and shared.”
Findley ended his session by stressing on goal and not gimmick.
“Think about the goal, about what story you are trying to tell, about what engagement you want to have. Don’t think about it as a gimmick. The end goal is to engage with the audience. So the next step I think is that people should really start using these technologies and try and find the right way to do so because these technologies are going to be the future.”