360° VR is taking the world by storm as the new frontier of entertainment, media and communication coming soon to a headset near you. Traditional media outlets, news agencies, entertainers, brands, celebrities, social media are all racing to catch up with the latest applications of this rapidly developing technology, eager to jump on the bandwagon of the 360°VR revolution.
The fully immersive potential of 360° VR is radically changing traditional audience experiences by adding a new immersive dimension to entertainment, education, self-development, information, marketing and wellness.
One of the most exciting and unexpected applications of the 360° VR potential is in the field of mind and body health and wellness. Some 360° VR content providers are experimenting with and pioneering a new approach to traditional services and experiences by creating Virtual Wellness Retreats set in enchanting and limitless 360° VR environments. This is the case of Infinity House (www.infinityhouse.org.uk), the first fully immersive 360° VR virtual retreat being developed of its kind. Infinity House is the brainchild of visionary producers Rosemary Reed and Corrina McCann, founders of infinite360°, who are now at the forefront of the 360° VR production and content innovation.
The retreat will offer all the traditional services of an exclusive mind, spirit and body retreat and make them accessible at a click of a button from anywhere and anytime in 360° environments. This Virtual Wellness Retreat has the potential to revolutionize its users’ human experience and improve the quality of their lives through courses, seminars, classes, all set in a 360° environment and instantly accessible from the comfort of their sofa, a busy airport lounge or during a lunch break at the office. Users will be able to access meditation courses, inspirational talks, yoga classes, CBT counseling provided by experts in their fields and accessible through the enthralling and captivating medium of 360° VR, to enhance their effect. The aim is to deliver an effective and holistic journey of self-development within a 360° VR environment.
Similarly 360° VR is opening new opportunities for storytelling creating immersive ‘hyper realities’, where audiences can experience traditional news and documentary content in a new enhanced dimension. Traditional news outlets and news agencies as well as broadcasters are exploring the possibility of using 360° environments to deliver their content. The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters are all flirting with 360° VR to virtually take audiences into news stories and reports.
With the rise in popularity of VR, brands have increasing opportunities to be involved with this emerging technology. While it’s not a new concept, the accessibility of VR headsets and applications is increasing with lower costs and availability. In terms of advertising, it creates engaging ads that will entice viewers to touch, move and explore, rather than quickly scrolling over the ad. On the product front, there are endless possibilities in selling and creating devices, attachments and apps to incorporate VR into everyday life. These innovations have the potential to change and enhance reach and interactions, making it an important investment of all brands’ time and resources.
The allure for brands is clear: users aren’t just passively consuming a message, they’re participating in an experience the brand has fashioned.
360° technology is developing at pace and the potential for its application is expanding rapidly. When it comes to 360° VR, the future is still very much unwritten, however one thing is for certain; VR is a way to create intense moments and rich, enveloping experiences that can help bolster a brand’s story.