Tag Archives: VR

Why Using VR for Your Next Launch Puts You Ahead of the Game

10Fold is a high-tech integrated marketing and public relations agency that knows the best tools, rules, and techniques to give each client the competitive edge in their industry. Virtual Reality is the next innovative tool for media and companies, allowing viewers to experience and in some cases, interact with products and different environments in ways that create increased understanding and greater connection.

Among the three identified forms of VR – see graphic table, 360 immersive videos present the largest potential for business and technology demos. Demos typically use pre-recorded or live video for product or brand introductions, but 360 immersive videos can take these presentations to the next level. Imagine a company demo where a consumer can be a part of the presentation. For example, if the business is promoting a new work space, a consumer can metaphorically walk through the building, hear the chatter of workers at their desk, and see 360 views of the space.

Making an Immersive Video
To further understand what VR is, let’s take a minute to understand how it is made. Cameras are set back to back in a full circle covering everything in the surrounding area. After filming takes place, the images are edited to form a full panoramic video. From that stage, the video can be edited for the viewer to see full sights and sounds of the area. Editors can easily add voice-overs and closed captioning to the film to allow instruction for viewers. National Geographic and USA Today are just two examples of media using 360 immersive videos to tell stories.  While National Geographic transports viewers to another location allowing them to experience the world’s splendors, including outer space, USA Today has a segment dedicated to VR stories explaining an idea or product.  Currently YouTube is the main distribution channel for 360 videos, allowing a potentially huge audience to access and actively engage with VR content no matter where they are

Virtual Reality vs Live and Pre-recorded Demos
The most common types of product demo today still remains the live demos, and pre-recorded videos including animation. Whether live (and being recorded for later viewing or pre- recorded for later presentation or viewing, there can be a number of  issues with these styled demos. Live demos are limited to time and the ability of the camera-person to capture the entire “scene” during the demonstration. In addition, any mistakes made in a live recording will not be edited out. If the demo fails, the entire audience gets to see it happen in real-time.  Another common struggle with live videos is that if there are technological difficulties then the presentation may be delayed entirely. Since live demos have a higher risk rate, most companies do not use this technique, instead opting for pre-recorded demos. These can be used repeatedly; however, the viewer is limited to what the editor wants them to see. Though pre-recorded videos can be edited and have a lower risk rate, the audience cannot be personally involved with demonstration and can become bored or frustrated.

360 immersive videos solve a lot of these issues, while also bringing audiences closer to a company or product because the viewer has a personal experience with the demo. Because the videos are edited, the company still has full control of what they want the viewer to see, hear, and physically experience. Creative audio solutions can include a step by step process on how to use a product or how a product works. Though the editor has full control over what the audience can and cannot experience, based on the content presented, viewers have control over what they choose to look at or explore based on their individual needs and interest. No one will have the same exact experience or reaction based on an immersive video, but every viewer will be presented with a perfectly orchestrated demo.

Use of VR Growing Daily – See for Yourself
Use of 360 immersive videos in the media is growing daily. Journalists and companies are using  VR  to present ideas, product (Waymo Self-Driving Journey) issues, and new environments. Companies that invest in using 360 immersive videos for demos are likely to increase their appeal both to their target customers as well as to media who are receptive to this form of content.

These two sample uses cases walk through potential scenarios. Your company has a product that alerts inhabitants when there is a gas leak in their home.  A 360-immersive video would place a consumer in a simulated, but fully realistic situation where the features are demonstrated. Imagine actually seeing yourself laying in a bed late into the night and you can hear the beeping in each ear coming from the company’s device alerting you to wake up for your own safety. You can see the product light up and tell you how much gas is in air. You can read the prompt on the product’s screen asking if you would like to notify the local police for aid. You can control what you want to see in the room and how the product works. Though the consumer has this control, the company is providing the audience with exactly what they want them to see and experience.

Scenario number two focuses on placing the viewer in a new location such as a city in America. Consider this for launches, building tours, ceremonies, or press conferences. Regardless of where the viewer is located –they can see, walk through and experience  the grand opening of a brand new corporate office, or the launch of a new product, or major corporate announcement. In the case of a grand opening, that viewer can see the reporters and guests attending that event as if they were standing next to them at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the immersive video continues, the viewer can explore the halls, hear the questions being asked by reporters, and the chatter of small conversations around them. The immersive video will allow the viewer to see as little and as much of the new building as they would personally like.

