From the Oculus Rift becoming a well-known name to other products showcasing at major conferences, VR and AR are finding their place in the market. And from virtual meetings to robust new ways of prototyping, both have the potential to impact the business world in the near future.
360Cities is recognized as the leading source of high-quality, interactive 360° content
Over the past few years, 360Cities has licensed thousands of interactive 360° images (many of them multiple times) to hundreds of creative and editorial customers around the world. Over one thousand of our awesome contributors have received hundreds of thousands of $US in royalties, the average royalty payment to our contributors being over $200.
And we have been growing our revenue, royalty payments to contributors, and customer base each year
Licensing activities have grown every year. We launched an automated licensing engine in April of this year that allows our customers to search for, order, pay for, and receive images automatically, without any human intervention to slow things down for the customer.
The number of our contributors’ images that our distribution partner, Getty Images, is licensing to their customers is growing each and every month
We announced our distribution partnership with Getty Images back in November last year and the results thus far in terms of monetization by Getty and the related royalties we are paying to contributors (60% of the royalties that 360Cities receives from Getty) has been very encouraging. The average royalty paid out to our contributors thus far is well above $100 although the amounts fluctuate dramatically depending on the end customer usage.
Getty is taking VR and 360 content extremely seriously, recently announcing the creation of a Virtual Reality Group. 360Cities is a key part of Getty’s strategy for VR.
What is Getty Images saying about our partnership and your panoramas?
> “This is an unprecedented partnership that will enable us to bring 360° imageryand immersive experiences to the mainstream.”
> “We expect this to be a huge growth area for photography in the next five years as consumers start to expect immersive imagery and Getty Images will be at the forefront of this change – our partnership with 360Cities is testament to this.”
NEW: Support for 360 video!
Video is going to play a big role in the VR experience and we’ll soon be launching support for 360° video on 360cities.net and with our distribution partner, Getty Images. We’re already getting licensing requests for video and we want to be prepared for when 360° video becomes more mainstream.
We’ll be sending out more details next week on how you can upload your 360° videos to 360Cities.
YouTube’s Android app has had full Cardboard support since November, but iPhone users have been sorely out of luck. With today’s release, iOS users can now tap the icon in the top-right of any video to get the option to view it in VR mode.
This is huge news for mobile VR as YouTube essentially just opened up what is likely the largest iOS virtual reality content library.
Google Announces Virtual Reality “Daydream” Headset, Controllers and Ecosystem
At its annual I/O developer conference today, Google is showing off a reference design for a new virtual reality headset that builds on the success of the Cardboard unit it launched back in 2014. The headset is part of Google’s new Daydream initiative, a mobile VR platform baked into Android N. As with Android, Google wants its hardware partners to build and sell their own Daydream devices. And in a surprise move, Daydream’s system doesn’t just use a headset — it also features a new kind of control system for mobile VR…
“We’re hoping for something that is completely mind-blowing, and we’re doing something that to the best of my knowledge hasn’t been done yet by any metal bands and maybe not any bands at all,” Mustaine tells Rolling Stone during a break in shooting.
The virtual reality performance footage will be included in a special edition of Dystopia, packaged with the visor and instructions on how to download an app that allows you view the immersive mini-concert via your smartphone. The five-song set unfolds amid flashing lights, layers of fog and the “dystopian world” introduced in the music video for “The Threat Is Real.”
That grim scenario is hardly new for Megadeth, which has explored doom, death and corrupt geopolitics in their songs and imagery from the band’s early Eighties beginning. The band’s name, says Ellefson, refers to the body count after a nuclear confrontation, and “that theme has carried through from the very original artwork.”
Incite Mixes Heavy Metal and Virtual Reality in Their New Video (Exclusive)
Cavalera says the new technology enables bands to give their fans new ways to experience the music and how it all comes together. He imagines virtual-reality cameras capturing aspects of live shows that create new experiences, such as having fans witness the mayhem of a pit from directly above, or putting them in the position of the band members on stage.
The “Life’s Disease” video, meanwhile, places the viewer directly in the middle of terrifying scenarios. “We trap the audience in various 360-degree environments where we built an occult underworld packed with imagery that’s designed to whip viewers into a state of frenzy,” Sexton says in an email. There’s a seance scene replete with flashing lights and nightmarish specters, and there are moments set in an insane asylum.
Making the correct choice depends on what you really need and, of course, your wallet’s capability. If you’re looking to simply carry a 360 camera as you go on your outdoor adventures for the sake of capturing your experiences, then the cheaper 2D cameras should do fine. However, if you’re looking to produce professional-level video quality, then the much pricier 3D cameras are a good investment. Everything just comes down to preferences and needs, like in most gadgets.
