Hearing is fundamental to our perception of the surrounding world. Achieving this effect in virtual reality requires audio that sounds real and authentic. Implementing spatial audio to create full immersion in 360° video or interactive VR requires capturing audio or a physical acoustic modeling of the space where the scene takes place. An appropriate soundscape can provide the quickest path to immersion for just about any VR experience, and even removing the visual element, still enables us to sufficiently perceive the surrounding world - giving us a sense of space, time, and presence. In contrast, the silent experiences, or the ones with incongruent sound would break the sense of presence and immersion, thus immediately removing the suspension of disbelief, and as a result substantially degrading the overall experience.
On 3rd October, 2016, our own Daniel Cheetham, Chief Interactive Officer at Happy Finish, will be speaking alongside the likes of Sir Richard Branson and many other innovative leaders in various creative fields, at the inspiring Virgin Disruptors conference held in London. The event focuses on creating tangible change across businesses and the world through a full schedule of stimulating speakers and interactive installations shared by like-minded changemakers. Tickets are on sale here; grab yours quick so you don't miss out on this extraordinary event!
Leading up to the event, Daniel spoke with Virgin Content Executive, Natalie Clarkson, to discuss how virtual reality is quickly reaching a point where it will change the way we live our lives.
The OZO Introduction: Training With Nokia
At the beginning of this year, the Happy Finish VR team and I were excited to be introduced to the newly-released Nokia OZO 360 camera. After partaking in a training course from Nokia’s USA and Finnish team, we were eager to get an OZO back to our UK office to road test it and really see what made it tick. With new 360 shooting options arising every week, it’s necessary to test out every new set-up as hard as possible before trusting it on a commercial shoot, OZO being no exception. Upon arrival back to London, we were all set with an OZO of our own to see exactly what it was capable of.
Rio 2016 has just begun! Coverage is going to be everywhere and for those of us who just can’t get enough Olympic goodness this year we’re going to have a lot more platforms beyond just our TV to watch it, thanks to a massive shift in technology developments.
360 Degree Video: Creative Potential Waiting to Explode
Tate Modern recently released the 360 degree film we created to promote their latest Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition. So far, the video is their most watched piece of content ever, with over 3 million views. But it’s not all about views and return on investment, as a retoucher, the concept of working in 360 is something that really excited me when I first encountered VR several years ago. To me it had so much creative potential waiting to explode into the advertising and marketing world; I was hooked from the start.
15 million downloads
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm this summer, within a week of its release in the US, this augmented reality game topped 15 million downloads on Apple's App Store and Google Play, according to estimates from research firm SensorTower. The numbers are backing the idea that Pokémon Go is changing and shaping the world of new media technologies as we know it, but I can’t help to raise this question: Is it just a fad? The game itself brings back the nostalgia of playing the original Pokémon games Red and Blue on the Gameboy with the 8bit graphics. Playing in the dark using a torch to shine on the screen of the Gameboy to battle the ‘Elite Four’ but today it’s so much more; the integrated AR element in Pokémon Go will strive companies to push for their own AR/VR strategies.
The NYT VR project from The New York Times won not one, but two Grand Prix awards at Cannes Lions Festival last month, with the individual virtual reality film "The Displaced," earning the top prize in the revamped Lions Entertainment contest and the Grand Prix in Mobile that the NYT VR app itself won.
2016 was my 20th year in Cannes, and it sure has changed over the years! What was once, effectively, a celebration of the world’s best TV ad in a town full of ‘Mad Men’, now sees the arrival of technology companies. This is merely a natural response to the increased role and impact that technology has in our lives as well as the changing expectations of today’s consumers with how they want brands to interact with them.
I'm often asked the difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Put simply, AR brings digital content into the real world via a screen, whether that is a tablet, smartphone or poster, whereas VR uses a headset to place us in an altogether different and virtual environment.
Science and art are different manifestations of the same human urge to enquire, explore, and understand our place in the Universe. Recently I wrote a blog about the #fashtech movement, which charts and celebrates the convergence of fashion and technology.
Let’s now look at 5 examples of how #arttech is impacting the way that we experience, create and consume art.
Just recently I’ve noticed the increased popularity of the #fashtech movement, which charts and celebrates the convergence of fashion and technology. When you think about it, the two have much in common; both constantly reinventing themselves to stay relevant, desirable and innovative.
We're always proud to be supporting D&AD, and this year is no different. We've had an amazing week at the D&AD Festival showcasing our latest content and meeting lots of great creatives at our stand. With virtual reality a hot topic amongst many, we were in great demand with a full house at our VR workshop, led by Simon Gosling.
Here's a sneak peak from our stand this week, and keep an eye out for the full blog next week!
At Dubai Lynx 2016, my keynote, 'VR with a Happy Finish', streamed live on TVAE and posed the question, "VR - Is it just a fad?". Well at last year’s Cannes Lions, virtual reality headsets could be seen everywhere. You couldn't walk onto a beach or into a bar without seeing someone rotate their head like an owl, staring into a headset and uttering the words, "Wow! This is so cool!". The same can be said of Dubai Lynx, at which most speakers included virtual reality at some point within their presentations.
Virtual reality isn't new. In the early 90s, I remember going to The Trocadero in London and experiencing Virtuality’s VR Racing Game; sitting in a plastic racing car, sporting a virtual reality headset the size of a trash can, and driving around a racetrack in a polygonal, CGI racing car, which looked like it had been plucked from Dire Straits', "Money For Nothing" music video. Whilst I've never forgotten that first taste of virtual reality, I was disappointed that the image didn't keep up with my head movement and the quality was so basic. However, I do recall enjoying the experience and thinking that one day this would to be the way we will be entertained. I wondered if that day would be in my lifetime. In my opinion, that time is now.
I have always been interested in Virtual Reality. I played my first computer game by typing it out, line by line, in the BASIC coding language into a Spectrum ZX81. Virtual Reality made a brief appearance in amusement arcades in the late 1980s and then disappeared again due to latency, reliability and expense. Since then I could hardly wait for the full immersive experience and it has been a long time coming.
So fast forward to 2012 and I find myself running a company called Happy Finish where we produce a lot of imagery and computer generated animations for global brand advertising, and finally the Oculus Rift appears on kickstarter, and Virtual Reality is about to emerge from its long hibernation in university research departments and back into the commercial arena.
So you’ve heard all the hype about using Google Cardboards (GC) for watching virtual reality (VR) content, you’ve unwrapped your first one, but how do you use it? Where do you start?
Well it works with a mobile smartphone, so you will need one of those for sure, and fear not, they're not all plain brown, the branding options are endless.
These 5 tips will help you make the best out of yours in no time, and soon you’ll be bringing it to all your parties (real parties).
Uncanny Valley, a short film written and directed by Argentinean filmmaker Federico Heller, paints a very grim picture of virtual reality. Heller shows a future populated by a burnout generation, VR junkies who lost touch with reality and survive only to sustain their virtual existence. That in many ways could be a stretch of his imagination, but even if it is, there are no second thoughts about how the "Virtual" world is taking away "Reality" from many.
Virtual reality is a powerful communication tool, however without the right ingredients it has the possibility to end up on the shelf. That one key ingredient is storytelling. The power of storytelling is immense, enabling the realism in the virtual world - it is the anchor, and without it a strong campaign return on investment (ROI) is unlikely.