Battle of the formats? Not quite. As an award-winning tech consultancy, we know how to stay at the cutting edge of immersive 360° adventures. We dedicate ourselves to creating stunning, ground-breaking content. But how can we deliver the best possible Virtual Reality experience? Headset or dome? As ever, there’s no right or wrong answer.
By their very nature, VR headsets deliver an immersive experience. Users are locked into a world created by a 360° film, and the outside world doesn’t really matter anymore.
Imagine a training tool that demands absolute concentration – perhaps in the field of complex heart surgery. You’re shut into the world of the surgeon, nothing to distract you from learning the task in hand. It’s life-saving stuff. Literally.
Take yourself into a music concert. You want to see, hear and feel like your favourite band – right there in front of thousands of people. Every sound, light and even vibration matters when it comes to giving you the purest possible experience 360° video and sound.
You’re locked into level gazillion on Galaxy Smash. Sweat pours down your face and your heartbeat is rocketing. Behind you, a door opens. You spin round and unload your laser gun into the oncoming moon zombie. Whatever one of those is.
Or you’re on lap 15 of the Belgian Grand Prix as you ride the grass to pass Lewis Hamilton on the outside of Eau Rouge. Your stomach rises and falls as the scenery undulates in front of you. Gaming never felt this exhilarating.
Nowhere else can you experience this intensity of vision, sound and physical sensory involvement. That’s what headsets promise and invariably, that’s what they deliver now, or promise to deliver in the future.
Domes offer a totally different experience and much of that comes down to a single word – social. Human beings are social animals, so the experience of stunning Virtual Reality is something to share. And celebrate.
You’re back at school. No short trousers this time. As you enter the VR dome, an alligator suddenly rushes out from the undergrowth and together, the entire class is instantly fixated on the lesson ahead. It captures the imagination of every single pupil and refuses to let go.
Now you’re at university as an engineering student. Hopefully sober. You file into the same VR dome and this time, a whole class shares the experience of a complex piece of machinery being taken apart and painstakingly put back together. You nudge your mate and together, you’re totally focused on every part of the process.
Imagine you’re at an exhibition. You enter the cavernous hall and amid the countless brightly-coloured cabins, a VR dome grabs every single bit of attention. At 20ft in diameter it would, and that’s kind of the point. But what’s inside? This time, a group of people are taken on a ride in a medical helicopter. They’re shown every moment of the life-saving process, from the initial rescue to hospital care. It’s not just a medical process – emotions are shown, experienced and shared with the group. The social group.
But we’re not finished there. Watching sport is an experience that is already shared on a huge, unrelenting social scale. Each weekend it happens in football grounds, rugby grounds, even ice rinks. There’s no greater illustration of our basic tribal instincts. A VR dome is the perfect fit.
Across the world, Premier League football clubs have millions of fans, all clamouring to see their heroes in action. What if you could bring them together in a 360° VR dome? Champions League final? Tick. FA Cup final? Tick. Even the Carabao Cup. The key is giving fans the opportunity to watch and experience high drama as a group.
So, what is the answer?
Inevitably, there are so many different applications for Virtual Reality that we couldn’t sum up the differences between headsets and domes in a single blog.
Here at Laduma, we give people the opportunity to harness the incredible power of immersive 360° video. We work with the biggest companies on the planet to create ground-breaking VR adventures.
Making the most of how you experience that content is just the start.