HOW THE MILITARY IS INCORPORATING VR INTO TROOP TRAINING
Simulating the actual battlefield for soldiers who will be facing combat is possibly the strongest area in which virtual reality can prepare troops during training. In the past, popular movies and books were the closest examples a new soldier had of a war zone. Today they can become fully immersed in a virtual program that helps them train their senses to be fully aware of what is happening without the risk of actual harm, helping them know what to expect when they are ready for battle. The three-dimensional environment allows the soldier to move around and interact with the environment for the closest experience to the real thing.
Some virtual reality programs extend beyond troop training as well. Some troops have found great relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through virtual reality therapy. Soldiers can learn to deal with their symptoms and become exposed to their triggers in a safe environment, protecting themselves and their loved ones in the process.
The therapist tries to mimic what the patient is talking about in their trauma narrative. And eventually by confronting it with therapists, you start to see post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms start to diminish.
We’ve used VR to help people with high-functioning autism be more effective at job interviews. This involves having them practise their interviews with a wide range of interviewers – different age, gender, ethnic background, and different levels of provocativeness.
We know that the brain is quite good at suspending disbelief, so even though people know these aren’t real people, they relate to them as if they are.
This is why VR is so compelling, because whatever is learned in those worlds hopefully will benefit how the person translates their behaviour in the real world.
Post World War II, VR kicked off as a Flight Simulator for the military, and later for guiding tanks and ships. Millions were invested in this technology which showed great potential. The technology was already spreading its wings around the world, but the term Virtual Reality became popular only a little after 1980s.
The pioneers who are making the first virtual-reality narratives.
Luis Blackaller, a producer at Wevr, said, “We all liked the concept. We had only a few choices to make.” Like most V.R. crews, Bravo and her team would shoot with GoPros—cheap, shatterproof cameras that are marketed to extreme athletes, not filmmakers. Matthew Niederhauser, a cinematographer, noted that most V.R. experiences are viewed on phones, and said, “You can shoot with big, expensive lenses, but what’s the point?”
An engineer at Wevr built a camera rig out of aluminum and sandbags, to minimize jostling, and the crew did a test shoot with the rig in the passenger seat. “Watching it, you had to turn around the whole time to make sure you weren’t missing anything in the back of the car, which felt annoying,” Blackaller said. So they decided to film from the back right seat instead. Bravo tweaked her screenplay to remove minor cinematic vestiges—insert shots, subtle blocking details—that would be either irrelevant or impossible in V.R.
“Then we had another big conversation,” Blackaller said. “Do we film a dummy?” In some V.R. experiences, the viewer feels invisible; in others, one can look down to see one’s body represented onscreen. In a clumsily animated V.R. segment produced by another company, I experienced a nightmarish version of the latter: I flew through the air, my legs dangling below me, scrawny and immovable. My arms were those of a white man in his thirties, which happened to match my anatomy but might have been distracting, if not alarming, to most humans. And when I craned my actual neck downward I saw a sharp line where my virtual neck ended, leaving a black void where my head was supposed to be.
Google IO started yesterday so there was a lot of hype around VR.
1. Tethered VR headsets are a speedbump. No one wants to have wires attached to their heads and while of course Uncharted 4 in VR could be awesome – the same rule will apply as for cameras in the early days of the iphone. What’s the best camera for the job?…..The one you always have with you.
2. Full-size Mobile Headsets (GearVR/Google Daydream) are also doomed – because no one (NO ONE) will carry these things around. The only thing I ever carry around with me is http://www.homido.com/en/mini and I’m not the only one Marco DeMiroz
3. So that leaves us with Magic Window or finger swiping on a screen to view bits of the surroundings until such time as something the size of of pair of sunglasses (or smaller – or even…contact lenses) can handle VR.
I know I know. People will say “spinning around your phone is not the same thing as watching a whale swim underwater!!!!” –
yeah sure. I agree with you.
But that’s irrelevant if no-one will do it.
The point of my pronouncement is that if I’m even half-right we should be shorting Samsung and Apple.
Because Samsung needs Android more than the world needs GearVR. Google will demand that Samsung Galaxy phones accept the new VR styled Google Play in order to have access to Maps, Gmail, Contacts, Gtalk etc etc – and Samsung will cave. Which means Oculus store go bye bye.
As for Facebook – well that is interesting…by integrating voice calls into its messenger and thinking that Photo/Social Network communication is taken care of then in theory they just hold people within their app. Which is a great strategy if there is more than one O/S. For example you could have Facebook on Hololens, Facebook on iPhone etc etc – just like you do now.
But unless Facebook makes a phone (AND a phone O/S) (which has been rumored for a while) they will NOT own the operating system of the future (as Mark Z. suggested VR was). Google will.
Hmmm. MSFT doesn’t need cash – but has Hololens in a very interesting position….if Hololens was a private company Facebook would buy it for whatever money was necessary to shore up Oculus position.
