Matt Simmonds, Creative Director of Video Content at the Telegraph Media Group will be speaking at VR World 2017 being held on the 16th and 17th of May at Olympia Conference Centre, London.
Telegraph Media Group is a multi-media news publisher of the world-renowned, agenda-setting content found in its titles: The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Telegraph website and The Telegraph weekly world edition.
Matt, who oversees all commercial and branded video content both for The Telegraph and its clients, will be discussing ‘Filming, Directing and Reporting in 360 Degrees’ on the 17th of May took some time to complete our speaker Q&A:
Please tell us a bit about the work you are doing in the VR/MR/AR space?
Just a load of pitches at the moment.
What benefits do you think immersive technologies can bring to your industry?
Time will tell, especially once we get past the novelty phase, but I think the main benefit is engagement. It's an entirely new medium which affords us new techniques with new types of storytelling. Consumer attention is a premium commodity, we're now able to create stories and experiences that were impossible with film or video.
Do you think enterprise is ready to take full advantage of immersive technologies? Why/ why not?
Those who don't see a direct ROI probably aren't ready. There are still a lot of technical and cultural problems to solve before most enterprise can take meaningful advantage. Smart businesses should watch developments very closely though, new mediums like this tend to open up totally unpredicted opportunities. Who predicted services like Uber or Snapchat or Instagram when the iPhone was launched ten years ago?!
Which industry do you think will be most impacted by VR/AR/MR technologies?
The most unpredictable ones. Everyone's watching gaming first, entertainment second but I think we'll be surprised by some of the others. And, of course, there'll be whole new industries we can't even think of yet.
How can we boost content creation for VR applications?
Native tools. Whoever works out how to create for VR in VR properly and intuitively will reap the rewards. Otherwise it's just a good old fashioned network effect. The more great content that's made, the bigger audiences will grow, the more ROI on great content, driving creators to make it... and so on.
How are partnerships contributing to growth in the immersive technology market?
On the assumption this is referring to content partnerships (since I can't really speak for technology partnerships), I think it's a good and obvious start. Media owners and platforms command big audiences so it's natural that we play and learn and iterate with immersive content. As our audiences become more used to it, alongside costs coming down, brands will see more value. As I said earlier, we're only just emerging from the novelty phase though, where brands and media owners just do it for the sake of it without considering user benefits.
Are there any projects or applications of VR/AR/MR that you’ve seen that are particularly impressive and why?
Field Trip to Mars by Framestore. I personally haven't experienced it, but having seen and read about it, it's definitely one of the more interesting use-cases. The technological challenges they overcame are impressive enough, but it's the development of group or shared VR which is really exciting here.
What are the key ethical issues that arise from the use of immersive technologies and how are these being addressed?
Privacy, in terms of data collection and peer to peer usage. Who likes the idea of meeting a stranger with an MR headset on which can instantly recognise your face and pull up every piece of relevant information on you in their field of vision? In the more immediate future the data collected from eye and head tracking and the minutiae of how we interact with each other and our environment will be the biggest concern. Who owns that data and how does it get used?
Where do you see immersive technologies in the next 18 months?
I think (hope) we'll start to see the first baby steps of MR, especially if Magic Leap or Apple bring anything to market. Otherwise I think we'll start to really learn what works and what doesn't within VR, and even 360 video, as we explore the myriad new possibilities and techniques. This is when it gets really exciting because once we start to find our way in this new space, the not-so-obvious content/techniques/use cases start cropping up and that's what really drives innovation.
What are the key challenges to mass market implementation of VR/AR/MR and how do you see these being overcome?
Well, there are an awful lot of technical challenges to overcome before mass adoption of MR and AR, and not quite so many for VR (untethering the headsets being one). Remember we're in version 1.0, though, this is basically the equivalent of the first mobiles with colour screens, or indeed the first mobile phones. Aside from the technical challenges there are a host of social and cultural barriers too. These are all moot, however, if we don't start out with quality content for the tech and audiences we have now. Without that we can't build loyalty and keep attention. We have a responsibility to make great content and hardware, it must be meaningful and compelling, notjust a novelty or a fad. High quality content is essential if we're to build loyalty and keep attention. Otherwise we're looking at the next 3D TV 'revolution'.
About VR World
Now in its 2nd year, VR World 2017 is a 2 day conference and exhibition focused on Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality and its impact beyond gaming.
With 4 in-depth event tracks and over 150 leading speakers, no other European event covers the market in as much detail.
Amid unparalleled networking opportunities, attendees will have access to visionary speakers and case-study led content. Hear from inspirational keynotes and thought-provoking panel discussions from key players redefining the boundaries for technology.
Register now to reserve your place for THE VR, AR and MR event of 2017.