Summer 2018. Save that date.
Could this be the year that Virtual Reality starts its journey towards the entertainment main stream? First we had Ready Player One – a film that exists almost entirely in a VR world called Oasis. Reviews were positive to say the least. And then we had the BBC’s endeavors with a VR app that allowed users to watch the action from a VR ‘suite’. Reviews were mixed at best. Now we have Nickelodeon taking centre stage with a children’s TV show called Meet the Voxels. It’s still in development, so no reviews as yet.
First of all, we should say that ‘Nick’ (I’m down with the kids) has form when it comes to VR and AR. It recently released an AR update for its mobile app Sky Whale, whilst launching an entirely AR focused app called Do Not Touch
Put simply, Meet the Voxels is an animated sitcom inside a video game. It features a number of family characters, from a 13-year-old star of laser tag to Dad, a classic (i.e. middle aged) console who left the business some time ago. Then there’s Mom, who takes on the character of a street fighter. Obviously.
The key to Meet the Voxels is Nick’s desire to take real-time technology from the developmental stage and combine it with a creative theory that connects with kids and their passion for video games. In other words, grab their attention.
The characters can, of course, exist across multiple platforms. That’s kind of the point.
And as the series develops, Nick will be employing the full arsenal of VR tools. Cutting-edge cinematic technology, real-time full body and facial performance capture. The lot.
So will it work? Nick is yet to release full details how VR and AR technologies will be employed in creating the series, or even how it will be experienced.
But as we’ve seen with various mobile apps, the studio is seriously determined to bring AR and VR into its mainstream offerings.
And if it does that, then you’ll have another tick in the box for 2018’s summer of VR.