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.
Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]
Adobe today launched Adobe CQ (creativity quotient), an evaluation tool designed to measure enterprise creative aptitude and capability across teams and organisations. The persona-based test will help leaders understand how to use creativity, cultivate it and accelerate skills development. Adobe managing director for ANZ Suzanne Steele [feature image] said: “With the exponential growth of technology and […]
Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]
Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]
Canon Australia has today become the first official Imaging Partner of Sydney Zoo. The two-year partnership will see the two experience-led organisations bring to life a variety of on-site and digital platform photographic and creative print activations; each with the purpose of extending the creative and educational experiences of every guest to Sydney Zoo. From […]
A pivot towards producing digital webinars, podcasts and animations for clients has seen global vid tech scale-up Shootsta win several new major clients. Since March, Shootsta has secured local work with Orica, The Royal Commission, ASG Group, Teachers Mutual Bank, Savills, Veolia, Vision Australia and Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. Globally, it has won contracts with […]
Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) has revealed that audience numbers are averaging 60% pre-COVID levels at VMO Active fitness centres across the country. Western Australia, where health clubs were the first to reopen in May, is now sitting at a 12.4% week-on-week increase, with a return-rate of 72% overall, which Val Morgan anticipates will be reflected […]
Independent digital marketing agency, Sparro, has today announced the promotion of Key Account Director, Hannah Jones, to General Manager. Jones, who joined Sparro in September 2017, has played a pivotal role in shaping the agency’s unique and award-winning culture and expanding the company’s client portfolio. Sparro Co-Founder and Partner, Morris Bryant, said appointing Jones as […]
Integrated Creative Agency, Emotive, today announces the appointment of Jardin Anderson as Senior Creative. Jardin joins Emotive’s creative team with plenty of adland experience including roles at The Glue Society, M&C Saatchi Sydney and DDB Melbourne. Jardin Anderson said: “ I am super excited to be a part of the Emotive creative collective. The creative […]
Shopper Media today released findings from its latest ‘Media Multiplier Effect’ Shopper Study, confirming that using retail OOH in conjunction with television advertising will deliver greater efficiencies for brand and product campaigns. Jamie Hollebone, Shopper Media’s Head of Revenue (pictured), says, “The findings indicate that a combination spend on TVC and retail OOH will boost […]