Towards Realizing The Potential of Virtual Reality in the Entertainment Industry
Ashish Parmar is the CEO of Prismetric - one of the reliable Mobile App Development Companies.
“Entertainment is about taking people away from the regular order of things when there is some chaos, pain, and stress in life.” – Michael Jackson.
Since the dawn of humanity, the different forms of activities are performed that delights the wide range of people from toddler to elderly ones.
The activities that hold the people’s interest and add pleasure to the life is essentially termed as entertainment, which has evolved from conventional storytelling, listening radio, and watching black and white silent movies to the live music, theatres, online channels, video games and other forms of mass media.
With technology progress, what mass media offers is consumed by people like food, forgotten, and then replaced by a new dish. That’s why the world has witnessed a series of transitions in the entertainment space.
Virtual reality technology has set a new stage for the world where the click of mouse or pressing of buttons would no longer require to entertain the people, instead, it’s filled with tactile interactions with digital world objects that lets people see, feel, hear, smell, taste and manipulate the digital world.
VR- the next frontier of entertainment industry delivers an immersive experience to the people by turning the Sci-Fis into realities at a fast pace. It’s spanning across all areas of entertainment, including gaming, music, theatres, TV channels, parking rides, and pretty more.
Different industries leveraging virtual reality to entertain the target users, to evolve the way to communicate with the users, enable remote interactions, and change the way people socialize.
Let’s scratch the surface how the entertainment industry is experiencing VR revolution and unfolding new business models with it:
• Transforming the way people listen to music
The implementation of VR technology in music videos, live performances, and music education has astounded the people who have experienced it.
The way back in 2015, when Google and Facebook have enabled the posting of 360-degree videos
, the immersive video creation gained traction. Listening to the music alongside viewing the videos through VR headset has taken the music video experience to a new level.
Gorillaz’s virtual reality music video for “Saturnz Barz” that’s jam-packed with a unique storyline, eye-catching visuals, and alien monsters is the brilliant example of it, which has generated over 3 million views in just 48 hours.
Going beyond music videos, the live music concerts and events are also incorporating the technology to turn the live performance on TV or other forms of media into a shared space with fans.
NextVR is one of the VR platforms that allow concert organizers to record the artist performance at the show and enable the users who are not able to attend the concert to enjoy the whole event using VR headset. The users can view the performance of the following artists- Imagine Dragons, Lady Antebellum, and Damian Marley on NextVR platform. It’s another business opportunity to monetize once the music show is over.
Coachella festival that has distributed complimentary VR headsets to the fans who bought tickets is another instance of it. The Coachella VR app allows the festival-goers to view the content (performances, interview with the artist, 360-degree festival panoramas) before, during, and after the festival. It has excited the goers and enhanced watching live music show experiences.
• VR theatres to create virtual cinematic experiences
Who would like to physically go to the movie theatre when they can spare all hassles and expenses by staying at home and streaming a movie right on the couch via Netflix and home VR? Certainly, no one would prefer. But, it has put movie theatre business into trouble and they are dying a slow death as ticket prices are going up and the attendance is going down.
This is why leading players has decided to invest in VR technology
to motivate the people to get off the couches and get entertained in the theatres. The people wearing VR headsets on the spinning office-style chair can view the entire movie show in the virtual world devoid of the screen. No matter in which direction the people see, they will be landed into the virtual world of movie scenes.
Cinemark- the world’s largest movie theatre chains teamed up with SPACES to start offering VR experience at its Century 20 Oakridge, and XD theatre in San Jose, California. The theatre is constantly innovating to take the movie going and entertainment experience to the next level.
The theatre is offering immersive and mixed reality adventure experience to the Bay area guest where the players will fight against Skynet that takes place in the Terminator universe. After the show is over, the cinematic video of the experiences is provided to the players that they can take to the home and share with friends on social media.
• VR making the games more engaging than before
The multimedia boom of the early 1990s leads to the creation of video games (the combination of video and games) that has delighted the generation of that time. But, the interactive element was missing and that has given the space to VR technology in the gaming entertainment industry.
VR is adding a new dimension to the gaming industry with its potential to hook up the people with an immersive experience, a new level of interaction, and outstanding content.
Pushing the boundaries, most of the computer games are translated into VR format with better interaction and ground-breaking visuals. The first-person VR shooter games, VR racing games, VR horror games, VR adventure games, VR casino games, and VR city building games are the beloved crown jewels of the VR gaming space.
Taking a step ahead, the leading companies have released Playstation's PS4 VR for which the catalog of VR games is launched in the market. The growing craze for PS4 consoles in the home certainly surge the VR apps appeal and the users will get stunning and fully immersive experiences.
• Location-based VR solutions
The location-based entertainment (LBE) is considered as the future of VR that’s transforming the venue into a virtual place where the people are land into a virtual world while standing or sitting in the custom-built environment that’s filled with high-end VR devices (Installed locally or worn as a headset).
The various theme, arcades, casinos, mini golf courses, and bowling alleys venues are investing millions of dollars to incorporate LBE in the environment.
The VOID is the recognized LBE VR company that has integrated physical objects to make Star Wars IP playable in VR, the truly immersive experience. The people can play and experience the popular LBE VR at different LBE retail locations.
Holgate is another LBE VR company that offer multi-player experience with specialized easy-to-support turnkey solutions. The company has mainly shared its install base within the existing business who like to integrate LBE experiences, but it’s getting a lot of traction with great content.
SPACES have partnered with Chinese theme park operators to build LBE experiences of higher magnitude, but the details are under wraps. Many other theme parks have implemented VR to amplify the excitement around the rides and increase the foot traffic.
The value of VR for LBE is certainly not realized yet at the bigger scale, but it’s a stepping stone for something much bigger. The time will say how the immersive power of technology gain a strong foothold in the location-based entertainment industry and becomes a reality.
From last few years, the entertainment space is looking for the technology which engages the users to the level that they don’t remember about the world once they are dropped in the entertainment world.
That’s where virtual reality rocks that transition the users to a completely new virtual space where they are completely engrossed.
Virtual reality is the talk of the town in the entertainment industry that’s going into the mainstream due to its wholly immersive nature. The true absorbing power of the VR technology has led many businesses to innovate with VR and enhance the appeal to critical masses.
The integral segments of the entertainment industry, namely music, theatres, location-based environment, and gaming have already started reaping the benefits of VR and expect to carve out new ways to outgrow, outperform, and outdo in the market.
Inevitably, VR is here to stay, and it depends on entertainment companies how they leverage the tech to create a major breakthrough in the industry. Let’s wait and watch how the VR apps stand to expectations and beyond.
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