Virtual reality – Four Lessons for Brands and Publishers
By Patrick Milling-Smith
Total immersion is critical to the success of any VR experience, but that relies on your audience having access to good quality headsets and headphones.
The term “virtual reality” (VR) has been around for nearly 30 years, but only recently has its transformative power been fully revealed. The processing power of relatively cheap smartphones can now immerse us in a 360-degree virtual environment, give unprecedented agency to the viewer and tell stories in ways they’ve never been told before. It’s perhaps the “last new medium”, as Chris Milk, my partner at VR studio, Here Be Dragons, predicts.
It’s becoming clear that this new kind of storytelling need not be confined to traditional film narratives. It has huge implications for sport and news, and also for advertising and brands, because by taking people somewhere – making them feel informed and present – our ability to move and affect them physically and emotionally is magnified. When distractions are minimised and the sense of presence enhanced, you really feel that you’re walking in somebody else’s shoes.
It’s thrilling to work within a genre that’s so new and moving at such a rapid pace, but we’re the first to acknowledge that we’re still learning the grammar rather than writing the language. Here are four important lessons we’ve learned along the way.