Since early 2017, Virtual Reality has become a mainstream device for entertainment and education. Though the technology has been around for a while, the high cost of VR headsets had made it a niche of hardcore gamers and the department of defence. But with the advent of low-cost VR headsets and mass production, it is now available to everyone.
Due to its immersive nature, Virtual Reality has become a big part of the entertainment industry. It has revived interest in several areas. For example, slagging video game sales have skyrocketed when they released VR enabled versions. The number of people who watched documentaries about life on other planets shot up when it was released on VR. Attendance in History classes reached an all-time high when a lesson involved a visit to an ancient civilization using VR.
Creating content in VR needs a bigger budget, VR expertise and a lot of computing power. But all these investments are worthy because VR allows a greater user involvement than any other user interface. Because they do everything in VR in a first-person view, people are invested in the experience.
VR cuts off all visual and audio stimuli from the environment and minimises external distractions. For entertainment professionals, this gold, because you have your customer’s undivided attention.
While the movie world is yet to get a huge boost from VR, Disney and Pixar have already demonstrated virtual reality movies in movie festivals to gauge the interaction levels. Virtual reality takes 3D movies to a different level. But the consumption model may be different. Movies studios may prefer to release their VR content via VR networks rather than release such movie through the traditional theatres. Because VR cinema requires a huge investment that goes beyond buying cheap 3D glasses.
The music industry has already jumped on the VR music video experience. Melody VR is one of the first companies to produce music along with 360-degree videos and is exclusively targeted at Google Daydream and Samsung gear VR owners.
Apart from using 360-degree videos, music companies are also experimenting with the creation of simulated VR music experiences. A simulated VR music concert held a few months ago featuring Katy Perry was a big hit.
There are also many music festivals that create VR apps so that fans can enjoy the experience even if they are thousands of kilometres away.
VR’s immersive experience will bring in more revenue and engagement to the entertainment industry in the coming years.