VR is not just an individual experience, with the right combination of hardware and software you can watch 360 video together. Whether it’s a VR cinema, a summit with 360 video playback to emphasize the message, or a presentation for stakeholders, when a group watch VR together it’s possible to connect people in the audience. It can look like a daunting challenge to simultaneously watch 360 video, but with this checklist you can easily organize a large synchronized VR event with a minimum of effort for a maximum impact.
1. Choosing the right VR headset
The current line of high end VR headsets are impressive from a technical standpoint, but not very user friendly to say the least. If you want to watch VR together using an Oculus Rift or a HTC Vive, you would need expensive hardware and a lot of technical expertise. Mobile VR headsets are small, wireless and affordable. For 360 video’s Oculus Go is not only much cheaper compared to the Oculus Rift, the image quality is even better. If you want to simultaneously watch 360 video the Oculus Go or Gear VR would be your best choice.
2. Local 360 video playback
For 360 video’s Oculus Go is a great VR headset, this device features stereoscopic 3D panoramic video capability in 4K resolution and with spatial audio. That’s pretty impressive for a device with a mobile processor at a low price point. The quality of the 360 video playback is of course limited to the source material, streaming video can not provide the maximum image fidelity that is required for VR video. If you save the 360 video’s on Oculus Go beforehand, each participant will be able the view the video in the highest possible quality. So make sure the video files are loaded onto the device before the presentation starts.
3. 360 video player for groups
In order to watch VR together you will not only need to save the required video files to all mobile headsets, you also need to start the video at the exact same moment on each device. Doing this manually would be impossible, just try asking an audience of 100 people to “press play” at the right time. However, there is a convenient solution to watch 360 video together by using a dedicated 360 video player for groups. The 360 video playback is controlled by a “master” device. This can be a laptop, mobile device or a special device for VR events. The master system connects through a local, wireless connection to all slave devices without the need for an internet connection. This allows the audience to simultaneously watch 360 video, just like in a regular theatre. But in this case you never have to worry about that one, tall person sitting in front of you!
Streaming 360 video’s on Oculus Go is very easy, but if you use dozens of mobile devices at the same time you will need to provide some support at the VR event. By hiring a professional support staff you can make sure the VR presentation will take place without any problems of both technical and human nature. Always check with the provider of the hardware and software if support on site is available for a memorable synchronized VR presentation.
With this easy to follow checklist your audience will be able to watch 360 video together and enjoy a wonderful experience!