My question is then – how does Facebook pivot Oculus to Mobile without making a mobile O/S? It already supports 360 video in Facebook app – which is great – but not enough to transition to AR and exercise some control. So who do you buy if you are Facebook? Magic Leap is overvalued (and Google is in it to the tune of 300mil). Meta? ODG? Hmmm….Facebook buying ODG – that could be interesting wink emoticon
As for Apple – right now it’s neither a premium player nor is it a lowest-common-denominator player. It’s just sitting on the sidelines. By the time it gets up – it’ll be too late…
Here is the 360 interactive live stream of the IO keynote:
Effectively a virtual time machine, Timelooper helps users travel back in time by watching animated historical scenes using a smartphone app and headset, currently being tested in London and New York. What makes Timelooper unusual is the way it is tied to the physical location and how it can generate revenue for itself and its business partners.
“Timelooper is an open virtual reality platform for cultural and historic locations,” says founder Yigit Yigiter. “We create content in-house and host third-party content, and when we monetise content via the app we share revenue with the content owner.”
Like most app start ups, Timelooper considers multiple revenue sources. “The app is free but we will have in-app purchases like premium content, advertising and a few other revenue streams,” he says.
But reliable consumer VR is still in its infancy. The games, films, and other virtual experiences that people are making for these gadgets are very much experimental; it’s hard to know just what will and won’t work until a lot of headset-wearing folks like me have spent time trying this stuff out.
And when things don’t work just right, VR can literally make you ill, or at least uncomfortable. Some issues can pop up with the hardware itself, like visual jittering. Others relate to the ways content is made—things like rapid acceleration and deceleration can make you feel sick because what you see isn’t matching up with what your body feels.
Watch the first sample footage from GoPro’s six-camera Omni VR rig
The Omni, when it ships later this year, will help filmmakers eliminate that hassle of needing to build their own rig. (If they want to go all-out, they can buy a 16-camera rig that GoPro built with Google for $15,000.) GoPro started taking preorders for the Omni last month; the company is charging $5,000 for six Hero 4 Black cameras plus all the necessary hardware and software, or $1,500 for just the frame.
Riding ‘TheWave’: How A Few Young Men Are Using VR To Change Music Forever
“Currently—EDM music is a perfect place to start, given VR’s current state. Our goal is to expand to all of the genres.TheWave is going to be the number one place where you go in VR to experience music. But right now, it would be incredibly hard to do an interactive, immersive rock concert because I just don’t know how you could do that with actual people and guitars. You need to use the Kinect or some sort of janky video capture to get them. So it’s really a matter of focus and execution of where the tech is.”
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explains why he’s not ready to invest in virtual reality
First, despite growing interest and adoption of VR following the release of the Oculus Rift this year, the size of the market remains tiny. Now that Netflix has expanded to 190 countries and has 80 million users watching on 1,000 different platforms (smartphones, gaming consoles, TV apps), the number of potential viewers on VR seems like a speck.
“The problem with VR is that there’s not enough people on the platform to support the investment in that kind of content,” Sarandos said.
The second issue relates to the type of experience VR offers. The immersive, intense nature of VR can be exciting in the context of a game, but it can be too much when it comes to simply watching a movie.
“You’re exhausted after 20 minutes,” Hastings said. “We are more focused on a lean-back, relaxing experience.”
Sarandos added: “I can’t imagine putting on a VR headset while sitting on the couch with my wife for two hours and just disappearing.”
Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to cure diseases
“We’re now in a phase potentially of marketing for people and that journey I think will make marketing mobile again,” said Weed. “Marketing started off by serving people [and] in the 80s it got a little bit lost with selling more stuff.”
“If you go on somewhere like Vice – which is obviously very much targeted at millennials – you see Unilever brands very much present there. Why? Because we really understand the power of millennials. Our brands have stories to tell to millennials and the reason they have that is because we have brands with purpose, brands with meaning.”
The most promising virtual reality experience I’ve ever had
The Void isn’t like other VR systems you might have heard of. It is a full-body simulation, and it is completely wireless.
The Void’s Rapture system features a haptic vest with a built-in, fully customized, ultralight computer.
So what does that mean?
What that means is you’re not seated in The Void, like you are in most Oculus Rift experiences. You’re not standing and walking around inside a tiny virtual cube, like you are with the HTC Vive. With The Void, you are completely free to go wherever you want within the bounds of the simulation.
MCDONALD’S USES OCULUS AND SAMSUNG VR TO OFFER A FIRST-PERSON EXPERIENCE OF FARMING
“The eating out market is growing but this passion for food is masking a lack of understanding around how food is produced and the vital role our farming and food industries play in growing, sourcing and producing quality ingredients.”
