User experience takes on a whole new dimension with 360º cameras and virtual reality. As many of you already know, this technology makes recordings using a number of cameras allowing users to move around the entire image and focus on the areas which interest them most. Virtual reality, also known as VR, immerses the viewer in a new reality and takes them to a whole new world.
Virtual reality and social media
The major players in the technology sector are conscious of the importance that virtual reality is going to have in the future. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg, the undoubted star of the last Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, has bought the company Oculus, one of the pioneers in VR, for two billion dollars.
In March, the CEO of Facebook introduced the “virtual reality pack” and the new virtual reality glasses, Oculus Rift. He took advantage of the Congress to highlight the need to make virtual reality and VR glasses a core component of the Facebook experience.
Like Facebook, Youtube has also committed itself wholeheartedly to the new technology. The first step was to enable viewers to see 360º videos with Cardboard glasses. This initiative fell by the wayside as something more was needed to make the videos really spectacular. And in 2015, the social network announced a new tool which made it possible to see 360º videos in 3D, giving them the depth of field which had been lacking. All Youtube videos are compatible with Cardboard glasses.
And other large companies from a range of sectors are beginning to invest. The New York Times sent out one million Cardboards to its subscribers and Nescafé has made it possible for its followers to see what’s happening on its farms using this novel technique.
Further applications of virtual reality
This technology is not only appropriate for video games and entertainment; there are many more applications.
- Medicine: this is definitely the field in which VR is used most. Doctors use it to diagnose problems and thus avoid the need for surgery. And virtual reality is used to treat a number of disorders such as anxiety or phobias.
- Military: the technology is used in the US for training. It can be used to help soldiers to recover from traumatic experiences and to show them the environment in which they have been, or are going to be, deployed.
- Architecture: the technology is used to create models of architectural plans and buildings before construction has started.
- Molecular studies: VR can be used to study the structure of molecules and cells in a more efficient and productive manner. It makes it easier to reach very small sections of molecules and study specific details.
Next steps in virtual reality
As if the interest of large companies in VR was not sufficient proof of the way the virtual reality market is heading, one only has to look at the mind-boggling sales forecasts of hard and software in the field.
According to an article by Kzero about VR, there will be increases both in devices and applications. The main VR consumers will fall into three categories.
- Hardcore Gamers
- Early Adopters
- Early Majority
A total of 56.8 million virtual reality devices worth $8.4 billion are expected to have been sold to these groups between 2014 and 2018.
Nevertheless, JP Gownder states that the vast majority of potential consumers don’t know what VR really is and how it works. Therefore he recommends holding back on investing large amounts on this video format for another couple of years.
If you want to take your first steps in virtual reality and you like sharing your videos on social networks, you will definitely be interested in the Nikon’s KeyMission 360, launched this year. This is a camera which is capable of recording 360º videos. Impress your friends and demonstrate your skills with this camera!
Written by Ferran Quer