VR dominates in the Palais: ‘How to Hack Human Perception’

Isobar Global’s Andrew Luckie takes a look at virtual reality in Cannes.

VR has really taken off in 2016, with experts like MediaMonks’ Global Director of VR, Ola Björling, leading the way in creating new, virtual experiences.

I was intrigued to find out what kind of brand experiences Ola and his team were working on at MediaMonks, so the Lions Innovation session was a must-see.

Ola’s opening line was, “VR is all about hacking the best craft and experiences”, which immediately said to the audience that VR can be so much more when the content is solely created for VR. He went on to say that, “Creating VR content by approaching it like film making, is like fitting a square peg into a round hole.”

This is a great point. Filmmakers want their audience to fixate on that one frame, constantly looking into the rectangular screen in front of them. With VR, you want users to explore a whole new world. You don’t view VR, or watch VR. You’re in VR.

Ola then delved into a particularly interesting example of where VR was hinged on much more than the creative content. Etihad’s AirBus A380 Virtual Reality work incorporated focus on craft and experience, and even how sound was used. “The whole sensory experience is key in VR.”

Virtual visitors could experience first hand how it felt to travel from New York to Abu Dhabi on board Etihad’s renowned A380, in full 360-degree view. Ola reiterated the importance of creating VR content from the ground up, as the results wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good if they used retro-fitted filmmaker content.

Sound is a big part of a VR experience, as it also is in film. In film, sound triggers emotions without viewers questioning where the sound comes from. But as visitors in VR, sound needs to be natural. Just like what a visitor sees needs to be as close to reality, to create the greatest experience.

These experiences are great for innovating brands. But I wanted to know Ola’s thoughts on how these experiences help brands make money. I asked “How close are we to seeing brands being able to insert transactional experiences into virtual worlds?”

Ola explained that making VR ‘shoppable’ was a way in the future yet, but admitted there is a huge call from brands for this tech to be available.

Watch this space.

Andrew Luckie, Content Manager, Isobar Global

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