Visualise has long been staking a claim for the leading virtual reality (VR) video production company, working with partners such as BMW FIFA. However, their latest project steers away from excitement and into the realm of grounded realism as they invite the public to live the experience of volunteering for the British Army Reserves.
Presented to the public as part of a recruitment drive on a single day at Waterloo Station, London, the experience was lead by a number of Army representatives handing out flyers and offering information. Making your way past this contingent of camouflage would reveal a stripped-down Range Rover, and in the driver seat the opportunity to get hands-on with a unique Gear VR experience.
Offering full 360 degree video, the viewer is mounted upon a Challenger 2 tank. The viewer had no control over the vehicle of course, but can look in every direction and take in the surroundings. The tank soon begins to rumble and, along with a second tank on a parallel path, moves across Salisbury Plain.
The recording is of an actual fire exercise with the Army Reserve, and as such the second tank makes up some ground before firing a small number of shells. The whole experience lasts a little over a minute and it’s disappointing that the tank upon which you are mounted does not fire at all (presumably for fear of disrupting the camera system) however it’s yet another interesting showcase of the potential of VR video.
Perhaps more important than the experience is the actual quality of the video itself. Visualise have long been making waves due to the production values of their work, but here with the Army Volunteer Experience they’ve truly outdone themselves. Throughout the entire experience VRFocus only managed to notice one seam, which was cleverly tucked away at the back, and the resolution was clearly limited by the Gear VR hardware and not the camera system.
VR has the potential to affect many areas of entertainment as well as military, education and tourism application, and Visualise are attempting to ensure they remain industry agnostic. The Army Volunteer Experience goes some way to prove this is not only possible, but actually of benefit to 360 video audiences, as any improvement in the quality of a presentation is surely one step closer to widespread adoption.