In anticipation of her presentation at Future of Immersive Leisure in Las Vegas, September 13-14, 2017, we asked Dena Nord, Artist and Partner at Odvant Creative, LLC, a few questions about the immersive entertainment ecosystem. Check out her interview in relation to her Future of Immersive Leisure presentation entitled, Reinventing the Museum Experience with VR and AR.
Q: The use of immersive technology in the entertainment sector away from the home, what are the issues?
A: General accessibility, every environment and person are different. Getting an experience to be seamless with any wearable, in multiple situations, with different people is going to be a tough challenge. Without using wearables, the challenge will be still getting the experience to feel immersive and memorable.
Q: The use of digital media in attractions, what are the key issues?
A: People are somewhat taking digital media for granted or expecting some level of it in attractions. Large screens are almost ignored by the majority of people in public. The challenge will to create creative content that cannot be ignored. I believe Augmented Reality, not virtual reality, will be a step in the right direction of making this creative content for the masses.
Q: Is the new audience for attractions and experiences a harder audience to entertain because of the amount of technology in their lives?
A: Not necessarily, content and context is always key to move away from this being a gimmick. The content must be curated for the environment and must be highly entertaining. The context must be surprising and meaningful. New audiences are more likely to embrace the experiences and take a chance. And unlike in the past, they will share and post about the experience to their entire network if memorable enough.
Q: Is the loading and unloading issues with VR technology impacting the experience?
A: Yes, most users would like the experience to be immediate and not deal with following steps from an attendant or reading instruction. Having to put on bulky hardware seems unattractive. Some users will think it is worth the wait, but overall, the process needs to get quicker for mass media to want to sign on.
Q: How can the digital out-of-home entertainment industry stay ahead of the home entertainment scene?
A: Out of home experiences can always be bigger and better than in-home entertainment. People will expect for the environments offering these immersive solutions to be totally unique and one of a kind. The content will also have to be updated frequently to make users want to come back. Not only in attractions, but I think sides of buildings and murals will become launching points for AR content in the near future.
Q: Why isn’t there an officially recognized qualification in development skills in this industry?
A: The industry is so new and is always changing. It will take some time to develop certain criteria for a certification or recognition program to be built.
Q: What other immersive technologies beyond VR are you looking at?
A: I am always trying to find a way to make content creation easier for smaller budgets. As an artist, I see huge opportunities for AR to further fine art, but in experience so far, it has been challenging. Without paying for branded apps, the amount of steps needed to experience AR using todays apps are too many. I believe AR is the gateway to get immersive technologies more known and accepted.
Q: Is it essential to have new immersive attractions and experiences every few years to survive?
A: Depends on context, but more than likely audiences will be expecting content to be updated as a reason to come back. Updating hardware will not be as important and updating the content of the experience.
Q: Could VR be more important in the out-of-home sector than in consumer application?
A: Only time will tell, the next couple years of content development and hardware development will decide the future of where VR will be most important.