We were invited to Promax BDA annual conference last week. A flashy, well produced event, with talks, live music, over the top drone and pyrotechnics display, and maybe more importantly for us, hands on experimentation of all the latest virtual reality gadgets.
Laduma goggle-free VR experience was there to give us a 360º 3D experience and tell us that in the future we will be able to be in the pitch with our favourite team or on stage with our favourite musicians. They tell us VR is not a fad and although it’s a technology in its early stages – akin to cinema when the Lumiére brothers were showcasing their moving train footage – it will have much to offer in the future.
Samsung Gear VR was showcasing specially produced content, meant to be interactive and make use of the 360º wide view. I’m sceptical about the joys of VR, but tried two of them. A horror experience which I was hoping would be scary, but proved to be fairly mild and not very interactive and an animation which was indeed interactive and fun. The VR set may not be an expensive gadget at £80, but can only be used with the latest in Samsung mobiles making it a bit of a bigger investment, which I’m unsure is worth what’s on offer.


The most fun experiences came with Tilt Brush by Google and the hypnagogic experience being delivered by Universal.
Tilt Brush was being shown by Chu, the street artist, and you could get in Chutopia, his virtually designed town and paint away. Super fun software, that though affordable, can only be used with a set of gadgets that still come at a high price.
With a light producing gadget no one was really able to explain, Universal was offering a really novel experience. I describe it has being given an internal Kaleidoscope for the duration of the trial. The technology can be bought, but there was no information on where this could be purchased and though I was told it was affordable, no exact price was mentioned.