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Is this the future of Friday night TV? Hear about the new wave of virtual reality in our latest podcast

Plus we meet the crew behind Ireland’s first VR animated film.

Image: Pa Images/TheJournal.ie

“I FEEL LIKE VR is approaching a tipping point that I refer to as escaping the sideshow. When cinema started in the 1890s, it was literally used as a sideshow at events. Then people realised the potential. That’s what is happening to VR.”

Most people out there have seen – and probably even used – a VR headset at this stage.

Virtual reality has been in the mainstream for a few years now, particularly in gaming, where immersive experiences are becoming the norm.

But beyond multi-player games and perhaps the occasional 360-degree video, is there really a place for VR in the future of entertainment? Could a VR headset ever become part of our Friday night TV viewing, or your midweek cinema date?

Colum Slevin, an Irish producer now working as Head Of Experiences with Oculus VR in San Francisco, says yes. Colum’s team focuses on the art of VR storytelling, using virtual reality to enhance traditional film or TV.

We’re searching for forms of entertainment that will appeal to the untapped audience out there. We want to reach people who haven’t tried VR yet or who are VR curious.

CA: F8 2018 Facebook Developer Conference A woman tries the Oculus Go VR goggles during the F8 Conference in California earlier this month. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

In Colum’s opinion, the future success of VR lies in the social sphere. “Communal experiences are really important, especially ones that people can have in their own homes,” he says.

The thing that’s going to turn this into a global phenomenon is when a group of people can enjoy a social event that has the same depth of experience as, say, a theme park, but in their own home.

Aoife Doyle, creative director and co-founder of Pink Kong Studios, agrees that in the future, entertainment will consist of much more than just a screen or a TV remote.

Pink Kong released its VR animated film, Aurora, earlier this year – a first for Ireland and for the company.

“When we first started the project we didn’t even have a headset,” says Niamh.

Aurora Small Image Source: Pink Kong Studios

“I don’t think you’ll ever fully replace cinema because it’s such an expert craft, but VR is a different beast and it gives a different experience.”

Join us as we don a headset to watch Aurora, check out Dublin’s first virtual reality arcade and more in the latest episode of Future Stories.

Listen below on Soundcloud, or click-through to be taken to the episode on:

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Audioboom


Source: Journal Media/SoundCloud

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