Last year, we were lucky enough to get immersed in the world of virtual reality, working on a couple of projects with BBC R&D.
The process of planning, creating and watching the public reaction to our work has proven one thing – successful VR installations are about much more than the content and the technology to deliver it. Audiences need to be intrigued, feel safe and be able to share.
So we decided to share our top tips.
1. Don’t forget about the ‘before’ experience. A sense of anticipation adds to the adventure, just like that time when you were in the queue for the rollercoaster.
2. So….create a scene-setter to help build the before-experience excitement. It doesn’t need to be big or expensive. Something that can work as a tangible tease.
3. Let your viewer sit down. They’re less likely to fall over.
4. Let them have their feet on the floor. It’ll reduce the likelihood of motion sickness.
5. Give them a seat that has a full 360 swivel so they can fully explore your beautifully crafted 360 virtual world.
6. Give them some leg room. That way they’re unlikely to have that awkward moment of bumping knees with a stranger.
7. Create a safe space for them to enjoy the VR. A cubicle/enclosed area that is setup for VR viewing means they can be comfortable reacting and fully immersing themselves without feeling like they’re looking like an idiot.
8. Find somewhere to stash their bags/belongings safely so they’re not distracted from their adventure by worries about having their stuff nicked.
9. Consider introducing smells, haptic (vibrating backpacks, temperature changes) to add extra sensory dimensions.
10. Have a great backdrop or scene for your VR that will be a great selfie/tweet opportunity and get people spreading the word.
If you’re looking for some practical examples of what we mean, have a read of our Turning Forest @Tribeca case study.