How Event Professionals Can Think About “Reality” Technologies: Part One – 360-Degree Video

There has been a lot of press lately about how technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Technology (AR) are going to change events. To best know how to utilize these technologies in a cost-effective manner it is best to understand that these tools are in a continuum ranging from the relatively simple and inexpensive to the complex and costly. To simplify this continuum, it might be helpful to look at these emerging “reality” and “3D” technologies in four different ways.

This week we look at the low-hanging fruit of reality technology – 360-degree video.

What is 360-degree video?

360-degree video is the least expensive and most accessible of the reality technologies. Also known as immersive video, this technology is able to record a full 360-degree field of view. The viewer of the corresponding footage typically uses left-right, up-down arrows to alter the field of focus.

The main thing you (or your photographer) needs to make these videos is a 360-degree camera. Popular cameras include Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, and IC Real Tech Allie, all of which are supported on YouTube. These products are typically in the $300-500 range. GoPro also has a number of products, though these are more expensive.

360 in Action

YouTube now supports the uploading of 360 videos. This video with over 3.5 million views gives you a unique way to visit Australia’s Hamilton Island:

Virtual Venue Tours

For event professionals, 360-degree video offers the possibility of venue tours without leaving the office. Here is a virtual tour of the garden and front desk of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

As both of these examples show, the most apparent use for event pros is related to site visits. However, you can also use 360 to blow the socks off your attendees as this roller coaster example shows.