Virtual Insanity

I took a chance to jump way outside of my technology comfort zone this weekend by spending my Saturday at the LA Virtual Reality show (VRLA). I was working for Samy’s Camera in conjunction with Ricoh to demonstrate and sell the Theta 360° camera. While selling cameras is well within my area of expertise, I’m a complete novice when it comes to video, virtual reality, video games, and things of the sort.

Within an hour of demonstrating the Theta camera I caught on to what is cool about it. It only took watching a couple 360° video clips through a Samsung Gear VR headset and I understood the appeal of Virtual Reality all-around photos and video. I eventually got so on board that I put the Theta on a pole and took it for a walk around the showroom floor. The quality isn’t great, so I took the same walk shooting video on my Canon. Believe it or not, it’s the first time I’ve shot any video on my DSLRs …Ever! 

I didn’t get to sample any of the products on display at the show because I was working the whole time, but I can’t say I can see much value in the VR technology available. I don’t know that it actually solves a problem, I think it only provides entertainment. So far anyway. I fear a future of young people unable to communicate in person, unable to separate fantasy from reality and without the drive to have actual engaging experiences in real life. I dislike that “in real life” is something.

Then again, I was skeptical about digital photography, about video in SLR cameras… but eventually I come around.

 (Photographer: Rebecca Joyce)

Ricoh product manager, TK, demonstrates the Theta 360 camera to a VRLA visitor.

 

 (Photographer: Rebecca Joyce)

visitors to VRLA sample new products and technology from vendors, such as Reload

My first 5D video:

The Theta 360° video is also on YouTube, I won’t embed it because it doesn’t look right outside of YouTube. The 360° view capabilities are available on the Chrome browser as well as the YouTube mobile app. If you have a VR viewer such as Cardboard or Samsung Gear, I suppose it can be viewed that way, too. Click here for the video.