A Brief Intro to 360 Video, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality
360 Video
Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality

A Brief Intro to 360 Video, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality

Over the past few years, 360 Video, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality have steadily made their way into the mainstream and businesses and brands of all shapes and sizes are leveraging the technologies to reach their audiences in new and exciting ways. For this post, we’ll give a high-level glimpse of each technology to paint a clear picture of the entire XR spectrum.

360 Video: Here and Now

See everything. The way you want to.

360 Video brings you closer to the action than ever before, letting you see it all - from any perspective you choose. It's the difference between scoring tickets to your favorite band's show, and experiencing the concert from center stage.

With 360 Video, you can stand face to face with the lead guitarist, turn around for a closeup view of the drum solo, and gaze ahead to see the crowd go crazy. All without leaving your couch.

What is 360 Video?

In traditional video, what the viewer sees is limited to the frame chosen by the director. 360 Video has no such boundaries. It offers a full 360º x 180º panoramic field of view that lets you look up, down, and around. Completely surrounded by sight and sound, all it takes is the turn of a head or the tilt of a phone to explore a story from every angle.

The Popularity of 360 Video

Because watching 360 Video doesn’t require the use of expensive equipment or VR headsets, it’s the most popular form of virtual reality today.

More than 280 million people have seen a 360 video on Facebook. - Facebook Data, October 2016

Over 3 million hours of 360 Video have been viewed in Oculus VR. - Facebook Data, October 2016

Uploads of 360 videos to YouTube doubled in Q1 2016. - YouTube Data, June 2016

As brands and individuals keep pushing the boundaries of 360 storytelling, 360 Video will continue to seep into the mainstream.

360 Video for Brands

360 Video is an opportunity to captivate your audience like never before.

In a recent study, Google tested the effectiveness of a 360 Video ad against its standard video version and found that the 360 ad drove 41% more views, shares, and subscribes than the standard ad. It not only enticed people to watch; it enticed them to watch, and share, and watch again.

From immersive ad spots for the web to turnkey Google Cardboard experiences for trade shows, we’ve created 360 Video experiences for brands that increase viewer engagement and drive results.

Virtual Reality: Early Days

A Break from Reality

While 360 Video frees you to look wherever you want, Virtual Reality allows you to be wherever you want and fully interact with the environment around you.

With the immersive power of VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, you can be slaying zombies one moment and walking on Mars the next.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality describes a totally immersive world of simulated sights and sounds that you can explore and manipulate as if you were really there. Graphics respond to your presence and spatialized audio lets you hear sound from every direction creating an out of body experience that feels astonishingly real.

Growing in Popularity

Although Virtual Reality headsets aren’t yet in many households, interest in VR is growing, and the industry is expected to explode in the coming years.

Over 3 million hours of 360 Video have been viewed in Oculus VR. - Tractica, January 2016

VR content revenue is expected to increase from $108.8 million in 2014 to $21.8 billion worldwide by 2020. - Tractica, 3Q 2015

It’s predicted that between hardware sales and content revenue, VR will have its first billion dollar year in 2016. - Deloitte, 2016

Virtual Reality for Brands

As VR headsets continue to appear in more living rooms, Virtual Reality will become an increasingly powerful way for brands to connect with their audiences.

While traditional video has to fight with second screens and real-world distractions for viewer attention, Virtual Reality draws viewers in and completely immerses them in a story. It breaks through the clutter and creates a sense of presence, taking viewers from simply learning about brand benefits, to experiencing those benefits for themselves.

Augmented Reality: Coming Soon

The Real World, Only Better

While Virtual Reality offers us an escape from the real world, Augmented Reality enhances it.

Augmented Reality is a set of digital data layered on top of what we see in real life. It’s turn by turn directions displayed on top of the very streets we’re driving on. It’s a virtual tour guide showing us the sights and sounds of an unfamiliar place. It’s step by step instructions on how to repair that carburetor while looking under your car’s hood. And it’s going to change the way we interact with the world around us every day.

The Future of Augmented Reality

Although it’s still early days for the industry, it is estimated that Augmented Reality will explode into a $120 billion industry by 2020. And for good reason.

Because AR is a mixed reality experience, rather than totally immersive, it has the ability to work its way into every aspect of our lives, from morning to night. And with seemingly endless applications – from gaming and entertainment, to e-commerce and web browsing, to everyday voice calls – it has the potential to become as common a technology as mobile phones.

Interested in exploring the possibilities of AR for your brand?

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