Thousands of professionals from all over the world gathered in Milan at the Digital Design Days event held earlier this year. I was really happy to be there, amongst the brightest minds in the industry and the best international brands. A line-up of 50 extraordinary speakers, visionary storytellers, and innovative thinkers were there to inspire, teach and guide us in the challenges and the opportunities of today and tomorrow.
One of the main messages that I took from the conference was that we shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. Don’t be afraid of failure. “You have to be open for mistakes, maybe they are better than what you aimed for”, said David Carson.
It was fascinating experiencing and learning more about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
Me at the conference: screenshot from https://vimeo.com/267969148
What is VR, AR, and MR?
Virtual reality (VR)
VR is a computer-generated scenario that simulates experience through senses and perception. The immersive environment can be similar to the real world or it can be fantastical, creating an experience not possible in our physical reality.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is considered a form of VR that layers virtual information over a live camera feed into a headset or through a smartphone or tablet device giving the user the ability to view three-dimensional images.
Mixed Reality (MR) or hybrid reality
Mixed reality (MR), sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Mixed reality takes place not only in the physical world or the virtual world, but is a mix of reality and virtual reality, encompassing both augmented reality and augmented virtuality via immersive technology.
360° and VR in Social Media Workshop
Of the different workshops & masterclasses that I attended, the 360° and VR in Social Media Workshop inspired me to try posting 360° photos on our Bernafon HQ Facebook page. A 360 photo immerses the viewer in the scene in a way that a snapshot does not, allowing the viewer a feeling of presence. They can be captured using the Facebook mobile apps for Android and iOS and/or with special 360 cameras. The 360 photos can be shared by all Facebook pages and profiles and viewed in the News Feed on the web, plus iOS and Android devices that support the latest version of the Facebook mobile app.
The challenge with 360 photos is in the storytelling. We have to think differently when we take 360 photos and anticipate the experience of the viewer, anticipate the story that they will read. It is interactive, so there is more than one way to read the story and so one has to guide the viewer a bit differently.
Our first 360 photo on the Bernafon HQ Facebook page was well received! It had significantly more reach than other posts, and a large number of reactions and shares. This matches what I heard at the conference, that 360 photos get 44% more views, reactions and shares than normal images. From our point of view, the first in our new #Swiss360 series was a success and we will do more of these in the future.
Follow us on Facebook for more 360 photos and other news – here is the link.