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Media Content and the Web - Meeting Again for the First Time with VR Casting

By Forest Key, Founder and CEO of Pixvana

When the world first woke up to streaming media in the early 1990s, a new form of storyteller quickly emerged - you.  For the first time, anyone with a digital camera, the know-how, and some content could broadcast images to audiences around the world without the need of an intermediary, like a TV station.  Those who were early enthusiasts of the technology would go on to broadcast events such as concerts, weddings, and church services, and begin ushering in a new era of web-based media. 

Fast-forward to today, more than 25 years later, and people are still watching concerts, weddings, and church services over the web - but the storytelling has evolved, becoming more immersive, as multi-media production technology has become more pervasive and sophisticated.  Access to 360 cameras and production equipment that can generate Hollywood-quality VR images is more widely available and accessible as quality improves and prices continue to decline.  Editing and post-production software is also very common and can be had as part of standard offerings for popular operating systems. However, as advanced as they are, these types of media technologies have their limits - especially when it comes to content distribution.

Until recently, VR video creators have only been able to distribute content by developing their own apps for sharing.  This is a very time intensive, tedious journey and it has presented a major barrier for the next generation of digital content pioneers, preventing them from bringing their productions into the world and reaching broad audiences.  However, in February, Pixvana, a Seattle-based company that's powering the future of XR storytelling, introduced a new technology that eliminates this barrier for the creators of immersive media, and makes the distribution of VR content feasible for the masses. 

Pixvana unveiled "VR Casting" as part of its SPIN Studio platform, a first-of-its-kind solution that lets users easily manage and distribute VR videos from SPIN Studio to targeted VR headsets.  It introduces a streamlined process that lets content producers share their immersive experiences with a simple "pair-and-share" feature that securely delivers the highest quality content to any audience, anywhere, at any time.

As part of its launch of VR Casting, Pixvana eliminated the distribution app development hurdle by making the "SPIN Play" app available for free to content creators. SPIN Play makes it easy to send content directly to VR headsets with one-click device pairing, and is available across leading VR networks including Steam, Google Play and the Oculus Store.  Now, content producers can rely on a single app to share all VR video content to targeted devices with high quality streaming, or via optional direct download for local playback.

SPIN Studio, including the SPIN Play app, is compatible with all major VR headsets, including Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, Oculus GO, and Windows MR devices.

"VR Casting is a game-changer for the industry and will be widely adopted across all types of storytelling scenarios -- from events like film festivals, to product and sports training, to business presentations, and sales pitches," said Matt Silverman, Executive Creative Director at Swordfish. "SPIN Studio offers intuitive features that put the presenter back in control of the streaming experience, delivering immersive experiences to audiences, no matter the location."

Similar to the introduction of webcasting 25 years ago, anyone with VR media can now easily broadcast their content over the web to their intended audience.  And similar to the trajectory of webcasting, VR Casting is expected to catch on fast.  In the very near future, this mode of showing immersive video will become as ubiquitous as TV broadcasts, podcasts, and video streaming technologies like Chromecast.  

VR Casting will change the way companies train employees, how sales presentations are delivered, and how athletes prepare for their next big game.  Be looking for it broadcasting to a headset near you - because there's nothing virtual about the future reality of VR Casting. 

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Forest Key is the Founder and CEO of Pixvana. He started his career as a CGI FX Artist at Industrial Light & Music with numerous feature film and TV credits. At video editing software pioneer Avid Technology, Forest helped move the film industry move to digital editing systems. Later, at Microsoft and Macromedia, he led production management and market adoption of Flash and Silverlight for video delivery on the web. Most recently, he conceived and built buuteeq inc. into a leading SaaS marketing automation provider for the hotel industry.
Related Keywords:VR, Virtual Reality, VR Casting


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