Time for Virtual Reality Movie Makers to Pay More Attention to the Viewers
Virtual reality is still at its infant stage and even with all that we’ve already seen, there’s still a lot more to come. In the market today there are already quite a few different headsets and we’ve already seen the myriad of content ranging from games to videos and even full length movies. It wasn’t difficult to see us getting to utilize this new technology in the porn industry. It is still unclear how much of this technology has been explored for porn but we have already seen pitches from major porn sites like PornHub regarding this.
Some of the major players in the movie and video virtual reality industry are the Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR which is also powered by Oculus. The Oculus Rift happens to offer the best experience but the Samsung Gear VR and the Google cardboard are not too far behind. The Google cardboard is specifically great because it is a gentle introduction into the world of virtual reality with its low price. Some category of subscribers of the Sunday New York Times even got a free Google Cardboard headset last year with which they had access to virtual reality videos produced by the Times.
Now we get to some of the minor issues with smartphone powered VR headsets. As you know both Google Cardboard and Samsung VR use a smartphone to power their video and audio. With the Samsung VR, you require a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone and the Google cardboard also needs a smartphone, only advantage here being that it works with almost any android phone and the iPhone. For the full virtual reality movie experience, video and audio needs to be properly delivered. Most phones do a great job of the video and developers have even found a way to split the display which has a pretty great effect when viewed through the headset. This effect is more obvious and more detailed in the Samsung VR and not so bad on the cheaper Google Cardboard. Most of the problems lie in the area of audio delivery. Since audio is also delivered through a smartphone, you can’t get a good sense of where the actual action is and where specifically you should be looking. Only the Oculus Rift which has a 360 surround sound can offer this kind of awareness through audio.
There was a New York Times video that showed an aircraft dropping food to people in a camp in South Sudan but viewers who saw it through their Google cardboard said they didn’t get to look in the right direction until the action was already over.
Some other VR viewers who were using the Samsung Gear VR to watch the visit of President Obama to Havana, the Cuban capital, they were able to look in pretty much all directions but they reported they couldn’t focus on time on the protesters on a street protesting loudly against a government policy. By the time the focus was on the protest, the video had moved to another scene.
This constitutes one of the major problems virtual reality videos is facing and the technology has to be advanced further in such a way that even with the smartphone powered VR, the user can quickly zero in on where he wants to focus.