The Next Big Thing: Virtual Reality 2.0

December 20, 2014 | Event Technology

What is Virtual Reality 2.0?

Virtual reality 2.0 consists of immersive 360-degree content, either 3D-modeled or film-based, that’s paired with a head-mounted display for the ultimate, wearable visual experience. The goggles themselves house small LCD screens paired with sets of lenses that "bend" content around a wearer's field of vision, creating a 180-degree field of view. Accelerometers, gyroscopes or camera-based motion tracking are used to follow head movement, which becomes feedback for the game engine or application supplying visuals back to the headset. Add in surround sound, haptic (tactile) feedback through a moving seat or floor, wind or other natural effects to engage the senses—and you have a next level immersive experience for your events and trade shows.

How can you use it at your next event?

The sky is literally the limit, as this technology is new enough that we can't yet know all of its potential applications. Obviously the technology lends itself brilliantly to any "immersive event interaction"—think event simulators, trade show virtual walkthroughs, visual product demonstrations and live-action storytelling. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicts the technology will also facilitate new virtual interactions between people across social networks… breaking down any definition we associate with "reality.

Game developers already have solutions for creating content for immersive headsets like Oculus Rift, but expect to see new offerings for events and trade shows around this emerging technology. 4D experiences and immersive films are two areas where the intersection of immersive content and storytelling can combine to create total sensory experiences.

3 Things to Remember:

  1. Find the right story: If you have something to talk about that can leverage this technology, then start by building out the story completely. This is after all, another storytelling tool.

  2. People want to see and experience this technology at events and then share that experience. Use that to your advantage by Giving them a way to share with friends through social networks.

  3. This technology is brand new and evolving quickly. Keep on top of it and be prepared for an activation to quickly get outdated—it happens. That's how fast Virtual 2.0 is moving.

With the $2 billion Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR, this niche piece of gamer gear is poised to become the launch pad for the next chapter of immersive event and trade show engagements

Check out digital experiences designed and produced by Sparks.

Posted by Jamie Barlow | Request as a Speaker

Devoted creative servant and quiet sage of technology. Inspired by nature and motivated by mediocrity. Digital team lead @sparksmarketing.