(Note: This post first appeared on Jack’s Garage)
With a consumer version of the Oculus Rift rumored to be available this year, it is hard to dispute we have reached a new frontier of storytelling. Companies are jumping in, trying to find ways to integrate and capitalize on the new technology. As we saw with wearables, a large focus has been within fitness and gaming.
A huge challenge with VR comes when trying to understand and create the best content that plays well with the new technology. Many existing games and programs do not translate well since the VR self doesn’t move with you, unless hooked into additional products or technology. This creates a disconnect with program as you want to be immersed and consumed within the experience. Another challenge is presented within the content itself. The technology encourages interactivity, so with a passive experience such as movies or film, how do they adapt? The best solution thus far has been to mirror theater – utilizing stage dynamics to create a more frameless experience.
This does not solve for wanting to interact with a linear story, so how that adapts film and storytelling will be something to watch. Overall, it will be interesting to see how storytelling develops within the next year to accommodate the new technology and play with the question, how interactive should VR be?