The development of virtual reality technology in the past few years, and of 360-degree video in general, has led to a largely untapped new medium for businesses to promote their products and brands. While some believe this is just a passing fad, virtual reality and the like now have greater potential to become mainstream due to growing consumer interest and improving technology. In turn, the continuing development of these technologies could have an immense impact on companies and how they interact with consumers, particularly when it comes to marketing strategy.
Virtual reality, or VR, uses computer technology to create a simulated 3D environment in which participants are able to interact with the setting using a head-mounted display. As a new innovation, part of the reason consumers are so eager to interact with VR technology is due to the novelty factor. Consequently, it has become a common practice for companies to use VR in a trendy marketing campaign targeting a younger demographic. However, VR is also growing in popularity due to its visually immersive experience that engages consumers, with its potential to revolutionize the storytelling experience by allowing the participant to explore the generated world. These appeal factors ultimately leave memorable impressions with consumers, which keeps them interested and coming back for more content.
Another similarly immersive experience is 360-degree video, which allows consumers to interact with an immersive environment through standard video media, without the use of additional hardware. Because 360-degree video has fewer barriers to entry, it makes a great tool for accomplishing a heightened level of engagement at a lower cost than VR. Using 360-degree video, businesses can transport their consumers into any situation or environment.
There are a few different ways to shoot 360-degree videos. One of the more expensive options is the Nokia Ozo camera, which includes eight lenses, eight onboard mics for capturing spacial audio, a global shutter, and top-notch processing. Virtual Aptitude, a technology company, has taken the 360/VR camera a step further by developing a similar full-featured camera housed within an autonomous robot that follows given way-points, eliminating the human operator and minimizing the blind spot issue that affects all 360-degree videos. A more affordable option, which ASL owns and operates, is by GoPro, which makes both 10-camera and six-camera 360 rigs.
At ASL, we typically use a six-camera GoPro rig for shooting 360-degree videos, and we use software called Auto Pano in post production to stich images into a 360-degree environment. We find that a six-camera rig provides sufficient coverage, while getting professional image quality. Still, certain projects demand a more specialized camera. For one 360-degree video project ASL Produced promoting the Miami Marlins Championship Suite, we used a self-contained Kodak 360 Pix Pro camera which was an easy, fast, affordable solution.
Yet another new-age technology ASL utilizes, primarily in experiential applications, is augmented reality (AR), which uses coding to manipulate live video so the viewer sees their environment transformed into a surrealistic one. Our experiential work with BMW in Times Square is a perfect example, for which we set up a live feed of traffic passing in Times Square, projected the feed onto a large window facing the street, and used code to transform each passing vehicle into a BMW concept car in real-time. Passers by were treated to an awesome experience with the BMW brand.
At ASL Productions, we think it’s important to stay ahead of the technological curve and understand all the ways in which consumers are interacting with brands, as well as each other. Our goal is to keep our partners ahead of their competition, so we always keep ourselves familiarized with technologies that help create a stronger connection among audiences. If you’re interesting in learning more about how you use the latest technology to strengthen engagement with your audience, call ASL Productions today!