Into the Future

Dubai-based pro­duc­tion house Col­lec­tive BKP is one of the first in the re­gion to fully em­brace vir­tual re­al­ity and 360 video. The com­pany’s part­ner and film di­rec­tor Omar Ab­bas tells us more.

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You have cho­sen to spe­cialise in 360 video and vir­tual re­al­ity. Why?

To put it sim­ply, it’s the future. Now that we’ve un­locked the tech­nol­ogy and made it ac­ces­si­ble, it’s only a mat­ter of im­prove­ment un­til we get to cre­ate ex­pe­ri­ences that erase the line be­tween re­al­ity and il­lu­sion. We’ve only just started to dis­cover the won­der and fas­ci­na­tion that high qual­ity im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences can cre­ate.

Is there enough de­mand for such con­tent in the re­gion, or is it still very niche?

Peo­ple still don’t know what to do with this type of con­tent. They nib­ble at the edges, watch a few videos on Youtube, maybe pick up a Sam­sung Gear. The real joy is in div­ing full force into it with a high end HMD like the Vive or the Rift. As mass adop­tion takes hold, there will be more de­mand for it, but for the time be­ing it’s still early days. Of course, that’s what makes it so ex­cit­ing.

What kind of cam­paigns have you done so far?

As soon as Youtube re­leased 360 video ca­pa­bil­ity we did the re­gion’s first 360 mu­sic video for lo­cal hiphop trio The Recipe. We fol­lowed that shortly af­ter­wards with the re­gion’s first full fledged 360 car ad for the Hyundai Creta. Since then we’ve been ex­per­i­ment­ing with in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences, an­i­mated projects, and even with mixed re­al­ity. We’ve also re­cently launched a new com­pany, Wave Im­mer­sive, to cre­ate high-end im­mer­sive con­tent of all types. What does 360 video add?

The phi­los­o­phy be­hind im­mer­sive video is to bring the au­di­ence into the ex­pe­ri­ence rather than bring the ex­pe­ri­ence to them. By elim­i­nat­ing the rec­tan­gle, we no longer con­trol the viewer’s point of view. The di­rec­tor takes a back seat and the viewer be­comes an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant. On an emo­tional level, this type of ex­pe­ri­ence has been shown to trig­ger em­pa­thy to an in­cred­i­ble de­gree.

Is it more fad than future?

It’s only the be­gin­ning. As the tech­nol­ogy ad­vances and artists and cre­ators learn to use this new medium, we are go­ing to be treated to some amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

What other tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments do you fore­see gain­ing trac­tion in the near future?

The very near future is go­ing to see ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing be­come stan­dard on­line and in hard­ware. This will el­e­vate aug­mented and mixed re­al­ity (MR) to a level where it be­comes a part of our daily lives – while wear­ing a pair of light MR glasses, you’ll be able to see holo­grams that look real. You’ll be able to talk to them like you do to a per­son. This will trans­late into vir­tual re­al­ity by cre­at­ing char­ac­ters that be­have like real peo­ple. Be­sides that, graph­ics pro­ces­sors and CPUS are ad­vanc­ing to the point where CGI will be­come in­dis­tin­guish­able from re­al­ity in VR. It’s go­ing to be awe­some.

Peo­ple still don’t know what to do with this type of con­tent. They nib­ble at the edges, watch a few videos on Youtube, maybe pick up a Sam­sung Gear.

Hyundai Creta

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