In anticipation of his presentation at Future of Immersive Leisure in Las Vegas, September 13-14, 2017, we asked Daniel Prado, CTO at YDreams Global, a few questions about the immersive entertainment ecosystem.  Check out his interview in relation to his Future of Immersive Leisure presentation entitled, Brave New World - the Future of Immersive Location-Based Entertainment.

Q: The use of immersive technology in the entertainment sector away from the home, what are the issues?

A: Immersive Technology it’s about making the tech invisible although using it to enhance a storyline. Theme parks have been doing this for decades. The whole entertainment industry just shifted to the “experience era”, so it’s still trying to adapt and use the “Theme park paradigm” to other sectors, such as movie theaters, music festivals, museums, even at trade shows. Sometimes you get it done right, by making it memorable.

Q: The use of digital media in attractions, what are the key issues?

A: It’s not about projectors or big screens. People just don’t look to a screen on their way in a mall for example. They touch their phones all day long, so it’s not about a touchscreen either. I believe that Augmented Reality it’s about to become the next easy solution for that problem. Until it gets saturated, too. There is no easy solution; you have to make it relevant to the audience.

Q: Is the new audience for attractions and experiences a harder audience to entertain because of the amount of technology in their lives?

A: Quite the opposite 🙂 If you manage to engage them in a narrative that is both challenging and unique they will make sure that everyone they know get to know it. But you have to make them believe it is worth their time and attention.

Q: Is the loading and unloading issues with VR technology impacting the experience?

A: That’s a big problem for the current generation of VR, especially with home PC systems using Rift/Vive/Steam. But if you think about all the investment in time and money a user must put to get a triple A VR title running at his home, this guy must be an enthusiast, an early adopter, so he’s probably willing to wait for the title to load. But that’s not the user that will sustain the VR industry. To go mainstream VR must be accessible and easy to use. The first generation of standalone headsets will address at least part of those issues.

Q: How can the digital out-of-home entertainment industry stay ahead of the home entertainment scene?

A: We’re just seeing VR arcades literally appearing everywhere. That’s the first step and pretty important for VR awareness. I believe those who dare to go beyond that might be setting the new standards for VR. Think about multiple users interacting with full body recognition, walking around and interacting with each other. How can they interact? What kind of experiences are they willing to live and to pay (a regular basis as they would do for a movie)? I’m pleased to be working here at YDreams Global in a VR multiuser experience called Arkave that will be quite unique.

Q: Why is there no officially recognized qualifications in development skills in this industry?

A: The technology evolves faster than the bureaucracy to create new schools. I was at the University in the early 90’s and I learned about the web not in class but by digging out with friends using the lab’s computers and hacking our way out of the boundaries of the local network. The bulletin boards and chat systems were the only way to get access to information by then. There are online micro courses and Nano degrees nowadays with partnership with big institutions in an attempt to address that need to formal education.

Q: Is it essential to have new immersive attractions and experiences every few years to survive?

A: I’d say that revisiting the experience and enhancing it every couple of years would help the business, trying to keep it relevant. It’s always best to plan the changing cycle from day one.

Q: Could VR be more important in the out-of-home sector than in consumer application?

A: I do believe that the future of VR lies in the out-of-home sector with the consumer evolving its interest from “scary jumps” at home to greater VR experiences without having to setup they living room for a VR session.

Q: What other immersive technologies beyond VR are you looking at?

A: I’m looking at new ways to develop Mixed Reality experiences  - I’d say that  in 10-20 years from now we’ll all be able to walk around and see the world like a big multiverse with infinite layers  to choose from. That will be a different world 🙂

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Don’t miss Daniel’s presentation, Brave New World - the Future of Immersive Location-Based Entertainment, at Future of Immersive Leisure on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm.  Click here to register for attendance.

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