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Better than VR

What if we could actually move freely in the content of a video ? What if we did not have to follow the storyboard of a movie? What if we did not have to watch the movie from a fixed angle selected by the movie director? This is the promise of volumetric video for a complete immersion. We will be moving from a video that you watch to a video that you visit.


At the Web Summit in Lisbon that took place last november, Steve Raymond, CEO of 8i came to talk about the technology developped by his company and that offers the first volumetric videos.

Volumetric video will literally allow the viewers to move inside the content of the video. This experience will largely over pass what is currently offered by 360° videos and Virtual Reality.

Technically speaking,  volumetric video is being possible thanks to the use of a cloud of photons from the «light field» of plenoptic photographic systems. All of this comes from the theory of the physician Michael Faraday which then has been modelised mathematically at the end of the 90s. This allows to analyse and to dissociate in real time the light rays in a scene (characteres, furniture, nature…).

Steve Raymond currently works with the Disney Studios in order to launch the first animated movie in which the kids will be able to live their own experience/story instead of simply following the main hero, as they will evolve in the movie.

On the same topic, Facebook announced at their latest F8 conference, the launch of 2 new cameras (Surround 360 X6 et X24). These 2 cameras can shoot in a 360° mode but also in 3D. These cameras are more accessible than those of Lytro. They will allow a first move (even if limited) into a video, thanks to the fact that they shoot from a fixed point and then enhance the movie flow by a digital treatment.


Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have now been on everyone’s lips for more than a year. Augmented Reality has become the fantasy of user interface of the future. Indeed, with ARKit and ARCore images reach a new dimension on smartphone thanks to augmented reality.


This trend will become more and more important with the arrival of better and more pertinent content. With the announcement of the new cameras of Facebook, this becomes much more tangible and this make sense. We then will observe a real revolution in video content.


Since the cameras of smartphones will tomorrow be able to shoot 3D and 360° videos, and that viewers will be able to evolve inside the videos, this is the whole movie production industry which will be disrupted. As McKinsey underlined it, online videos represent 60% of time spent on the internet. This confirms that online video is a key element.

Content producers will need to quickly adapt to these new needs. They will have to imagine the storytelling of the future, allowing more freedom and creativity to the video consumers.

As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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