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VR and 360 video in the media industry

360 video

My first VR experience was using an early developer edition of Oculus Rift. It was easy to see the potential in the technology but it was somewhat overshadowed by the overwhelming feeling of motion sickness and the desire to throw up. My second experience was at Websummit in Dublin where I got to try the production ready version of Oculus Rift together with the hand controls. I was blown away by the experience. The problems with motion sickness had all but disappeared and the immersive experience and quality of content had improved immensely. Hand controls and spatial awareness sensors has helped to improve the perception of reality.

Since then we have acquired our own VR headsets and are like many media companies trying to figure out how to storytell through this new medium. The reality is that the technology is very much in the ‘early adopters’ phase of its lifecycle. Truly immersive VR headsets and the computers needed to power them are currently too expensive for the majority of people, the hardware and software needed to create quality content for these devices is also lacking or too expensive. Since these devices are largely stationary and located in your house the barrier for consumption is substantial, you have to be at home and it takes effort to put them on and find the content you want to consume. For a pretty comprehensive guide to the hardware and software currently available check out the guardians article, The complete guide to virtual reality – everything you need to get started