Tuesday, June 22, 2010

yellowBird @ The Party

yellowBird, the Dutch 360° Video provider that stormed onto the scene last year, is out and about in New York, talking to the people at Mill Creative, but they don't just show up and have a meeting, they bring a camera and put something fun online.

The video above is not ground breaking, it's not going to "go viral", or save the planet, but it is another in a steady stream of very good 360° videos that yellowBird has put out to increase the awareness of the technology. With awareness comes demand, and that makes seemingly frivolous efforts like this a very solid business decision in the long run.

yellowBird has broken new ground recently; however, with the launch of a virtual video tour that beautifully combines "standard" video and 360° video through the application of augmented hotspots.

BATAVIA STAD Virtual Video Tour by yellowBird

There are so many things done well here that it is hard to know where to start piling on the accolades. The client is Batavia Stad, a stylish factory outlet mall near Lelystad, Netherlands.

First, let's talk about production values on this project. They actually put some thought into shooting this walking tour around the shops, and they brought in four models to guide the viewer through the experience. Three women and a man, sharply dressed and very aware of their positions relative to the moving camera. They point at information kiosks and a billboard for the malls membership card. They walk briskly, popping in and out of shops and saying hello to friends. The experience leaves the viewer with a personal connection to the place, but there is another level of interaction as well.

Floating above the models' heads, rotating golden pentagons often appear.  Sometimes the floating pentagons, which is the modified logo for Batavia Stad, appear above an information kiosk or a sign.  When the user clicks on the golden pentagons, a "standard" video pops up with what I imagine is information partaining to the mall's offerings at that location.  I don't know because I don't speak Dutch. This augmentation is revolutionary and has long been on my wish list of compelling tools for a Video Virtual Tour. 

yellowBird is also promoting a new Live Broadcasting capability that it says hundreds of clients have been asking for.  I've mentioned Immersive Media's successes with IM Live here before and the extraordinary experience of watching a 360° video of a live event, like a rock concert.  I can't wait to see what yellowBird is going to do first with live streaming.  Hopefully, there will be multiple cameras on stage that will be accessible. 

Congrats to the yellowBird team on all of their success in their first year!

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