He added: “By bringing together tech developers with farmers and food experts, we have created an immersive virtual reality experience that will allow people to follow in the footsteps of farmers, suppliers and our crew, bringing the best of UK food production from the countryside to communities across the UK.
“Our hope is that it will help build pride in British and Irish farming, challenge outdated stereotypes and celebrate the best of food and farming in the UK today.”
Virtual Reality’s trillion dollar endorphin industry
Adding 360 video to the marketing wheelhouse is a tall order, but innovation is quickly making it easy and affordable to adopt. The medium depends on whether or not future investment carries its development. Teleportation of the conscious to another location is still compelling, and exclusive to virtual reality, and hardware companies such as LeapMotion continue the development adding hand control features. I presented the game Weightless to my colleagues at a retreat yesterday, and they could almost feel the space debris in front of them.
Install the new 360Cities Extension to your Chrome browser, just click here. You will be able to enjoy an interactive panorama on each tab you open in your browser. You’ll also be able to search on Google or 360cities.net. It looks amazing, doesn’t it?
The 360Cities tab extension allows you to:
• View an interactive 360-degree photo on each new tab on your Chrome browser • Pan 360 degrees around and 180 degrees up and down for a fully spherical view • Zoom in and out to see amazing detail • View the panorama in full screen • Choose from six different projections and two navigation modes • Click to view the profile page of the photographer on 360cities.net • Share the panorama on social media and embed in your non-commercial website or blog • Click on a shopping cart to license the image for editorial or commercial usage • Search Google and 360Cities
“Please turn to your left until you see the fence where you started,” says the voice. “You have been here for 200 days and reached your target weight. So it is time for you to go to the slaughterhouse.”
I was not expecting this. A wave of sadness and horror hits me with the word “slaughterhouse.” The suddenness of the announcement, the feeling of being trapped, the guilt and responsibility I feel for my cow avatar, who I somehow feel is me, but who I simultaneously feel is younger and more innocent and who is, I should point out, a vegetarian— it’s remarkably heavy for having been in this virtual life only a few minutes. The part of me that is a cow dutifully walks toward the fence. The part of me that is a person is yelling. It’s unbidden, startling even me, an anger borne of nervousness. “That is brutal!” I shout at no one in particular.
Stanford University partnered with Sesame Street and used Oculus technology to study, among other things, what it does to the perceptual system of a child. Based on the director of lab Jeremy Bailenson’s findings so far, the answer is: it kinda messes with it. Most recently he noted that when children are exposed to a virtual experience, a week later 50 percent of them remember the event as real. As early as 2009, his data showed that virtual reality caused significantly more false memories in elementary schoolers than any other type of imagery. If you thought their imaginary friend was a little creepy, get ready to deal with their imaginary double life.
We also need to be wary, however, about translating all musical activities to VR. Just as the Uber model does not translate well to other industries, so the VR model will probably die if we attempt to apply it to every possible corner of the music business. Again, the key opportunities come from gaps in trust. I already trust platforms like Facebook, Skype and Twitter for my social networking, so I will probably not use VR to hold remote meetings or conversations with friends and professionals—but I do not always trust friends who tell me that one seat in the theater is ten times better than the next. I personally trust Spotify to give me any song that I want, so I won’t necessarily go through the hassle of strapping a device to my head to stream music—but I do not always trust streaming services to provide accurate metadata.
“No one really knows what it feels like to hit a flying fireball that bounces off the walls,” Godat explained, “but if you were making something that feels real like with a metal sword in your hand people expect to feel the clang when you hit a shield. We’ve tried to steer clear of those elements just because you can, the field is wide open.”
Your brain doesn’t expect your virtual shield or disc to “feel” a certain way, because it’s so clearly not real. This, counter-intuitively, makes the experience feel more real when you’re inside the game, to the extent that I had to fight a small bit of panic every time I deflected the enemy’s disc. It felt like an actual threat, and it took me a few minutes before I felt comfortable enough to smash it back at the person on the other side of the room.
The best part of the demo happens at the end, when Schroepfer goes to give his friend a high five. His buddy makes a dap fist, and they wind up doing a VR version of the “Now I’m grabbing your fist with my open palm because I thought we were doing a high-five.”
More than nine million virtual reality (VR) headsets will be shipped in 2016, suggests research by analyst firm IDC.
The estimate is far more than the 350,000 headsets that were sent out last year, it said.
Some of the growth will be down to the first consumer-ready versions reaching customers, said the firm.
However, most numerous will be the “screenless” systems that use smartphones as their main display.
IDC said it expected about two million headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony to be shipped to consumers in 2016. The Oculus Rift headset began shipping on 28 March, HTC Vive headsets are due to start being dispatched this month and Sony’s PlayStation VR should be available in October.