VR & 360°: Deep Thoughts on NAB 2016

I stood in a warehouse, in front of a lighted table, upon which a multimillion-dollar air-to-air missile rested. Over my shoulder, my tour guide told me I could open it up and look inside. I wasted no time. In a second, the missile exploded into hundreds of pieces. A series of screws hung in midair, inches from my face. I studied the screws from every angle, suspended in space, and could hardly believe my eyes.

It was the first jaw-dropping moment in a series of 360° and virtual reality demos last week in Las Vegas at NAB – a.k.a. The National Association of Broadcasters Conference. Over the next two days, I stood inches from the cellists of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra; I rode in the back of a convertible driving through LA; I even had time for a quick beach vacation.

Tim Read at NAB 2016 viewing VR

Tim Read at NAB 2016 viewing VR

It was a world away from old memories of virtual reality. At NAB, 1080p was the minimum for 360°, and most booths showed crisp 4K demos. Content creation tools are similarly maturing – several different approaches to capture and playback were on display.

While the tools for content creation are maturing, the bigger picture of a project’s lifecycle is still fuzzy. Right now, getting files to clients for review and approval requires a lot of hand-holding. A client needs to physically have a device to view the content, and then you may have the unenviable task of explaining “sideloading” to get your project on the device.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be a confusing mess of sideloads and headsets. As Facebook and YouTube demonstrate, content can be viewed in browser quite easily – and with engaging results, especially in the case of mobile devices. Wiredrive has been meeting with several content creators, and are ready to help simplify the review and approval experience for 360° & VR. We’ll be rolling out the first steps in May.

If you’d like early access, visit our Beta Program page and sign up. We’re really excited by what our friends and clients are creating, and we’re eager to partner with you to simplify your workflow.

By Tim Read