Storytelling with a little help from VR
We visited the Watershed, Bristol to check out Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness which uses chapters from an audio diary recorded by writer, John Hull to deliver an interactive virtual reality experience. When John discovered he was going blind, instead of denying his condition he wanted to understand blindness in more detail: "I've got to try to understand blindness otherwise it will destroy my life".
Virtual reality is a world of infinite possibility so it's always really exciting to see new ways of applying it to otherwise flat graphics. Looking back at John Hull's experience of going blind, it wasn't just a case of waking up one day without sight, he experienced dark shadows which drifted in and out of his vision. It's this in-between stage that is explored through this clever application of technology. The application of the VR in this respect is incredibly appropriate, as fully-visioned individuals join an experience where their senses are compromised by putting on the headset. You're vulnerable and your senses are exposed. With Samsung Gear VR,you're suddenly stepped into a new but darker magical world with 360 views of a world that you're told resembles a park.
John Hull's words suddenly become the only guidance you have as your sight is obliterated with darkness. Sparks of blue flash across the screen resembling a tree in the distance, people walking past, a ruffled newspaper or a bird flying overhead - the intensity of colour correlate with the intensity of the sound. The sound echoes through the speakers leaving you to work out how closely the activity is. Hull views all noises created from activity, where there is no activity there is no noise. Sound is intensified through the speakers and vision is distorted.
Virtual reality can be a great way of telling a moving and memorable story, the sense of awe and wonderment that comes with an all encompassing experience is extremely powerful and can have a huge effect on the spectator. The eBay Virtual Reality Department Store is being used to create an in-store browsing experience that relies on personalisation to give the shopper an in-detail and interactive shopping journey.
A discussion with Hugh in the office also led me to discover interactive laser quest which is an incredible way to use technology to inspire a world of limitless potential.