360 Video is not only changing the way we consume media, its changing the way we create it.

Today, the team at Sprawly is releasing a toolset for the virtual reality community of storytellers and 360 video enthusiasts that will end up shaping the way stories are told. The web-based toolset will allow for anyone to create interactivity inside spherical video. Doing so by uploading 360 content from any 360 camera and drawing hotspots, which overlay additional narratives on spherical video such as: web-views, 2D video overlays, audio sounds, the ability to switch scenes, and more.

Building a choose-your-own adventure experience in virtual reality, allows consumers to explore a story the way they want to. Imagine looking at any object to the right of you, and out pops up a description of that item, overlaid in your existing environment. Or how about turning directly behind you and looking at the door, initiating a scene change, and transporting you to a different part of the story. Humans are naturally curious. So offering the ability to make decisions, in what is traditionally a linear setting, lends to more exploration. With Sprawly, storytellers can now build stories around a decision tree, and consumers can get lost in the narrative.

This choose-your-own adventure experience is not only beneficial to storytellers and consumers; it’s also extremely valuable for brands and publishers. Immersive media can reduce ad spend per impression and increase the time spent within a story. Our mind operates differently when in Virtual Reality and brands can now take advantage of that, understanding how we interact when content is right in front of our eyes.

Greenlight VR conducted a research study on the benefits that VR has on brands, surveying 1,300 adults, and finding that the majority of consumers — 71 percent of them — felt that VR makes brands seem “forward-thinking and modern.” Even more powerful, 53 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR than from one that doesn’t. Add some interactive hotspots into the mix, and those numbers will climb.

Sprawly is empowering storytellers with the necessary tools to solve some of the issues with creating 360 video.

We built Sprawly to be a powerful resource for those who want to push the boundaries of spherical video. Our product offering has been validated off the back of large media companies, brands, and the cinematic VR community. What we found from speaking to creators, there was a large interest in producing interactive content, but an even greater hesitation due to the complexities surrounding content creation and distribution.

We decided to change this, because content is the single most important lifeline for the short and longterm survival of virtual and augmented reality.

Interactivity within spherical video is something storytellers have been trying to do in a cost and time effective manner, but haven’t had any luck due to the lack of resources. Until now. Sprawly is built so anyone can draw hotspots over 360 content, requiring no technical knowledge. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen, similar toolsets for creators were available in the early days of the world-wide-web (Wordpress, Adobe, Google Docs, etc.), allowing creators to focus on what they do best, leaving the technical barriers to be solved by cutting edge software.

Distribution of interactive media is just as important as creating it. Once spherical video is produced, where does it sit? How do you get it there? Apart from Sprawly’s toolset, users also have access to an interactive video player that can be embedded on websites, mobile devices, and inside VR applications. This allows 360 video to be viewed across all environments that exist today.

Because Sprawly is changing the way storytellers go through the post production process, its starting to do the same when it comes to idea generation. We are releasing this community version of Sprawly, because we want more content out there and the barriers of entry to fall lower.

Join us in building the type of cinematic experiences that will come to define virtual reality.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Bobby Alexis’s story.