Saturday, September 19, 2009
It has been a slow month in the world of 360° Video. . . until now! A project three years in the making went live this week in all of its 360° Video glory. Tons of content, 48 different 360° Videos in all, is now available to virtual visitors of Vail Resorts. You've got to dig a bit into each of the resorts' websites (which you can reach via snow.com), but the experience is well worth the effort.Those familar with the world of 360° Video will recognize the technology behind this unprecedented leap in virtual tours as that of Immersive Media. They've updated their Flash player with a desperately needed full screen option that is a bit sticky on my machine, but allows for a truly immersive experience.When looking at the project at large, the viewer can actually experience the evolution of this new medium by watching the learning curve that the production obviously went through. One would guess that they shot Vail Resort before they went to Keystone, because while the videos are fairly flat and prosaic at Vail, the Keystone material is absolutely inspired! Compare the dining experience at Beaver Creek's Saddleridge, an empty (although beautiful) restaurant to Keystone's Der Fondue Chessel dining experience, which surrounds you with happy guests dancing, laughing, and enjoying themselves. The latter shows the real power of the 360° Video medium to share an experience that has been branded by the client to show its product in the best possible light, being enjoyed by happy guests.Congratulations to everyone involved in this excellent online experience, especially Immersive Media cameraman extraordinaire, Craig Adkins, who designed and built the stabilizing contraption you can see in shadow of each of the skiing videos. It worked extraordinarily well to deliver a smooth experience for the viewer even while flying down the slope with each gang of skiers and snowboarders. It's easy to be jealous of a guy whose job it is to go skiing at the best resorts in the world, but getting great material like this takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and a little bit of luck! Great job!It's all enough to make me want to buy my season pass today! Let's hope it boosts sales for Vail Resorts in the difficult ski season ahead, because that will be the ultimate critique for a project like this. Everyone in the 360° Video production business should support such a high profile project, because it is exactly the kind of project that will lead to a greater demand for everyone. Please share this with your network at the button below.