November 4, 2015

Samsung’s Nick DiCarlo, VP and General Manager of Immersive Products and Virtual Reality graced the Content stage with a fast-paced deep-dive into virtual reality video.

DiCarlo started off by turning the tables on the audience. Instead of launching into his background in VR, he polled the audience about their experience with the technology at Web Summit. Most of the room humble-bragged with their their hands held up high to indicate their familiarity with VR.

Many associate virtual reality with gaming, but DiCarlo was quick to dismiss that, without any gaming heritage himself. Instead, he believes that the future of VR lies within video. People spend 150 hours per month watching video – but the focus is more granular than video in any format. Samsung is focused on spherical video to create truly immersive VR experiences.

VR video is different than what we get from our typical TV, and even the iMax experience. It’s a full, 360-degree experience, with challenges in unattractive headsets, but convincing the user to make it part of their screen-time routine will be the next hurdle.

In addition to consumers, DiCarlo addresses the need to attract the content creators. Samsung has over 1,000 filmmakers registered with its platform, all contributing to a shifting approach to video. With VR video, content creators have to think beyond the rectangular frame made for movie screens. When framing the subject, the screen should be seen as infinite.

Smarter tools are popping up that are enabling filmmakers to ditch the GoPro-rigged 3D printed camera in favor of tools like Project Beyond with 8 pairs of cameras designed to take spherical images and video.

Once creators and consumers are onboard, it’s important to convince brands to embrace and engage the technology, and DiCarlo frames the ROI around VR video in a context that steps away from impressions or CPM, but that instead focuses on duration (view time), engagement (no distractions) and sharing (word of mouth).


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