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The World of Virtual Reality in 2017

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2016 has seen Virtual Reality explode not only onto the market, but into our homes, work and play areas. It has shown itself to have the potential to engage an audience in new ways with a story.

Key brands and broadcasters are starting to try to harness its power. The recent VR Summit in London has seen even more notable brands come to the table and lay out their stalls.

In the last 3 months alone, Sky has released its own VR app, Playstation has released its long awaited all immersive headset, Google has released its new Google Daydream headset and many others beside this. This technology is seeming to be a game changer. One that very few people had envisaged even just 12 months ago.

Virtual Reality has become a powerful tool to engage audiences for a wide range of brands: charities, businesses, educational organisations, and the gaming industry. The amount of original content commissioned and created is rapidly accelerating.

Notable apps now on the market include:

Sky VR– the Sky app launched in October this year and already includes content from Sky Sport. Also several VR campaigns have been released to coincide with film releases – Suicide Squad and the Jungle Book being two notable examples. Sky is planning to put even more resources into its VR development over the coming months.

Discovery VR – An early adopter of the VR possibilities, Discovery launched its app back in Aug 2015. This has quickly accelerated to be a main player in the Discovery Digital Media brand.

Netflix – although Netflix has already released a VR app available through the Oculus store, early Dec saw them release a new offering with HBO to Google Play– to be used with the new Google Daydream

As we enter the last of 2016, it’s been simply incredible to think just how much this tech has grown since we last wrote about it. Not so long ago, it seemed reigned to the stories of 1980s movies, and yet it’s now become its own reality. With many of the big names still very much in test phases, it’s going to be exciting to see where this tech goes next.

The opportunities are huge, but, as the market develops, so too does the need for storytelling and the crafting of content for this platform. It’s now not just enough to place the viewer in an immersive experience, people are expecting more and more to see a story play out around them.

Our prediction? This tech that many still wonder at its shelf life, is going to remain a key player in the communicator’s toolkit well into 2017.

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