The world and his wife are jumping on the VR bandwagon, and that means we’re seeing a lot more interesting content emerging every day.
Much of this is 360 video, which is the easiest to produce, but also the most limited in terms of interaction – you can look around the scene presented to you, but you can’t actually influence how the action unfolds.360 video is the most common type of VR content but also the most limited in terms of interaction Click To Tweet
To keep users engaged and enjoying that content for longer, building more interactivity into those experiences is key. That’s what Virtual Reality production company YouVisit is doing in partnership with West Hollywood visitors bureau.
Viewers the power to choose their own path and explore the areas they're interested in Click To Tweet
“Unlike traditional 360-degree videos that simply show a location, we give viewers the power to choose their own path and explore the areas they are interested in,” explains Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and cofounder of YouVisit
The West Hollywood Experience takes viewers beyond 360 video and turns the city into an interactive playground, enabling you to choose which paths you explore, and which locals you talk to.
“In the past, West Hollywood has fallen victim to stereotypes about what the city is like and the types of people it caters to. Putting the experience in the viewer’s hands makes them an active participant in VR and helps them create an intimate connection with what they are seeing. For Visit West Hollywood, this means prospective travelers can explore the city by bike, jump into a high-intensity dodgeball game or get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the area’s top restaurants,” says Mandelbaum
The travel sector is fast catching on to the fact that VR will become an essential part of their toolkit in future, not only enabling “try before you buy” use cases, but making it possible for those who cannot physically visit places to still experience what makes them special.
This goes beyond straightforward tours, and allows creative content producers to dig deeper and present users with a different angle on a place; something they might not have experienced as a tourist. One example of this is the FT’s The City Within documentary which explores the social dynamics of Rio’s Favelas as part of its Hidden City VR experience, recently launched in partnership with Google.West Hollywood Experience turns the city into an interactive playground Click To Tweet
“The world of VR has presented amazing opportunities to showcase properties, events and now entire destinations,” adds Jaimie du Bois, Director of Business Development for Visit West Hollywood When working with the team at YouVisit, we were able to conceptualise and create a unique VR experience that allows visitors, travel agents and even residents to see a different side of West Hollywood through six separate vignettes. This experience can be showcased on our website and social media channels, but it’s also a great training tool to take on the road for trade shows and sales missions,” she concludes
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Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio and @techtrends_tech on Twitter.
Also published on Medium.