As with the last few years, it wouldn’t be South by Southwest without all the virtual reality experiences. Here’s a selection of the noteworthy immersive experiences that brands and VR players brought to Austin this year.
• Sony’s Future Lab division created a multi-person VR experience called Superception that allows up to four players to share their perspectives with each other in real time. Built with a network of interconnected VR headsets, the game is to figure out where the other players may be by analyzing the others’ perspectives.
• Sony is also showcasing several other PlayStation VR experiences at its “Wow Factory” activation site, among which is space shooter game called Rez Infinite that comes with a “synesthesia suit” that adds haptic feedback to the gaming experience.
• Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin also came to SXSW to educate event goers about the space. They will also get to try some VR space travel and learn about how humans may one day colonize Mars by putting on a headset to watch a 360-degree video called “Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars” created by experiential agency 8i.
• AOL’s VR production unit RYOT set up a pop-up space at SXSW to showcase some of their latest VR and AR work. On the VR front, they produced short films on refugees that aim to evoke empathy and emotions, showcasing VR’s great storytelling potentials. On the AR front, it is working with magazine publishers to make print covers and ads come to life.
If you missed out on going to SXSW this year, and want to try some of latest VR experiences, come to the Lab and see for yourself what powerful marketing tools they can be. We here at the Lab are always looking out for new developments in the VR space, and currently we five VR headsets — an Oculus Rift, a PlayStation VR, an HTC Vive, and two Samsung Gear VRs — all ready for demos. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood, so come by the Lab and figure out how your brand can use it to excite and engage with consumers.