In the trends world we talk about story telling and the importance of experience all the time. There is no doubt we will see more and more immersive and unique retail and entertainment experiences become part of every day lives, with virtual reality at the heart of many of them. It is however, still something of an enigma (how many of you have ever actually tried VR?) but totally intriguing nonetheless.
In order to find out more we spoke to the co-founder of one of the most progressive and exciting companies in the field of VR entertainment – Corrina McCann. Specialising in providing unique, innovative and creative content and experiences, Infinite360° has been working with some of the biggest brands in the world – from music stars to football clubs, charities,hospitals, telecoms giants and automotive companies.
Their most recent project Infinity House – is the worlds first virtual retreat – a members club which delivers the benefits of a traditional retreat but through virtual reality headsets! An interesting idea – which I have to admit Im a little sceptical about – as for me, I would go to a retreat to switch off from technology – but I am willing to be persuaded otherwise!
Over to Corrina tell you more….
- Predictable question but unfortunately technology is still seen as a predominately male domain – so how did you get into VR?
I’ve been in the production and magazine publishing industries for 15 years – I’ve always enjoyed telling stories to take people on a journey.
Most important thing is to connect with your audience – which is why tech and the digital revolution has always been exciting for me. The first time I put a headset on 5 years ago, I knew this had the ability to create an emotional connection on an entirely different scale to anything I had witnessed. For me to be able to take someone to places and situations they could only dream of was something I knew I had to do.
- What would you say to a young girl who wanted to make a career in the VR/tech industry?
Be passionate about what you are doing. Work hard, and believe in yourself. You have to put the hours in. Sometimes it is hard, but know your strengths. If you want to be in this industry you have to love what you do.
- In the trends world we constantly talk about the importance of story telling and experience – how do you see this playing out in the future using VR?
Storytelling is key. Everything we do evolves around this – everything needs a narrative otherwise its just parallel to the world as you know it. You’ll see a lot of early content is content for content’s sake – people have been happy to just provide or indulge in a 360 situation or scenario. They were transported and left with no direction. At infinite360 every experience we put out there has a purpose, a meaning, an end goal. This comes from years in production.
- A purely aesthetic question. Will those horrible headsets become more sophisticated and user friendly? At the moment they are associated with teenage boys playing on their PS so not very appealing.
Yes! The headsets you are talking about were created to serve a purpose – and originally focused on gamers. VR has exploded into our culture more than we could have predicted and becoming part of day to day life. Mobile headsets powered by smartphones have made VR accessible to the masses. Headsets will get slicker, more stylish and more sophisticated.
- I am slightly obsessed with Stranger Things, Westworld, Humans and Black Mirror and how what would have once been science fiction – now looks like a reality. Is a more sinister side to VR and AI and how do you think this will play out as we see more and more immersive and tech enhanced experiences – will there be a backlash?
We’re living in an era of technology and people striving to push the boundaries. For as long as people have an appetite for it, people will continue to create it. Technology is here to make life better and easier for us all.
It can also do so much good. As with any technology it depends how people choose to use it.
- And finally are there any super exciting things we should know about from a futurologist perspective?
Absolutely – One of the most exciting and unexpected applications of the 360° VR potential is in the field of mind and body health and wellness. This is the case of Infinity House, the first fully immersive 360° VR virtual retreat being developed of its kind. The retreat offers all the traditional services of an exclusive mind, spirit and body retreat and make them accessible at a click of a button from anywhere and anytime in 360° environments.
This Virtual Wellness Retreat has the potential to revolutionize its users’ human experience and improve the quality of their lives through courses, seminars, classes, all set in a 360° environment and instantly accessible from the comfort of their sofa, a busy airport lounge or during a lunch break at the office. Users can access meditation courses, inspirational talks, yoga classes, CBT counseling provided by experts in their fields and accessible through the enthralling and captivating medium of 360° VR, to enhance their effect. The aim is to deliver an effective and holistic journey of self-development within a 360° VR environment.