At the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce breakfast briefing in January, Focus presented information on why having a video strategy is critical for organisations. They then treated all attendees to a hands-on experience of 360 and 360i video as well as green screen filming.
The session gave attendees the opportunity to explore these technologies hands-on with Focus staff available to answer questions and discuss ways they could use it effectively in their own organisations.
Paul led the sessions for 360 video. Using a variety of VR headsets he was able to help participants view 360 videos and experience the added impact and value of viewing them this way as opposed to on a tablet, mobile phone or laptop/PC . Using five of the 360 videos Focus have filmed, including those at Beaulieu Motor Museum, on location in Northumberland, and at the America’s Cup in Portsmouth from July 2016, attendees were able to experience the immersive nature of this new technology. They could then start to explore and discuss how it could be used in their own businesses. This could be for training such as a tour of a manufacturing plant or R&D facilities, helping to orientate visitors and employees to a new facility or showcase a hotels facilities or even act as a tourist attraction to a museum or place of interest.
There were many questions and lots of interest in trying on the headsets. While 360 video itself is becoming more mainstream, the headsets are not yet as commonplace. The headsets we used ranged in price from less than £20 to £65 and all used mobile phones as the content delivery platform.
From 360, Ian then took visitors up a level to 360i video. (Note: 360i is where the ‘i’ stands for ‘interactivity’). We showed people that with 360i they were able to interact with, and see more information about what is being seen in the video. In effect it adds additional information just as notes and references does in a book.
Objects and locations on the video can be marked with a pulsating dot or similar visible marker. When wearing a VR headset the person can move their head and look at the pulsing marker or if viewing on a computer, tablet or smartphone move their cursor and click on the marker. This then opens a new window with additional information resources.
These additional resources can be an external websites, additional videos, documents, pictures or illustrations. video is able to show much more to the viewer and give context and added value to the location.
Andy led a fun green screen session. Green screen allows us to film someone presenting to camera but add any background to it that they like. The background could be manufacturing line, an R&D centre or any other location where the background adds to the story and the audiences engagement. Using our video mixer, guests were able to stand in front of the camera and in this case present a weather forecast just like is done on TV! The audience can then see how the final effect looks like.
The mixer gives us a great deal of additional creative flexibility such as mixing multiple camera feeds (my used only one camera at the event), adding text and captions or blending offline video streams.
It also gave attendees the experience of presenting to camera while trying to make sure their hands were pointing in the right direction to the map. They found it was not as easy as the TV weather presenters make it look!
We were able to show guests that green screen is also mobile and can come to them, rather than them having to come into our green screen studio.
A great time was had by everyone and thanks to some wonderful feedback, we may be back again to do another event!
If you would like to read David Jones’ (a work experience students from Itchen Sixth Form College) posts about the event and listen to the interviews he and Tom conducted, you can read them here and read and listen here.