Is Virtual Reality the future of broadcast television, why?
Virtual Reality (VR) is the future of broadcast television. In the coming years we shall see VR content experiences via a set-top box, OTT, PC and Smartphones on a daily basis. VR is the next big computing platform. VR is emerging as one of the most rapidly adopted technologies worldwide. With this new technology reaching mainstream audiences, there will be industries undergoing significant transformations from travel and gaming to simulated entertainment and learning. VR becomes the driving trend towards adoption of head-mounted- devices is a must in future. The potential and boundless vista of VR is unlimited and limitless. We believe in VR content experiences immerses oneself into storytelling and will advance viewers in realms of training, learning, games, entertainment and in education and beyond. According to Goldman Sachs VR Report 2016, they estimated a Virtual Reality (VR) has become one of the hottest new mediums in the market. The technology is poised to transform the entertainment industry, including gaming and video, in the coming years whilst offering the potential to quickly expand into other markets such as education, industrial, healthcare and more. VR Educate has taken the due diligence to explore the impact that VR will have on the education and broadcast landscape and the opportunities for the next generation of storytellers to work within a new medium. VR Educate’s CEO Lanny Huang explains. US$80 billion in revenue by 2025 (US$45 billion in hardware, US$35 billion in software and content). The report estimates US$11.6 million in Video games, US$4.1 billion in live events, US$3.2 billion in video entertainment.
What is VR Educate all about? How will you contribute to the VR ecosystem?
VR Educate provides fully immersive virtual reality education experiences to help educate viewers of all ages. We are the industry’s first mover in immersive virtual reality learning and championing the introduction of VR learning in classrooms across Asia. We provide a “Total VR Solution” for students through our proprietary VR Room, VR Lab and VR Content Platform. Only until recently, it was imaginable that a student or viewer can experience the thrill and danger at the peak of Mont Blanc in Italy, visit a Van Gogh museum in Paris and arrive at JFK International Airport in New York City, all in the time of only one-morning class session. Now with VR Educate, we provide VR Room and 21-category Content Platform, the teacher can lead a discussion to enhance the learning experience then after. To master this VR technology that has only appeared in science fiction a few decades ago, content producers and content story telling partners are essential. As a team of experienced professionals in the media industry specialising in content solutions, we are working with a global network of content suppliers. And we have established two advisory groups 1) The VR Educate Consultative Group and 2) The VR Educate International Content Consortium.
When do you expect VR to make a great impact on broadcasters and producers?
VR will have a great impact on broadcasters and producers, creating a new form of movie, live events and TV entertainments. Instead of watching a programme or a movie on two-dimensional screens, viewers can be completely immersed in the VR experience. All major content providers are piling into this area, and user-generated content is poised to explode as more affordable 360-degree cameras come to market. We envision the world where ‘surround’ photos and videos become the next big thing, especially as 360-degree content can be so easily shared with more than a billion Facebook and YouTube users. We believe the live sports, live events and live concerts, live world news affairs will have the most impact on broadcasters. The affordability of basic cardboard headsets makes virtual reality easily accessible to smartphone owners, and the explosion of 360-degree content is taking awareness to new levels. US movie studios have been turning to VR to give viewers a new way to experience their content through special virtual reality trailers and bonus content. US movie studios such as Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, Disney, Marvel and Warner Bros etc. have released VR videos along with their upcoming movie blockbusters.
What are the impacts of VR content experiences to viewers and students?
For an effective VR content experience, the content should:
• Visualise and manipulate things that you cannot see in the real world
• Take on different perspectives
• Visualise 3D concepts
• Interact in real time
• Explore dangerous situations
• Present realistic or abstract scenarios
• Promote different learning styles and teaching methods
How will it be best to educate the television audience of the VR world?
The best to educate the television audience is to produce good and quality VR content experiences since ‘VR content is King’, meaning, we have to work with creative and dedicated producers to produce quality and outstanding storytelling with various themes. And, to lower the costs of hardware and to improve the technology of display, motion sensors, processors, storage/memory and wireless connection.
How can ads and brands leverage on the VR space?
Many branded goods and retail shops and real estate are now considering VR to drive consumer purchasing in clothing, food, luxury goods, fashion etc to show the product to prospective shoppers and buyers. For example, BMW electric car has launched their iBMW VR test drives, and Home Improvements Stores like Lowe has introduced a VR experience of their kitchens and living room designs with headsets. Goldman Sach’s assumptions lead to US$500 million in VR retail software revenue in 2020 and US$1.6 billion in 2025. And real estate’s assumption leads to US$750 million in revenue in 2020 and US$2.6 billion in 2025.