VR and Why it Works
360 immersive videos can elevate the experience a person has with a brand without giving up total control to the viewer.Jaron Lanier one of the first pioneers of VR technology describe a term called “the conversion moment”. This is when portions of one’s brain stop rationalizing between virtual reality and reality. viewers become more engaged with the immersive video because they have more control over what they want to see in the 360 presentation.

In turn the audience will be more invested in the company and product and trust the authenticity of the brand because they feel more involved with the demonstration.   Now companies are limited only by imagination.

By Shelby Canady

P.S: As a bonus for reading to the end, here are a couple of examples for the adrenaline junkies: Great White – An Amazing Virtual Dive

Mega Coaster: Get Ready for the Drop – Feel free to skip the ads!

Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech with VentureBeat, Wired and Fast Company

Organized by PRSA

On July 26, a handful of 10Fold crew members joined the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for the “Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech” panel event with Fast Company, Wired, and VentureBeat.

Panelists included:

 Jason Wilson, Managing Editor, VentureBeat

 David Pierce, Senior Staff Writer, WIRED

 Sean Captain, Tech Editor, Fast Company

Below is a collection of insights, trends, and other interesting thoughts by 10Fold’s own Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, Katrina Cameron and Kyra Tillmans following the event.

Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, Virtual Reality…What’s Next?

These buzzwords are top-of-mind in today’s technology landscape, and it was no surprise that the first panel question regarded these hot topics. When Jason Wilson of VentureBeat called for a show of hands on how many audience members regularly used voice assistance, the number of hands was noticeably few. Despite all the buzz surrounding AI (i.e. in voice assistants, like Siri or Amazon Alexa) there is still a long way to go. The panelists noted that, for example, voice assistance users tend to use those features for only the things they know work well, showcasing the disparity between where the day-to-day benefits of AI voice assistance currently stand and where they could/should be.

Another salient point that David made was the different growth trajectories of augmented reality versus virtual reality. AR will improve quickly, he noted, while VR is more likely to just chug along. This might come as a surprise, as VR is typically viewed as the more “futuristic” innovation.

Trends of the Media-scape

The panelists agreed the intersection of technology and politics is a big trend on everyone’s mind. It was much easier to separate the two in the past, but now reporters who cover cyber security are often times writing about national security too. The intersection of technology and politics matter now more than ever, and we should address this when talking strategy internally and with our clients.

David made an interesting comment about video journalism. At Conde Nast (parent company of Wired), they want to ensure that video isn’t treated as a bolt-on, and they’ve started to consider video as one of the primary channels when they’re determining what goes where during their editorial meetings. Instead of slapping on video at the end of everything, reporters are putting significant thought into which platform is best – i.e. a 2,000-word feature, a photo essay, or maybe even a Snapchat video. It raises the question for PR pros to determine which avenue is best to take for which story and set expectations accordingly. Not everything will be a full-length feature story these days.

Via the Twitter hashtag #MediaTechTalk, attendees posed a question about non-Silicon Valley tech hotbeds. The panel agreed on Pittsburgh as a favorite, which wasn’t wholly surprising, because the Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Tri-State region is becoming widely known as an area of innovation. However, Fargo came as a surprise. And David made a good point of thinking about the world outside of the U.S., because all too often we have proximity bias – especially when you’re based in Silicon Valley like we are!

Tips by the Media for the Media

Sean from Fast Company continually reiterated the importance of clicks/views in judging how successful an article was. He and his editors clearly pay a lot of attention to this in a rapidly changing media landscape. Ultimately, what readers think is most important for both reporters and PR folks alike. Reporters approach stories they’re pitched by gauging whether their readers will care in order to gain as many eyeballs as possible. In tech PR, companies like to focus on news developments and its impact on the broader landscape rather than the personalities behind the tech. Instead of product launch stories, technology reporters are interested to learn about the human side of the story. As an example, David brought up a feature story on employees who were affected by Dropbox dropping AWS. The topic was very dry, and David didn’t expect it to do as well as it did. Yet, by adding in the human element, the story became one of his most popular reads to date.

As PR professionals, we can help orchestrate these stories by doing background interviews with our clients to develop a narrative that will resonate well with readers. Who is the main character in the story? It’s important to remember that if you have interesting execs, you should flesh out their bios/background and occasionally lead with that when approaching media.

