Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How do you share a virtual reality headset? “Let me see, dad!”

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I tried a virtual reality headset the first time a few weeks ago while flying to London. You can read that article here.

VR guru and friend Cathy Hackl saw my article and offered to send me a basic VR headset. Along with her book on the topic. (Affiliate link)

The headset has been a hit around the house to say the least. “Dad, can I see?”

And then the headset gets passed around from me to the three-year-old, to the nine-year-old and then usually back to the three-year-old. And if I’m lucky I get it back when the video is just about to be over.

I love the concept of virtual reality and how it can really improve video storytelling. Well-done virtual reality videos are fantastic to watch and they really do offer a surrounding experience. For example, this video of a parachute jump is just fantastic to watch.

YouTuber Sara Dietschy really has outdone herself shooting and publishing the video. And people are watching – almost 6 million as of this writing. Of course, hats off for even considering jumping out of a plane and then doing it.

This is one of the videos that I could barely watch because the girls wanted to see it and were super excited to see how realistic and amazing the footage was. I agree – from the few seconds I could see.

In case you haven’t tried, watching a virtual reality video through the headset basically allows you to feel like you’re in the video. So you look to the left and you can see what’s on the left. You look to the right and you see what’s on the right. You look up and see what’s up.

YouTube allows you to actually watch all videos in virtual reality mode. Really quickly, here’s how you do that. Once in the video click on the three buttons on the top right of the video and then that will bring up this menu at the bottom, where you can click to view it in virtual reality-in this case called Cardboard – which is the name of the Google headset.

So when done well virtual reality videos are fantastic and given there are so few out there it’s really a differentiator. Now, I tried to search for an iPhone app that would allow me to shoot virtual reality video. I haven’t found one yet – maybe that’s not possible anyway – and I couldn’t tell you how to actually shoot a virtual reality video quite yet. This article-though I cannot vouch for it-seems to be a really nice summary of the complexities.

So far, I’m on track to be a huge fan of virtual reality video storytelling. But there are some disadvantages and downfalls:

  • How can you watch something together as a group?
  • There just aren’t enough videos out there yet. For example, my nine-year-old and I are heading to Europe and we were discussing whether or not we should take the headset. And I’m not so sure I can even download enough videos on my iPhone to justify carrying the headset with us. But if there were enough videos I certainly would.
  • It’s still kind of hard to use.

But overall this should be a great tool for even better storytelling in the times to come.

Related: How to differentiate with virtual reality storytelling

There probably will be more apps and videos using VR overtime. The Google Street View app on iPhone is already in the game. You can view streets in VR:

I also see potential with virtual reality for NFL games. Take the overhead skycam view for example:

Wouldn’t it be awesome if this view was in virtual reality and you could watch the game totally immersed through a virtual reality headset? Of course, I have no idea how difficult that would be to produce but from a consumer perspective it sounds amazing. At least for the games part of the broadcasts.

And then the same applies for those handheld camera shots like this one:

Those shots already feel like you’re right in the middle of the players but think about how much better that could be in virtual reality.

So there certainly is potential with virtual reality in storytelling and consumer engagement. I can’t wait to see how it evolves.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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