From Nokia’s Ozo, a virtual reality camera with 360-degree audio video capture, to HP’s Z VR backpack, there was enough at IBC to engage with immersive technologies.
However, beyond the technology and investments, panelists at IBC’s ‘Leaving the Hype behind’ believe the journey has just begun for VR, AR and MR, both in software and hardware.
According to Leen Segers, Co-founder and CEO of LucidWeb around $600 million investment cash had been raised in the past year, and that there were 487 companies just in Europe working in the VR/AR/MR space.
There is however a distance to go before the output is satisfactory for the end consumer. She states: “Readers who already have had the pleasure of experiencing a cinematic VR experience using a Google Cardboard, a Samsung Gear VR headset, or an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive connected to a PC, will agree that the overall experience is not yet optimal. Today, it’s clear that the VR industry is still in a beta stage.”
Likening the current state of the technology to the early ‘brick’ mobile phones, Ed Tang, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Avegant, and the business behind the Glyph headset and technology, said that despite the early stage of development “we are moving very rapidly forward”.
Admitting that the process is still “ part-game, part-discovery but with a strong sense of involvement and empowerment for the user”, Sky’s VR Technical Director Richard Mills showcased the Rebel Queen production which took Sky’s creatives into Egypt for a comprehensive look at Queen Nefertiti
While other companies are trying to find their footing in VR, Littlstar CEO Tony Mugavero stated that the company now powers more than 150 VR apps for major entertainment companies like Discovery, CNN, National Geographic, and Hearst.
Aiming to be for VR what YouTube is for viral videos on the web, Mugavero stated: “360 video has been a key driver for VR. Even Sony said that PSVR users are heavily watching 360 videos and returning often because there is a good flow of content. We feel it has been a huge part of the VR industry already and will be a huge part going forward.”