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InfoComm 2017: VR is about more than entertainment

Virtual reality has uses far beyond its traditional applications in entertainment, the TIDE Conference at InfoComm 2017 was told.

Nonny de la Pena, founder of Emblematic Projects, has used VR in a journalistic context, using virtualised re-creations of real-life settings to convey the detail of events or places. He first foray into this area was a virtualised version of Guantanamo Bay – born of necessity as there were few photographs of the controversial prison available. By being placed inside the prison, the viewer experienced at first hand the ‘legal black hole’ in which many prisoners found themselves.

Another project by the so-called ‘godmother of VR’ was a work called Use of Force, in which the viewer is a bystander to a fatal beating of a man by a group of policemen. This featured audio from the actual incident, and was based on photos and videos from witnesses to make the whole setting as true to life as possible. Published on BuzzFeed, Use of Force was viewed almost a million times.

Standing for Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience, TIDE is a new offering from InfoComm – a thought leadership based around sharing of ideas from speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds, including brand marketers, architects, integrators and live events producers, many of whom had never presented at InfoComm before.

Hosted by author and digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi, the event took as its theme the power of storytelling.

Matthew Luhn, story veteran at Pixar, gave insights into what makes stories meaningful, illustrated with ideas from Pixar movies. How physical space interacts with storytelling was the subject of a presentation by Josh Barton principal and founder of experience design firm Local Projects, while how the brain remembers experiences was discussed by Barry Ross Rinehart of Multi Image Group.

InfoComm has announced that TIDE Conferences will be held at ISE 2018 and infoComm 2018.