IT’S OK FOR THE TECH TO COME FIRST SOMETIMES
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that content is still king in VR. For mainstream audiences to take notice, VR experiences need to offer something more than a gimmick. But are there circumstances where it can actually help the creative process to start with the technology?
As Freya Murray noted, starting with tech can actually be a liberating process for organisations and makers who, through experimentation, can explore and validate its capabilities in shaping how stories can and should be told. For portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, exploring the creation of his work using Tilt brush on VIVE, allowed him to push both the capabilities of the technology and his own creative process. This way of working can be productive and enlightening for creators, using VR to challenge themselves and their art form. Read more about that project, here.
For BBC Life in VR, using VR was about experimenting with the natural history format to offer audiences a deeper connection with the narrative. Charlotte Jones spoke about how VR allowed audiences to jump off rails within a linear narrative, and to explore an environment freely from alternate angles; it also created an opportunity to bring to life what little we know about sperm whale dives for the first time – taking the audience on a journey of discovery which no human has ever seen in real life!
For Nancy Ireson, the drive to incorporate VR was all about provoking empathy and reaching new audiences. By integrating the tech fully into the exhibition, rather than as a standalone experience, it encouraged a dialogue between the VR and the wider exhibition, and a new interpretation of and connection with the physical paintings.
For Preloaded, prototyping fast and early on with new technologies, allows us to quickly establish where the real value is for different audiences, and what the design challenges are to ensure that it can reach as broad an audience as possible – keeping in mind that an audience’s experience of technology is only as strong as the content that it delivers, but when the two align – it’s a magic feeling.