Immersive Technology: What You Need to Know
Jul 8, 2016
360º Video. Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality.
Immersive technology – you’ve read about it on sites across the internet, you might have even watched a 360º video on Facebook or tried on a Virtual Reality headset at a conference. But do you understand the differences between the multiple types of immersive technologies? Do you know how you could take advantage of these new technologies to further your own marketing goals?
So, what do immersive technologies have to offer?
- Immersive technology offers the opportunity to make deep, more meaningful connections with viewers. It makes sense – when users are immersed in content, they’re less prone to distractions. Increased engagement times are noted due to the unique viewing experience and the user’s ability to have elements of control.
- Our brains are built to remember events linked to locations. Thanks to this, immersive experiences have a much longer trace in a user’s memory. The direct nature of immersive platforms also means the intensity of the experience is greater than traditional media, generating strong emotions and proven to result in behavior change.
Now that you understand its value, it’s time to look at the different types of technology and their best uses. How could you use them to accomplish business objectives?
- 360º Video: These spherical videos/animations are like traditional video, except the viewer is able to control the point of view in all spherical directions from the camera’s location while the video plays.
Want to incorporate 360º video into your marketing plan? You can use it for facility or setting tours, live-streaming of events, concerts, or narrative videos. More extreme examples of 360º video here – think rollercoasters, Formula One racing, and scuba diving and space.
- Virtual Reality: VR uses special headsets that are loaded with sensors that track head and eye movements to create completely immersive worlds. VR uses computer-generated environments that can be photorealistic, fantasy, or anything in between, and allows the user to interact with the “watched space” under their control.
Not sure if your company could use VR? Try it for self-guided facility or setting tours, learning/content zones for users to interact with, and demonstrations of physical technologies through virtual means. Fortune took an in depth look at how different industries are using VR at SXSW 2016.
- Augmented Reality: AR technology enhances the physical environment viewed by overlaying visual elements, such as information or images, through displays like HoloLens and Google Glass or through the camera view on a smartphone. AR uses live tracking to blend real-world views with virtual objects.
Augmented reality works best with data overlays, augmented advertising, sporting events and personal shopping. Currently, the biggest thing in AR is Pokemon GO, a mobile game that allows users to find Pokemon characters in their city using geocaching and augmented reality.
Still not sure exactly when to use immersive technology? Think experiences – like test driving a car, exploration, education and training, and entertainment and gaming.
Friendly reminder: when done well, these technologies provide a unique, highly memorable experience for users. However, if done poorly, they can leave users confused, frustrated, and even nauseous. You don’t want to do this to your viewers. Appropriate design is vital to creating a good immersive experience!
To me, there is nothing more motivating than seeing an audience have an “ah-ha” moment… to witness a transformation as a story unfolds. As a creative-minded problem solver specializing in dynamic media experiences, I strive to craft those moments through art and technology.At Centerline, I get to collaborate with talented people in many different roles to help enhance customer experiences and ensure our clients’ stories are memorable. I help drive the development, planning and successful execution of concept-driven video campaigns and special events – whether it’s designing a seamless experience across a multi-display projection spanning 150′ or a quirky museum installation. The technology will evolve over time; but the craft of delivering a powerful story remains fundamental for creating a memorable experience for audiences.