From the sold-out initial run of Oculus Rift to the New York Times now publishing stories in an “immersive format,” technology reporters and trend watchers are claiming that 2016 is the year of virtual reality (VR). In the arts and entertainment world, VR has been focused mostly in gaming, but, as a WIRED World in 2016 annual trends report noted earlier this year, it is on the rise in the film industry, as well, with Sundance Institute starting a residency program exclusively for VR-filmmakers.
As these filmmakers experiment with this technology, they are realizing the hurdles and the possibilities in how they are able to create and tell stories. One challenge for filmmakers is that movie-going tends to be a communal experience, whereas watching a film on a VR headset is a singular experience.
For readers, that isn’t the case, however, and perhaps there might be a greater consumer interest in this technology for a “reading” experience going forward. I put reading in quotes because, with VR, readers won’t necessarily be reading, which may pose an interesting hurdle for our own industry and the kind of content we will develop for the technology.
That is why, this year at the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 19-23), we will be featuring a series of talks that will explore how VR can be used in trade and academic publishing, share some success stories from the arts world, allow publishers to actually explore VR videos, and help publishers connect with those on the forefront of this new storytelling format to explore new ways of looking at content.
Two interesting sessions worth checking out are below:
HOW VR WILL CHANGE THE CREATIVE BUSINESS:
Wednesday, October 19th, 1:15pm, THE ARTS+ Salon
Virtual reality has the potential to turn the creative business upside down. By being able to cut down on creation costs for illustrators or production and release time, or simply being able to create within an entirely new technology a world a writer has never dreamed of, VR has many potential applications for art and culture. VR experts will discuss their experiences, highlighting both the challenges and the successes.
EXCEEDING REALITY: MAKE YOUR (VR) DREAMS COME TRUE:
Friday, October 21st, 2:30, THE ARTS+ Runway
For nonfiction or academic publishers who require images and videos alongside text, understanding the importance of creating these immersive 360-degree views for a changing consumer, as well as the ease in which you can use these technologies, will go a long way into moving digital publishing forward.
Ultimately, as Wired writer Oliver Franklin-Wallis notes, “VR cinema will only reach its potential if the medium can attract the quality of storytellers that cinema does.”
That may also be true for book publishing, but, just as with the rise of digital publishing, it is better for publishers to be aware of and prepared for changing consumer interests than to be surprised by them.
To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!