As we saw last season on Futur et médias, virtual reality was, until recently, a technology most used outside the home. In fact, according to GlobalWebIndex, merely 3.6 percent of Canadian internet users aged 16 to 64 owned a VR headset in the first quarter of 2020.
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If out-of-home VR seemed to be the key to success for the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic basically locked the door and threw away the key. The consequences of the crisis aren’t limited to the VR consumer market. Exhibits, international immersive content markets, festivals: all of these events had to be postponed.
A catastrophe for the industry? Not quite, according to Sandra Rodriguez, a sociologist of new media technologies and creative director of interactive and immersive works. “The industry is reassessing and challenging itself, which isn’t unusual, she says. While other sectors are at a standstill, for us, it’s quite the opposite. All of a sudden, we’re getting requests from places we would have never imagined.”
According to Myriam Achard, the director of public relations and communications at Phi Centre, the COVID-19 pandemic even triggered new VR projects. What’s more, in the future, we might witness an increase in the popularity of augmented reality which, more often than not, doesn’t require much more than a smartphone.
In this episode, you will learn more about:
- Some projects at Phi Centre that were created as a result of the confinement (4:40);
- The rebirth of extended reality, again as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (9:15);
- The ways in which creators of immersive projects, both current and future, manage to adapt to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 (17:57);
- How the current crisis becomes an opportunity to reassess the way immersive works are financed, both in Canada and around the world (29:40);
- An increased demand, from various sectors, for immersive products (35:00).
- Read the articles VR et normes sanitaires: les expériences immersives doivent se réinventer and Le monde post-COVID-19 favorisera-t-il l’âge d’or de la réalité augmentée? on Méta-Media;
- To learn more about the projects Empreintes vivantes, Lignes parallèles and Minute par minute mentioned by Myriam Achard, as well as the PHI VR TO GO headset rental service, visit the Phi Centre’s website;
- Watch the first PHI Virtuel roundtable on extended reality, hosted by Myriam Achard with the participation of guest Sandra Rodriguez;
- Visit the Kaleidoscope website to learn more about this network of creators and its self-financing system through a community of XR works;
- To learn more about the success of Tribeca Immersive’s Cinema360, read Distributing Immersive Stories at Virtual Festivals in Immerse;
- Read the article ‘Beginning of a new era’: how culture went virtual in the face of crisis in The Guardian.
About Futur et médias
Futur et médias is a podcast in which experts meet to discuss emerging trends and transformations in the media and entertainment industry. Futur et médias is produced by the Canada Media Fund and hosted by Catherine Mathys, Director, Industry and Market Trends at the organization. The second season of the podcast is produced in collaboration with Transistor Média.