Streaming content revolutionized the entertainment market ten years ago. Consumers are now able to access millions of programs and songs on their computers, tablets, and phones. Even twenty years ago, the concept of streaming music would have seemed like an impossible dream.
While streaming is a highly successful segment of the entertainment market, tech companies are beginning to look for the next big change to upend the current status quo. Michael Luisi, a veteran entertainment producer and executive, explores new technologies that may come into play in the coming years.
A Shift to VR
Virtual reality is an exciting prospect. Many uses for this technology have been developed over the past several years. Doctors use VR to visualize the areas where they will be performing surgery. Engineers use it to create 3-D mockups of their machinery. In the entertainment world, VR has largely been used for immersive video games. Michael Luisi believes that VR will be the next big advance in entertainment.
Video games are leading the way in showing the potential of VR for entertainment purposes. In 2006, the game Second Life introduced virtual performances by a variety of popular music artists like Suzanne Vega and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
The potential of VR for television and movies has yet to be explored in full. VR can provide an immersive environment, putting people into their favorite shows and movies. In 2018, Oculus Rift introduced its service called Oculus TV, which simulates watching television on a 180-inch wraparound screen. This service has relatively few users due to the cost of the Oculus Rift device, but it is only the beginning of VR in the world of television.
How VR Television Might Work
In order to film shows and movies optimized for VR, a 360-degree environment needs to be built. Sets can provide an immersive quality that bring the viewer directly into the action. As technology develops, VR can also be shown in 3-D, making the VR world as real as possible.
Many tech experts believe that modeling VR television and movies on video games is the best way to make use of the technology. Rather than using expensive 360-degree cameras, video game engines can create a wraparound experience using digital animation and CGI. This type of programming may appeal most to young people who are accustomed to interacting with video games.
Issues to be Resolved
One of the barriers to VR adoption is the high cost of the headsets required. Many of these systems are also tethered to powerful gaming computers. In order for families to watch shows together, they would all need to have their own headsets. Certain phones like those produced by Samsung and Google have their own VR headsets available. Perhaps this model will be the way that VR is adopted for television and movie use.
Movie and television studios are far less likely to optimize their content for VR without a deeper market saturation for VR equipment. As VR headsets become less expensive and easier to use, it is more likely that this technology will come into play.
VR and Television
It is easy to imagine how television viewers of the future might don headsets instead of gathering around large TVs. With an immersive experience, VR television shows and movies will be an exciting alternative to the flat screen viewing of the past. Michael Luisi encourages all tech companies to look into the potential of virtual reality technology, discovering how they can make the newest advances work for their customers.