This is partially because of YouTube, which introduced compatibility for 360-degree video earlier this year. But what can this mean for brand experiences and marketing?
Choose What You See
With 360-degree video, viewers can choose what they want to see. Let's say you're watching a concert and wish to see the audience. A quick tap, and the video moves around. Another quick tap, and you can view the stage. It's like you're right there and can simply look around if you want. This technology breaks past the confine of screen borders. And of course, this is just the start.
Did you hear about the 2015 Democratic debate streaming on GearVR in full 360-degree video glory? If you happened to have a VR headset handy and were able to tune in, it was pretty amazing new political perspective. That's the kind of immersive experience we're going to see much, much more of going forward.
Go Inside the Brand
This is just the tip of the iceberg for virtual reality.
True 360-degree video potentially means you can go on virtual tours of almost everything, from a medical device manufacturing plant to a shopping center or an industrial steel mill. Sure, you can do something similar with ordinary video, but 360-degree makes it feel more real.
Bring Vendors and Business to the Brand
Let's say you're at a trade show, but your product isn't very portable. With 360-degree video, you can bring consumers to your brand. Not only can you immerse them, but you can also show them exactly what your product looks like and how it interacts with the world around it. Similarly, you can show off production facilities and demonstrate exactly what makes you different with nothing hidden.
Overall, widespread acceptance of 360-degree video is still a little ways off. Consumer-grade models have not really hit the market yet, but they are coming wise so it's wise to plan for this eventuality in the very near future. For brands, however, 360-degree video is here and can be the experiential differentiator your company needs.