As a final takeaway, all the panelists mentioned that they’d love to have more conversations with both PR folks’ clients – and the PR people themselves – that have no agenda whatsoever. Not many PR people would propose a “no agenda briefing” to a journalist – if only because that’s not likely to hook the journalist – but I’d be interested to see the results from the brave PR pro who does this.

Journalists and PR professionals agree that the media landscape is changing actively and dramatically. Events like the Media Tech Talks are a great way to engage with the media, understand their thinking and likewise share your own. A big “thank you” to PRSA for putting it together! 10Fold is looking forward to the next one.

By Kyra Tillmans

(Contributions from Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, and Katrina Cameron)

Enjoy your read? Check out our other content here.

Augmented Reality

Technology Insights: Augmented Reality

Use of AR in Major Business Verticals                                                                  

Augmented Reality (AR) enhances real-time, real-life experiences by inserting superimposed virtual graphics, audio, and other interacting sense enhancements into a real-world environment. AR has been in the public eye for quite some time (remember Iron Man’s high-tech suit?), but recently received a lot of attention because of popular consumer applications. Pokémon Go took the world by storm last summer and brought AR technology to a mass audience. Today, tech giants like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are continuing the push, and it shows as industry forecasters predict that by 2020 the market worth for AR will reach $100 billion.

But where exactly will Augmented Reality fit in? Like Virtual Reality (VR), the industry has a hard time getting traction outside of niche markets. Because of this, analysts are predicting that the enterprise AR market will lead the consumer market, driven by the need to improve safety, productivity and efficiency. What are the business use cases for enterprises? Which verticals will benefit the most? And how does that relate to improving our future?

Current Business Use Cases of AR

Eric Abburzzese, research analyst at ABI Research, expects adoption to split between several verticals including education, gaming, healthcare, industrial and retail. He expects “revenues to primarily favor the healthcare and industrial verticals, owning approximately 54 percent of the market, thanks to more progressive technology adoption habits along with strong use case applicability.”

Industrial

Using AR to overlay instructions can potentially reduce error rates in manufacturing assembly. One industry that would benefit greatly from this is field service management (FSM), according to Coresystems. Coresystems, an FSM software provider, imagines service technicians with specialized AR headsets, who will have all the information they need for an installation/repair on a heads-up display. No more fumbling around for a laptop or tablet in the middle of a project. AR would also connect onsite technicians with more experienced engineers back at HQ who can visually supervise and troubleshoot more difficult issues. With that, the use of AR boosts the key field service metrics of first-time fix rates and average repair time. It also benefits staff training and skills shortages, especially as devices trend toward IoT and more advanced technology.

Healthcare/Education

Medical education is another area where AR can make a difference, as AR can assist in the training of employees or students at any level. AR can deliver an immersive, multi-sensory experience that’s more effective than lectures or flashcards, leading to more in-depth training and increased speed to mastery.

Retail

As far as e-commerce possibilities, Augmented Reality technology can create a three-dimensional shop that virtually replicates the experience of shopping in a traditional store. Customers could try an item before buying it, which would improve the customer experience and reduce costly returns. Warby Parker (an American prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses retailer) is a great example of this model, as they allow customers to try on frames virtually via webcam using AR technology.

Transportation

With the use of AR and GPS, driving navigation can be superimposed on your field of view within your vehicle while looking at the road. This could reduce distracted driving accidents caused by looking down at a phone or in-vehicle navigation system.  Several concept cars already integrate this kind of technology, and companies like Garmin are trying to achieve similar results with their Head-up Displays (HUDs).

Looking Ahead

So, what’s next? The term “mixed reality” has come up, both when discussing use cases, as well as general industry discussions. Mixed Reality (or Merged Reality) builds on Augmented Reality by adding elements of VR and allows for both interaction and manipulation of both the physical and virtual environment.Google and Microsoft are big-name players getting in the game early, and the results are very promising. Check out Microsoft’s HoloLens demo of a NASA simulation of walking on the surface of Mars (video).

As VR, AR and MR industries are developing and finding their place in the market, it will be interesting to see which new business use cases arise. From manufacturing to healthcare to gaming, there are a lot of opportunities and no doubt will we see great things in the near future!

 

By Kyra Tillmans