The team at Brisbane-based agency BCM have had their heads down and their Oculus ‘up’, working through a growing number of demos that are available for the DK2 virtual reality headset. From the experiments, BCM says it’s easy to see why Facebook and other brands are cashing in on this piece of tech.
Now that we’ve got our Oculus Rift up and running, we took it for a serious test drive. With our headset operational, we just needed some software to make our virtual reality experience come to life.
There are lots of free software demos that are available and they offer some great insight into what the Oculus and virtual reality has in store for the future. Whether it’s jumping off a giant space platform, calmly strolling around a Tuscan villa, or sitting terrified in a basement immersed in a horror movie, the DK2 has hit on what early virtual reality technology of the past missed – an experience that both gamers and non-gamers can genuinely get excited about.
There are two categories that the demos fall into, gaming and experiential. The team at BCM have been trialling both to gain as much insight as possible into the technology.
To ease the user into the experience, many of the available programs, such as one demo we’ve been experimenting with called ‘Sightline: The Chair’, begins with you sitting down.
It kicks off with you sitting at a simulated desk complete with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. A short video from the developer (playing on the virtual computer on your virtual desk) introduces you to the simple concept behind this experience. To ‘play’, you must break your line of sight with objects; doing so causes them to change. You’re encouraged to turn your head to look at the lamp to your left, for example, and when you look back at your computer … it’s changed slightly. Then turn back to the lamp, and it’s floating about the desk. Things get progressively weirder as you go along.
Sightline can also take you on a seated journey to mysterious medieval lands, scary shrinking rooms, deep space, to the top of skyscrapers and beyond. The illusion, however, is never wholly convincing even when it’s mirroring realistic environments – but that doesn’t mean to say it’s not a fun experience.
This video from ‘vlogger’ Jacksepticeye is a hilarious example of Sightline in use:
Another program called ‘11:57’ is a good example of just how far the Oculus can take interactive experiences. As the first of its kind, 11:57 sets out to offer a 360-degree ‘nightmare’ by making the Oculus wearer the main character of a horror film. This means that rather than just watching, you become part of the actual set as the action revolves around you. Again, a chair is used as a grounding point for the demo.
For fans of the horror genre, this experience is what you’d expect. The atmosphere is perfect, and with headphones plugged in you are completely separated from the real world. The ‘jump’ scares feel real. You become so immersed in the environment, that once the demo is over, your eyes take a while to adjust to the light.
Check out this demo of the 11:57 game for a laugh:
Other software we tested also provided a very good virtual reality experience.
Whilst this VR technology has some way to go, it’s really starting to deliver what virtual reality has promised for so long.
So, it’s becoming a lot clearer why an organisation like Facebook purchased Oculus. There can be little doubt that VR has the potential to revolutionise the way we play, work, learn and communicate. But it’s going to take time and an awful lot of money to make it work.
Some say that Facebook as a platform has peaked; and unlike companies such as Google, Facebook hasn’t diversified to quite same level. Perhaps the people at Facebook see Oculus as a folly; a fun technology that will get them some press. It would certainly be an expensive folly at US$2 billion. Maybe they believe that Oculus will make them a lot of money in its own right. Or, perhaps they have plans that will see Oculus as the basis of a new generation of social media.
Who knows what Facebook is up to with Oculus? But it’s worth noting that all the major consumer electronics companies (Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung) are also dabbling with VR technology.
Our conclusion … watch this (virtual) space.
Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]
Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]
Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]
According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]
Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]
Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]
Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]
The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]
Shop! ANZ is calling on shopper and retail marketing professionals from all retail related disciplines to participate in the first ANZ Shopper and Retail Marketing Industry Survey in four years. This important research provides a guide of where the retail marketing industry in Australia and New Zealand has come from and what is anticipated to […]