Travel in VR: Unlocking the spirit of adventure

Travel in VR: Unlocking the spirit of adventure

There’s a spirit of adventure in all of us. With VR making leaps and bounds and brave brands leading the way with story-rich experiences, we could be closer to living out our most daring dreams from the comfort of our own homes.

“ We could be closer to living out our daring dreams, from the comfort of our own home.”

Forget what you think you know about travel in VR – journeying to distant places in the virtual realm is all about unlocking the spirit of adventure through technology. Sky recently announced that through the virtual power of holograms, David Attenborough will soon be guiding eager adventurers through the treasures of the Natural History Museum. Their ‘Hold the World’ app not only lets would-be Indiana Joneses learn about the lost artifacts but through a combination of video game tech and TV doc, become part of their own adventure.

If Attenborough’s upcoming sojourn through ancient artifacts has got you itching for adventure, you’ll be happy to hear there are a whole host of experiences already out there, leading the way in VR travel.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

When it comes to virtual travel, it’s hard to talk about experience and VR in the same breath without mentioning this live-action summit of Mount Everest. Offering viewers the chance to scale the icy summit from their own sofa, Sports Illustrated teamed up with Time’s ‘Life VR’ platform to create their own adventure experience with a difference.

“If you’re looking for a way to bring adventure to the everyday, this is a good place to start.”

Captured in 360 degrees, ‘Capturing Everest’ was among the first VR travel experiences to offer first person, live-action content streamed straight to your headset.  In the space of four nine-minute episodes, all those icy twists and near-death climbs were woven together with smart graphics and VO to tell the rarely told (or seen) story of the three mountaineers as they scaled the famously treacherous mountain.

And when it comes to platforms, to ensure everyone had access to the adventure, the experience was published across a range of headsets, including Oculus, Gear, Vive and the humble but equally immersive Cardboard. If you’re looking for a way to bring adventure to the everyday and break the VR mould, this is a good place to start.

Brave New Worlds

In keeping with the theme of brave, bold storytelling, Discovery are no strangers to travel VR with a difference. In fact, their Discovery VR platform is the perfect place to unlock your inner adventurer. Whether you fancy trudging the swamps of Florida, protecting pandas in China or hunting bigfoot in monster-country, there’s a VR travel experience for you.

“VR and 360 are the perfect vessel for adventure”

It’s no longer about watching someone else trekking through the rainforest or navigating shark-infested shipwrecks – now, we want to be a part of the action (without the risk of losing a limb). VR and 360 are the perfect partners for adventure, transporting us to pockets of the world we’d never ordinarily be able to see. VR helps us broaden our horizons, providing truly immersive content that puts us at the heart of the story. For Discovery’s part, creating 360 content for existing properties like its evergreen ‘Mythbusters’ series ensures that its flagship shows remain current and relevant across multiple platforms. If Discovery’s walk on the wild side is anything to go by, we could be in for the virtual adventure of a lifetime.

Sky’s the limit

Still frame from 'Home Turf'. Two adventurers are jumping off a rocky cliff.

Last but not least is an adventure VR project to give even the most seasoned adventurers vertigo. Jaunt VR, pioneers of future storytelling, teamed up with outdoor production gurus, Camp4 Collective, to explore what happens when travel, adventure and VR collide.

 “Immersive storytelling can enhance an experience and give us a peek into the remotest of places -capturing the real essence of adventure.”

‘Home Turf’ is a virtual reality series starring the four members of the Camp4 Collective: a free climber, a mountain biker, a kayaker and a slackliner. The series gives the athletes the chance to push their limits in a new type of adventure storytelling.

Jaunt VR  captured a day in their lives and brought the great outdoors to the great indoors.

Their series captures what it is to be a high-wire, all-round adventurer as we see not only how they pull off their epic feats, but hear first-hand how they prepare. It’s a great example of how immersive storytelling can enhance an experience and give us a peek into the most remote of places – capturing the real essence of adventure.

Travel VR has gone beyond the pictures. It’s not just about showing you a place in 360 but giving you the scuba goggles and saying “Go ahead!  Jump into those piranha-infested rapids!” The president of Jaunt VR summed it up the best saying, “These almost surreal locations are places most people will never travel and now they’re getting unprecedented access.”

Used in the right way, VR could take travel to new heights. Just don’t forget your virtual backpack because, with this kind of experience ready to go, the sky’s no longer the limit. To help you craft thrill-seeking travel experiences we’ve pulled together some of our top VR tips. And if you want to create your own epic adventure, get in touch.

  • Think about what your adventurers want: When you’re thinking about your experience, ask yourself what your viewers need. Do they want to be immersed? Are they after high-action thrills or awe-inspiring adventure? Put yourself in their shoes.
  • How can you enhance the adventure? If you’ve just crafted a Bear Grylls-worthy adventure, how can you enhance what you’ve got so that your audience get the most out of the experience? Consider using binaural audio to give your audience the thrill of pure surround sound.
  • What story hasn’t been told before? There’s no use copying an experience that’s been done before. If you’re crafting your own, tell a story that could only come from your brand and that communicates something specific. Try playing with graphics or voice to enhance the 360 tale.
Pebble Studios
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