Try to remember back to a time before VR, 360 camera, or even the internet (if you’re old enough), we all managed just fine and that’s because we didn’t know any different. If we wanted to find a piece of information we would look in the encyclopedia, if we wanted to watch a movie we would stick on a DVD, if we wanted to film a holiday we would get out our video camera, owning a 360 camera wasn’t even comprehendible.
With the new age of the internet our lives have transformed, some would argue for the better, others would argue for the worse, but it’s undeniably changed the way we live. Every day we’re connected to the internet, and with the touch of the button we can share a picture, a video, or a feeling, if we can’t connect to the world then for the most of us there’s an unpleasant feeling of anxiety.
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So now that we can’t imagine a life without internet, what’s next on the agenda of digital revolutions? What if I told you the next big change in our lives is going to be the introduction of virtual reality and everyone owning a 360 camera? So much so it will create a brand new digital revolution just as we’ve seen with mobile devices and the internet.
Soon enough we can relive a moment that’s been filmed with a VR camera or 360 camera. Imagine immersing yourself in to a place thousands of miles away from the comfort of your own living room. You can experience every moment as it happens, as if you were really there. Well, it’s already been made possible with 360 video capture.
If that wasn’t already enough to blow your mind, picture this: it’s Beyoncé’s world tour, which your friend bagged the last ticket for (unfortunately not a good enough friend to give it to you) but luckily for you they’re taking their newly purchased 360 camera (where are these friends?!) that can live stream 360 videos (YI Technology are releasing one in June, 2017). So, you can enjoy the entire concert (should the battery life allow it) without even leaving your home; a fully immersive live experience from your own home. Mind. Blown.
YI Technology’s new YI 360 VR™ camera. To be released in June, 2017
It’s just another transgression into the age of digital photography, just like we adapted to a world with internet and smartphones, we will adapt to a world with VR. Gone will be the days you flick through a photo album to see your friend’s recent summer vacation, instead you’ll stick on a pair of VR goggles and see absolutely everything they saw at that moment.
Don’t let price put you off being part of this (digital) revolution, all you need to begin your virtual reality quest is a smartphone and VR headset to slot your phone into, you can even download your own cardboard cutout (goggles, not smartphone). There’s a number of apps to get you started and YouTube already have a dedicated 360 video channel.
However, if you’re thinking about getting your own content out there, then that might come at more of a price, at least if you want others to feel as immersed as you were at the time of shooting. It’s no different to the jump you made from standard video quality to HD quality, now you can never go back. How immersed you or your viewers feel in the content all depends on the equipment used to both film it and then view it.
So it’s all well and good using a YI 360 VR camera to shoot your footage in 5.7K resolution, but if you’re watching it back in 1080p on a pair of makeshift cardboard VR goggles then it’s not going to be the experience you had hoped for.
However you plan to approach this new age of technology, you mustn’t fight it. The future of entertainment is virtual and augmented reality, and it’s inevitably going to change the way we live. The thought of escaping reality and immersing yourself into a completely different world can be daunting, but is undeniably an exciting thought too. We only have to imagine a life without internet to realize the control it’s had on our lives, and I really believe that virtual reality will impact us in a similar way. Only time will tell, but please, whatever you do, don’t lose touch with reality because then we’re all doomed. Forever!