In the world of Virtual Reality, it appears as if we're in a world of having the headsets before the content. Both Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift are fairly readily available despite being world's apart in terms of pricing. The problem, it seems is that there are more headsets and displays available than there content creation solutions. Google, GoPro and even Nokia have entered the arena, but now there's a new player, one that happens to already be powering the New York Times' recent foray into Virtual Reality. IM360's VR Platform is a partnership between Immersive Media and Digital Domain and will work on any platform.
IM360 is a consumer-facing solution, that aims to create interactive experiences for brands and stores. It's already got to work powering the NYT VR platform from the publisher and any content that is created using the IM360 platform will work on any virtual reality headset, including the upcoming HTC Vive and Google Cardboard-based headsets. The idea being that the platform can "bring this impactful technology to millions of viewers around the world, many of whom will experience in-home virtual reality for the very first time this year." The IM360 solution is available right now, and as well as the NYT VR solution, it also poets SyFy's Expanse app on Android an iOS as well. For companies and brands that want to create interactive content, IM360 includes much more than just the ability to render videos, but also apps and content management, making it easy for users to explore everything about the brand and what they have to offer.
While all of this sounds very "business-y" this is exactly the sort of tool that Virtual Reality needs to take off. Without content from mainstream providers, the technology could stay niche for a lot longer, and without the tools for these mainstream providers to offer such content that's what will happen. Just as with fitness trackers and smartwatches, this sort of emerging technology is going to be a goldmine of sorts, and the first companies to offer such technology to empower brands and companies around the world will surely be able to scoop up a large sector of the market.