The virtual reality could have a space in the traditional television if this one manages to adapt to some conditions. But it is clear that its applications are different.

Richard St.

For some years the virtual reality has been taking the most important fairs of the audiovisual industry. The novelties resulting from the sensations offered, have made it open way to massification, but it is still unclear what its future is.

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TVyVideo + Radio spoke with experts from three companies that are working hard in the development of virtual reality. And all agree on ensuring that the main applications that today has this technology are entertainment, video games, museums, medicine and a business approach to product launching or brand positioning.

Marcus Behrendt, CMO of VRTify, said, "Every day we see new industries in which virtual reality is impacting. Today it has already caused disruption in the video game industry, entertainment (especially in music), education, psychology and tourism. Additionally, cinema and sports have been added, among others. "

Verizon's VR / AR Product and Strategy Manager Richard Lucquet explained that this technology is applicable to many fields as a immersion experience to accelerate the sales cycle or improve the user experience.

"Because the technical barrier of entry is low, many applications of games and entertainment can flourish in the mobile. VR is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone, data plan and even a cheap cardboard headset. However, for the complete experience including 6DOF, a dedicated configuration such as Oculus Rift or the HTC VIVE headset and a rugged PC is required. A user will need a dedicated space of 10x10 and specific sensors installed inside a room, "he added.

Monetization of virtual reality
One of the questions that is always present when developing a new technology for audio and video, is how to make money with it? And obviously it is also present with virtual reality. The Verizon representative argues that "most of the money to date still comes from sponsorship and brand advertising."

There are other forms of monetization common in the entertainment space. Concerts and sporting events are selling virtual tickets. In education, museums are offering exhibits with VR at an additional fee.

According to José Luis Acha, director for Latin America of the company SGO, "who has to monetize the content in VR is the entire value chain. There are many articles that have not yet been able to define what the return will be but it is reasonable to be an authentically new market. Only video games know what monetization will be today but they must also design their strategy well so that they do not make mistakes that penalize their performance. "

In this issue, VRTIFY is working on 4 well-defined models that allow artists and owners of the content to monetize their work: advertising within their own platform, with sponsorship within each artist's immersive channels, pay-per- View content (for example live concert) and memberships (access to premium content and without advertising).

VR on TV, how possible is it?
In the last decade, different audio and video technologies have been developed and massified that have a direct influence on traditional television, including some considered as a 'threat'. So we asked the three experts about whether a relationship between virtual reality and television is possible.

José Luis Acha: "I think so, but the director must understand that it is a new narrative and that the pieces should not be very long, 8 minutes at most in my opinion. If the television adapts to these formats the VR will have its television slot.

Richard Lucquet: "Television can present a field of vision of a scene of 360 and the remote control can be used to direct where to look. Technologies also exist to synchronize what a viewer can see while immersed in a headset so that others around them can enjoy. "

Marcus Behrendt: "So far today all the content that is inside the VRTIFY platform is also available on 360º on SmartTV. We are working together with technology partners to transform television (flat content) into an immersive experience (360 / 3D content) through applications and viewers. "

Will VR have the same future as 3D?
In order for users to enjoy virtual reality, it is necessary to use systems and displays. On the market today are simple solutions, either through a mobile and compatible viewers (Android or iOS), or a console or PC and their compatible displays (Oculus, HTC, PlayStation VR, etc.).

In addition, José Luis Acha stressed that "I would talk about a basic element so that a user can enjoy the virtual reality. And I sum it up in two words: quality and perfection. A virtual reality product has to have a maximum quality and must be perfect in its postproduction so that the user does not notice any 'discomfort' while enjoying the experience.

Precisely these two factors, special viewers and perfection in postproduction, make it necessary to ask if virtual reality could be the same fate of the 3D, technology that had its boom a decade ago with the cinema, televisions 3D in the homes, used even At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

But soon the technology collapsed and today there are few real applications it has. Some say it was because of the high cost of production and others because of the fatigue in the eyes that produced the required viewers. That is why it is worth asking how many possibilities has the virtual reality to run with the same fate.

Richard Lucquet emphasized in this respect that the immersive sensation that is obtained of the VR is much greater than with the 3D. The positive feedback from consumers shows that they are willing to deal with extra lenses, because at the end of the day, the overall experience is worth the additional hardware.

"Without a doubt, there is still a long way to go before you can wear your lenses for long periods of time. The resolution and refresh rate remains a point of fatigue, rather than using the headset. The experiences are not long yet, "he said.

What to expect from virtual reality in the future?
It is clear that virtual reality is a striking technology but is still in development. There is a lack of definitions regarding technology, applications, monetization models and hardware upgrades to allow for a longer immersion. But what is clear is that the stakes for its development and massification are high.

According to the representative of VRTIFY, it remains to be seen which technology will predominate in the immersive realities: augmented reality, virtual, mixed or otherwise, or if there will be a merger of the same, but without doubt will be a technology that will change the way to consume and Experience the content, allowing the user to move from a passive state to an active state and part of the same content, choosing for himself the adventure or experience he wants to live.

Finally, Richard Lucquet concluded that "VR will be the next computing platform after the mobile phone. Look back and see how users are spending their time with television, computer and mobile; We see the trend less and less for television, less for the computer and the move to mobiles. It's because the mobile offers everything you get from your TV and your computer in one device, and more. The next change will be VR. "

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.



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