I was always dreaming about visiting Coachella. VR streaming of the festival in 2017 made my dream come true. Coachella managers also dreamt about reaching the maximum global target audience at the festival. VR broadcasting made their dream come true as well.
That’s what virtual reality streaming is all about – fulfilling our deepest sacred wishes.
The thing is VR streaming is a win-win game: while events receive more visitors, visitors get the chance to share the atmosphere of the festival without the need of moving in space. For a very long time, I thought that visiting this festival would change my life completely. But last three summers were so intense that I couldn’t buy the ticket to California. It turned out I was not the only one who wanted to visit Coachella and could not do it, there were thousands users who were ready to pay for virtual experience to get to Coachella.
That's why several years ago Coachella decided to make the festival experience available to more users around the world and created a VR app for streaming the festival. It’s a completely new experience: totally immersive, captivating, and saturated with emotions.
Livestreaming has become a habitual thing for viewers, right? Now it’s the time of virtual reality streaming — a fully immersive experience that destroys the barrier between the viewer and the content. That literally transfers the viewer to the place he/she wants to see.
That’s why sports events, fashions shows, concerts, and festivals are already available in VR.
Coachella was one of the first festivals available to the owners of HMDs. Apart from the fact that I couldn’t wear hippy clothes and take selfies, I could enjoy the rest of the experience to the fullest. Music, view, atmosphere. To be honest, at some point it was impossible not to dance.
All I needed was to download the free app for streaming virtual reality content to my smartphone. This virtual reality app would let me use VR and AR to explore the new dimensions of the festival ground. I can’t say the app worked perfectly well but it was definitely more than I expected. I could choose my field of view freely and could see the scene perfectly well.
For the festival users AR/VR experience started with the ticket. Coachella sent Google cardboards to its future virtual reality visitors. I only needed to slot in my smartphone and start watching. And though I was an old coon in virtual reality, for the majority of people, it was the first experience. And everyone was impressed, including me.
Gopi Sangha, director of a digital strategy of Coachella, said that virtual reality live streaming is the possibility to bring "the dimensions of a show to a global audience".
There were several things created for those who chose VR online content streaming on Coachella. Augmented reality effects that captured imagination from the moment of the first interaction with the product. When users opened their ticket boxes, they could see a beautiful surreal Coachella scene in a miniature with flying sharks, palms and famous windmills.
Those who managed to visit the festival in reality, could also benefit from downloading this app (for free of course). Coachella visitors got the chance to spice up anything they see at the festival with the help of augmented reality app. They could add Palm Spring’s famous windmills or Coachella disco shark to their photos and videos. They could also add colors to the festival by “painting” the reality.
Another plus of Coachella AR/VR app is user experience enhancement. For instance, visitors have to wait for a long time to enter the festival. AR and VR is the possibility to make waiting less tiring. AR app can entertain and distract visitors from negative experience of waiting and direct their attention to the positive experience of festival anticipation. VR/AR app become this
OK, if streaming is so cool, why the music industry doesn’t embrace it fully? Forbes writers claim that the problem is that the music industry still perceives VR as a toy (other industries are not very different in VR perception). Virtual reality movies online have become habitual already, and several cinema festivals are using them. But for the music industry VR is still like an alien. But Coachella experience with streaming virtual content shows that the ice is melting.
Luckily, VR streaming for sports is winning the hearts of the audience slowly so music events will catch up.
NBA League virtual reality streaming was one of the boldest experiments with VR last year. And it also became one of the biggest selling points of virtual reality. They streamed NBA games every week during the whole year. And it worked which in the language of businesses means that people bought it. In any case, NBA has published games schedule available for VR streaming for 2017-2018.
Intel and NextVR are competing to bring the best VR experience to viewers using different cameras and techniques. NextVR was a pioneer of NBA virtual reality stream technology, and it actually creates standards for VR streaming. The goal of the company was to provide users with the most immersive and realistic experience possible. And with NextVR, visitors would have to try really hard to differentiate virtual environment from the real one.
Those who tried NBA VR streaming claimed that they could almost smell the sweat of players. Almost.
Intel allows its users to choose the camera angle at any moment of the broadcasting or defer to the principal broadcasting camera which automatically chooses the best perspective. Another bonus is that VR users can choose what to watch: they can see all the game or a part of it.
In case with NBA virtual reality streaming, it turned out that VR broadcasting can be the catalyst transforming live events.
Just breathe out and think about it: everyone in the world gets the chance to attend a game and watch it from the first row. This is what I mean by equality:no VIP seats
VR technology has the power of transforming the way people experience sports events, and it's time to use it.
Fashion is another niche where VR can make the real difference. During fashion shows, designers shape this elusive “It” look that people of the whole world will follow consciously and unconsciously. That’s why visiting fashion shows is a must for millions of people who produce or sell clothes. Or for those who want to look like a million dollars.
Visiting fashion shows is an absolute must for those who love the style. But if you can’t take a flight to Paris, Milan or London, you can always watch a fashion show in VR.
It generates buzz and attracts the egalitarian audience. When VR is included in a fashion show experience, the level of hype is immense! TopShop was probably the first brand to livestream its fashion show in VR by providing visitors with Oculus Rift headsets. Another example is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Russia which gave a global audience a limited access to this exclusive experience.
One of benefits of virtual reality fashion shows streaming is the possibility of giving viewers a closer look at patterns and fabrics. That’s a nice bonus for journalists, bloggers, and fashion lovers.
Today almost all fashion shows are available in virtual reality. That’s why Dior shows in 360-degree view are already available in VR for those who have Samsung’s Gear VR headset. So you love fashion and want to visit London, Paris, New York, and Milan fashion shows? And now you’re currently in Beijing?
With virtual reality streaming, you have seats in the first row to any fashion show you want to visit.
When was the last time you went to the live concert or attended a sports game or a concert (your cousin playing piano won’t count)? Virtual reality streaming can be your teleport to the events you wanted to visit for a long time.
You feel happier, more open-minded, enormously excited. Live events, whether these are sports games or rock festivals, are always about the atmosphere. Virtual reality has one specific feature: it can provoke really strong emotions, and people describe their experience during live events as charging.
Long story short, live events rule.
Despite the fact that airlines made the world smaller, and we can fall asleep in New York to wake up in Bangkok, we are still limited by physical laws a lot. There are cases when you just can’t be at the concrete place fast enough.Virtual reality broadcasting solves the problems of events managers and of millions of visitors who can’t travel in time-space.