How Storytellers Are Socializing Virtual Reality to Crowdsource Content

Social Media Week

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In January 2016, the hit of the New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival was a virtual reality piece called “Immersive Explorers”. The experience put multiple participants in the middle of ancient tombs and virtual settings where they could explore together and interact with other people.

It’s this type of experience that Shari Frilot, the Chief Curator for New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival, and others pioneering the field of virtual reality, believe will soon be more accessible.

Frilot, Ela Darling, the Cofounder of and VR Content Manager of CAM4VR, Brian Rose the Community Manager of Google Cardboard and Philip Rosedale, the CEO and Co-Founder of High Fidelity, Inc. discussed the benefits and future uses of virtual reality.

Rosedale and Darling pointed out that unlike a regular online experience or an in-person experience, a person is so immersed in virtual reality that it becomes difficult to allow things, for example a cell phone — to distract you from the present. This creates an experience with full attention, which Rosedale said he expects will lend well to education in the future.

Another benefit is the ability to capture moments in a way that video and audio can’t. At Google, Rose says the goal is to “translate the human experience into data that is researchable and catalogue-able. We (Google) want people to be able to document and preserve experiences like your child’s first steps in VR.”

Darling also explained that in VR there is an acceleration of the user experience, that quickly grows relationships between the performer and the viewers.

As for the future, Rosedale said it’s hard to fathom virtual reality, joking that saying you know the future of VR is like saying you knew what the internet was going to be like in 1995.

He and others said they suspect VR will go beyond advanced gaming and lend itself to more empathetic experiences and the opportunity to capture and share intimate moments and experiences in business, education, entertainment and travel.

This event took place at Social Media Week in Los Angeles. Sign up for SMW Insider to access the full video of this event and 50+ other #SMWLA sessions.

Brooke Seipel

Reporter, Social Media Week


Brooke is a multimedia journalist currently based in the greater L.A. area. She most recently worked as a staff reporter at the Orange County Register covering the cities of Orange and Villa Park. Prior to reporting, she helped create and develop corporate blogs and social media sites.

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