When talking about 360 video, the public and industry naturally thinks in terms of gamification and storytelling. After all, these are the applications and images that have been pervasive over the past year appealing to the pocketbooks of most early-adopters. And though these applications will have a very strong presence in the years to come, more industrial uses for this technology will emerge, especially when the production and distribution of the technology (bThere’s specialty), will bring in new applications. The technology of 360 video along with the ability to show mixed reality, can propel many industries into a more efficient use of resources and contextual understanding.
t the beginning of any production, whether it is a county fair, concert, wedding or a major motion picture film, site scouting is usually the first step. In fact there is a whole sub-industry in the film business where companies travel to potential site locations to gather information and photographs of future film locales. Their specialty is to capture the location in as much detail as as possible so the various directions and producers of a movie can select specific sites and understand the logistics required to shoot in location “A” versus location “Z”. The need is no different in weddings where various set-ups of locations are possible, or events where there is a huge logistical issues and possibilities to set up vendor tents and trucks. The need to “look around” a location and set up “tents” or “cameras” and move them around without having to spend money on travel for every executive that needs to know what they are “getting themselves into” could be a huge win.
There have been several times, when representatives of construction companies have told us that they use photography to supplement visual inspection during stages of the construction process. Unfortunately, unless they have a photographer on site at all times, things get missed and what was required by the blueprint, may not actually turn out that way in the final build. 360 cameras in time lapse, however, would show EVERYTHING that was put into the building since nothing can hide behind the camera. With the help of augmented layers of information, inspectors and managers could have the video on file and review at any time specific parts of the construction. The HVAC inspector could look at a series of videos to ensure if the ductwork was put in correctly. The electrical inspector could ensure that the the electrical lines REALLY did stay away from the plumbing. When problems come up later, such as a flood in an upper floor, instead of referring to a blueprint of what “should” be under the floor”, a building manager could pull up the film and see that the network cabling tray actually was actually installed “on the other side of the pipe.”
Education and Best Practices
Education is understood by many as a huge benefactor of 360 mixed reality content. Experiences such as 360 multilingual applications of virtual field trips, to gamification of history could be regular features in everything from history classes to science. Imagine seeing actual cannons and infantry on a particular battlefield without having to have 10,000 reenactors involved. Ecological and geological studies using time lapsed 360 videography can show natural patterns of weather and or other factors. By employing mixed reality, virtual markers and lines could be drawn to show scale or other useful information. Enhanced training can also be a used to re-enforce best practices. For example, the use of equipment, and the need to perform repetitive actions to get optimal results.
Traffic Cams/ Observation
A few months ago, I received a phone call from my wife saying she had got into a car accident. She was okay, but the car needed work. Being the good “virtual” husband I was, I looked up traffic cameras and found the one nearest her accident. Sure enough, the camera operator zoomed in (to the best of its ability) to the front of the accident. I started wondering if this was really a best use of this camera, since the actual backed up traffic (hence the name “Traffic” camera), was what needed to be shown to viewers, and not my wife standing on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. A 360 camera would be perfect. It would give traffic planners/ drivers the ability to see all around from the accident and swing back to the traffic behind it as well as the gawkers on the other side of the road.
Keep Remote Employees Connected
Have you ever had video meetings where you KNEW someone was behind the view of the camera showing hand signals or other “signs” to the people in front of the camera; like a catcher telling the pitcher to throw a curve-ball your way. Or worse rolling their eyes to everything you say? With 360 video teleconferencing, viewers can see every person talking and as well as the body language “of the room”. Viewers can see people lean forward to hear the speaker or look away, potentially showing disagreement. Even something as simple as an office party that actually included everyone no matter where they were. A meeting from the executive staff to shareholders could boost cohesiveness and trust where traditional video lacks.
As this technology grows, there will no doubt be thousands of different applications that will be tested and found successful. I suspect the first uses will be anywhere where the phrase “pictures don't do it justice” is an industry norm.