Asia’s very own version of Cannes – Spikes Asia – is on right now in Singapore. And, Aussie duo from MEC Global, Ben Doecke (left in photo) and Simon Keith, are not only representing Australia in the media category they’re also blogging for B&T. Here’s their second diary instalment from Asia’s balmy climes…
Not wanting to waste the amazing opportunity of being at Spikes Asia sitting in our hotel room working on the competition the entire time, we managed to make time to soak up the festival atmosphere and attend a talk on emerging technologies: The Next Wave of Reality: VR, AR & MR, delivered by Rod Findley, Executive Creative Director of C2K in Los Angeles.
VR is not a foreign concept to us as it’s been doing the rounds in industry press for a while now. However true VR immersion can’t be explained in words so we urge you to try it out for yourself.
A mix-up in airport luggage logistics meant Rod was unable to share with us the immersive VR experience he had planned for us. However, we’re on the mission to hunt him down for a Google Cardboard set which Rod described as the gateway drug into VR.
Rod showed off an innovative campaign for Toyota which highlighted the new automated breaking technology Toyota Safety Sense.
But the immediate problem we see with VR – how do you make it scalable? A truly immersive experience requires some expensive gear, and it’s currently a solo experience. For high value products such as cars and holiday destinations this makes sense, but what about FMCG products? There’s only so many videos you can film of people experiencing VR before the novelty wears off.
AR takes a view of the real world and supplements it with CG elements in some way, usually on a screen. It’s impossible to talk about AR without mentioning the mainstream success that brought it to the masses, so Rod did just that. PokemonGo saw more downloads in one week than Tinder has in its entire existence.
No doubt more brands are plotting how they can virtually get their product right next to consumers. But how long will it take before this becomes the norm and people lose interest?
Now we get to the good stuff, a reality we hadn’t seen distinguished before, MR was the most exciting and frightening concept.
It’s is a mixture of VR and AR, seamlessly integrating CG elements into the real world. It’s already worked its way into advertising, with the most memorable being Pepsi’s Unbelievable Bus Shelter:
One of the most exciting (and secretive) companies working in this space is Magic Leap, who’ve developed technology that shoots the images directly into your eye rather than projecting on a screen in front of you. With over $1.8b AUD in backing from the likes of Google, Alibaba and Disney, they’re obviously onto something big. Judging by the examples they’ve released so far, the potential goes well beyond advertising and entertainment. Like something from a futuristic movie, it’s easy to see how this could become part of our daily lives sooner than we think.
And then there’s the frightening thoughts of what the future holds. What happens when an MR technology is developed that requires no extra gear? Beamed straight into eyes or minds with no off switch. Will Mixed Reality become our only reality?