I was talking to my dad recently – we’ve just moved house and bought a new TV for the living room – about the poor quality of the built in speakers. Perhaps I could start buying him a surround sound system piece by piece for Christmas and birthdays for the next year or 2. Giving him a brilliant experience, with rich sound quality and bass so he can really feel a part of the films he’s watching.
He talked about how when he’s watching a film like Fury, he wants to feel the rumble of the tank as it advances, he wants to feel the gun firing, the explosions, the tension, he wants to feel a part of it… Now would probably be a good time to point out that he served in the British Army in a Tank Regiment for many years.
I told him the story of one of the times he had set up the old Hi-fi stereo system when he was watching a war film or something, I think it might have been when he got Band of Brothers on DVD to watch, he had it cranked right up while me and my mum were out. When we came back he’d forgot to turn the stereo off, only the TV was off, so when I tried to turn on Thomas the Tank Engine I got the fright of my life!!!
My mum was not pleased.
We had a laugh at that little story… Then I realised something: Virtual Reality systems like PSVR and Occulus Rift should be a perfect platform for that sort of experience. Games, Movies, TV, Documentaries… all of these mediums can make use of this technology.
I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times about using VR to recreate the Cinema in your living room but that’s not ambitious enough; You could do so much more with it. You could be part of the action, what if there was interactive scenes in the movie where you had to designate targets for the tanks gunner? Or you could be driving for a bit.
Imagine combining traditional film story telling with interactive sections. They could be on rails leading to a single outcome or perhaps you could succeed or fail and change how the film progresses from a pivotal moment.
I’m sure the truly creative talent out there could make a thousand things better than what I can dream of… But that’s what makes it such an exciting piece of technology for me, for my dad and for anyone willing to open their minds and try it.
The possibilities are endless!