Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the new frontier of storytelling. VR and AR have been used primarily for gaming, with other applications primarily focused on education or training. However, as technology advances, these two platforms are becoming more accessible for businesses and consumers alike. Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment that players can access by wearing special headsets. Within these virtual worlds, users see and interact with 3D graphics in ways that mimic the real world; this is known as sensory realism. For example, if you open up your home computer right now and look at the monitor – it looks like a real world to you. But if you were to take that same computer outside and look through the same monitor from an angle, it would no longer look like a real world – it would only be a representation of one. That’s why many people refer to this as being in another place when using VR or AR because it makes players feel like they’re somewhere else instead of simply viewing something onscreen.
How to create VR content
VR content can be created using a variety of VR-specific platforms. You’ll need a headset to view content in VR, a computer with a VR-enabled video card, a VR-compatible wireless mouse, and a VR-enabled wireless keyboard. Additionally, you’ll need a high-speed Internet connection to stream VR content. VR content can be created using 360 video, which is a spherical video format. You can create 360-degree photos and 3D models by taking photos with a 360-degree camera and stitching them together in software. For example, you can use VR software like VRSE to create VR videos. VR software also allows you to track movement in 3D space, which is useful for creating VR experiences. VR also lets you create VR experiences for devices like the Google Daydream and Oculus Rift.
How to create AR content
AR is the ability for virtual objects to be superimposed on real-world surroundings. Augmented Reality lets you place virtual objects on top of the real world through your computer screen, camera, or phone. AR apps can let you view AR content in your office or classroom, play games on the go, useAR navigation, and more. One key difference between VR and AR is that VR is immersive – you’re actually in the virtual world, while AR is more like a layer on top of your surroundings so you see an overlay. VR and AR are growing in popularity. In fact, VR hardware and software sales increased 36% in 2016, according AR Market Insight’s report. AR is expected to see the greatest growth at 40%, while the rest of the market will experience moderate growth. The report predicts that by 2021, the AR market will reach $131 billion.
AR and VR are already changing marketing
AR and VR are already changing marketing strategies for several industries. For example, retailers are using AR to let consumers see how an item looks in their home. The same is true for restaurants, films, and other content creators. This lets shoppers visualize how the item will look in their home – helping them make better decisions.
Metaverse: A Shared Virtual Reality
Virtual reality enters the Metaverse with some unique features as well. VR allows for full sensory realism – that is, experiencing the real world as if you were really there. The problem with VR so far, however, is that there aren’t many ways to consume the content. So, when you use VR, everything you see and hear is blocked out, making it a bit difficult to fully immerse yourself in the experience. A key aspect of the metaverse, however, is that it shares each person’s individual virtual world. This means users can share their experiences with friends and family members – which leads to a much more social experience.
Metaverse: A Shared Augmented Reality
AR is also growing in popularity, but has a slightly different form of sharing. With AR, you don’t see the virtual objects (known as “AR stickers”) overlaid on top of the real world. Instead, you see the real world, and then use your phone’s camera to “see” the AR stickers. This means the experience is more like a layer on top of your surroundings, making AR stickers more like virtual objects than the full sensory-reality experience of VR. So far, the biggest use of AR is for gaming. For example, you can use popular apps like Pokémon Go to see real-world landmarks and Pokémon characters. You can also use AR to play games, like one app that lets people play a game of hide-and-seek in an urban environment.
The Future of VR and AR Journalism
VR and AR footage will likely be the most interesting type of footage to create for the future of journalism, according to a recent survey from the Institute for Social Informatics. The top three reasons for creating VR and AR journalism footage were to tell a story, to connect people, and to engage with audiences. VR and AR will likely continue to be the most popular type of content for journalists because it allows for a sense of personal connection and storytelling.
VR and AR are still relatively new mediums, so it can be difficult to navigate the potential uses for each technology. Keep in mind, however, that these technologies are currently being tested in a variety of markets. With focus on implementation, they could have a large impact on society.