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NAB2016: Virtual and Augmented Reality

virtual reality

The world, as we know it, is changing.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is impacting all aspects of storytelling and creating new immersive experiences for consumers.

As is always the case, NAB Show® is THE place to explore the technology and innovation fuelling this revolutionary new way to consume content.

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Virtual Reality is currently climbing the hype cycle. Augmented Reality is almost in position to begin its own ascent. There are daily stories about hardware advancements, the amazing product expected from the latest VR start-up to be funded, or the VR development plans of a gaming house or production studio. How, as media professionals, do we separate what is real from what is vapourware?  And how do we make best use of the technology and business aspects of this emerging marketplace, which some consider to be a new media type and art form.

The phrase ‘virtual reality’ was coined by theatre practitioner, Antonin Artaud as early as 1938 and the concept of VR was popularised in mass media by movies such as, Brainstorm and The Lawnmower Man.

However, the ultimate dreams of video producers and video editors is to create an astonishing panoramic 360 video camera with the incorporation of our own virtual reality are only just being realised. Whatever immersive experience you dream of recreating Virtual Reality opens the door to new ways of communicating, and experiencing the world we live in.

YouTube made it possible to play interactive 360-degree videos on its site just over a year ago.

If viewed on a laptop, viewers can use a mouse to adjust their perspective. But if watched on a smartphone or VR headset, the experience becomes more immersive, as changes in viewpoint correspond to the movements of the device being used.

With technology like 360Heros Plug-n-Play which includes rigs and stitching software it is becoming ever-easier to create your own amazing, immersive VR experience, even underwater with the 360Abyss.

360Heros Pro10HD virtual reality 360° video gear with 3/8″ mount Available now £551.85 ex.Vat | £662.22 inc.Vat

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360Abyss from 360Heros
NEW 360Abyss-v4 with 6 Camera Lock and CASE. Underwater VR camera housing rated to 1,000 metres.

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And this week at the 2016 NAB Show Adobe, Sky Italia and GoPro are among those demoing new VR tech at the event.

GoPro’s new technology, includes Custom Solutions systems, Live VR, and Omni the synchronised six-camera spherical rig. Precise, pixel-level synchronization makes stitching in post-production easier and more exact — especially when compared to unsynchronized camera arrays. Full package includes Kolor software apps, Autopano Video Pro + Autopano Giga.

You can purchase the rig only for £1,299.00 or with the cameras for £4,199.00. The Omni is available to pre-order now with shipment expected in August

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YouTube introduces live-streamed 360-degree videos on its service.

The Google-owned platform said select concerts from California’s Coachella festival would be the first to use the virtual reality facility.

In addition, it announced videos on its service could now be enhanced with “spatial audio”, which simulates the effect of sounds coming from different directions and distances.

One expert said the innovation could greatly enhance VR experiences.

“From musicians to athletes to brands, creators have done some incredible things with this technology,” blogged YouTube executive, Neal Mohan

“Now they’ll be able to do even more to bring fans directly into their world, with 360-degree live-streaming.”

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