Inted is an international technology, education and development conference held annually in Valencia, Spain. Every year more than 700 delegates from 80 different countries attend to share experiences and learn from other experts.
Representatives from all the partner universities in the project contributed to the session. See overview of the topics covered in the 1,5-hour long session below.
Screen Story is a Norwegian film company with eight offices and 50 employees. The Stavanger office decided to host a digital workshop to share with the entire company what their participation in the 360ViSi project involves.
Stian Skjerping and Pål Berg Mortensen were in charge of the session.
The workshop features:
Presentation of the 360ViSi project and Screen Story’s involvement
We believe that 360 videos are the future of sports entertainment. The problem of the current sports broadcasting is its constancy: it has not changed in the past 70 years. Obviously, the broadcasting quality has improved and now we have colours, HD, 4K or even 8K resolution. Even so, you still watch the match from a TV without the ability to interact.
Quasar Dynamics has been exploring the use of 360 videos and the results are promising. We used 360 3D immersive technology. It is a type of video technique that captures a 360-degree field of view in three dimensions. The technology allows the viewer to explore and interact with the video by moving their head or device, providing a more immersive and engaging experience. We have visualized the idea in this video.
Unfortunately, the technology also has a big drawback. To get an immersive experience, you need a VR headset. It is not common to have VR glasses home, so at the moment, the reach of the technique is not yet great. The cheapest headset option is Oculus Quest with a price of almost 300 euros. However, a smartphone and a VR cardboard offer a similar experience for just 25 euros.
In our first 360 video project, we were able to record a training session for the Valencian football team. We had multiple perspectives recorded: players leaving the locker room, the goalkeeper practising and players contacting the audience by the bleachers. In the post-production, we added more 3D content like a volcano-style environment to add a great introduction.
After trying the technique with multiple people of all ages, we can ensure that the experience has been well-received. Everyone in the test group agrees that it provides a turning point in the way sports should be broadcasted.
360 video adds immersion to music festivals
Another business opportunity for 360 videos technology is festivals, concerts, and events. During the covid-19 breakout, Quasar Dynamics explored the possibility of broadcasting a music festival using 360 video technology. The plan wasn’t implemented but we started to contact companies with the idea.
We had the chance to record the WiSH Outdoor festival, an annual multi-day electronic dance music festival in The Netherlands. It features multiple stages with a variety of EDM genres, as well as art installations, food and drink vendors, and other activities.
We recorded the DJ stage, VIP areas and other interesting facilities. The result was entertaining, as the atmosphere was transmitted via the technology. You could really think that you were present at the festival with the rest of the people.
You can watch a video recording from the event below. Use your cursor to move the camera angle.
Family events have business potential
One potential field in the B to C market is weddings and other family events. Today, people spend a lot of money on two-dimensional photographs and videos.
To liven up the customer’s experience, we are about to offer wedding recording services. As 360 videos allow the customer to relive the special day as many times as they want. This can add great value to the experience.
Conclusion about 360 video market
All in all, we see that 360 video technology has great potential and new business opportunities. The level of immersion is not yet available in any of the competitive techniques: the experience in the real-life event recordings is unique. Metaverses and 3D environments are very costly as you need to model every single detail on that world.
Unlike TVs and computers, VR glasses are not yet in every first-world home. The reason for it is the lack of experience: people haven’t tried them yet. Therefore, the next challenge will be to t spread the word, reduce the costs, and improve the experience.
In the recent months, the development work of the 360ViSi Editor has been done in GitHub, a code hosting platform that is used for storing, co-developing, and tracking codes. The idea of open-source code is that once published, anyone can see, modify, and distribute it.
From the code owner’s point of view, open source has several advantages. First, it makes the collaboration with other project partners easier as there is no need to send files.
Secondly, all changes to the code and to the source material will be updated to the public repository.
Thirdly, sharing means more developers: the publicly available code allows anyone to explore possible security-related doubts and fix the found issues. This happens by sending a pull request to the owner. If the request is seen beneficial, it can be accepted as a part of the code.
Although projects have a limited lifetime, the coders’ platform continues to exist. It is possible to continue the development work and utilize the code also after the project ends.
The 360ViSi project is entering into its final stretch, and after producing several cases, new insight and understanding has been gained.
“Each partner has investigated how interactive 360° technology can be used in education from slightly different angles, so knowledge sharing is definitely adding quality to the project,” says Atle Løkken, Project Manager for 360ViSi, and Director of Department for e-learning at the University of Stavanger.
“Often, there is no need for high-complexity scenarios but more of a basic approach to certain everyday skills. Having cases that are too complex often take the student away from the learning outcomes as students get distracted, sidetracked or lost with too much action,” says Esther Navarro, Nursing programme leader at UCV.
When developing cases, the team realised that it was better to develop easy cases, but many of them, so students were able to achieve more.
While teaching about the critically ill patient, the issue of balancing fluids always comes up, as it is crucial in order to support organ function and prevent complications. Critical illness can result in imbalances in fluid and electrolyte levels due to different factors.
UCV Nurse academic Dr. Olga Forero, a member of the UCV team, explains:
“Maintaining fluid balance is especially important in these patients because their bodies may be less able to compensate for imbalances, and they may be at increased risk for complications such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or organ dysfunction”.
A script was written by academics and shared with technicians beforehand in order to outline the actions to be taken, with specific instructions and details to create the overall feel of the production. The setting was the UCV virtual hospital, where everything is real except the patient.
Equipment and tools
GoPro Fusion 360º camera
Even though it was a simple case, prior to recording, the team got together to prepare the scenario with all the details.
There was also a prebriefing to prepare and plan the course of action. Objectives, procedures, materials needed for scenario preparation and the way to proceed with the recording, points of interest in the script (hotspots) were again discussed.
After recording, a debriefing took place after the shooting to review what happened during the activity, to identify any areas that needed improvement and to assess the success of the scene. Debriefings are always important for learning and improving performance, as they provide an opportunity for the team to reflect on their work and identify areas for improvement.
“With this project and the way we are presenting 360 cases to them, our Nursing students are discovering the game-changing benefits of 360 technology in their clinical skills training,” Esther Navarro says, and continues:
“With the power of virtual reality simulations, they are able to immerse themselves in realistic and hands-on experiences, without the risk of harm to real patients. This technology allows them to practice and review procedures repeatedly, mastering their skills and building confidence in their abilities. As they step into the clinical setting, they are ready to take on any challenge that comes their way, thanks to the cutting-edge technology that has prepared them for success. It’s a revolutionary way for nursing students to learn, and it’s changing the game for the better!»
By Pål Berg Mortensen, project manager and storyteller at Screen Story.
Our focus has been to find business opportunities for 360° video, using simple and affordable, consumer-based equipment and crew.
Together with different customers we have done several virtual tours in the last few years. We believe this is a product there most definitely is a market for.
A virtual tour is usually based on 360° still pictures of a location, and different types of media input from the customer. You can move around using your pointer, both in a web browser and in VR-glasses. Have a look at one of our virtual tours here.
The main challenge with virtual tours is trying to streamline the process, so that it becomes product that the customer can afford. Virtual tours take lots of time to edit – it is a very time-consuming process that requires lots of computer power.
There is often a gap between delivering on the customer’s needs and expectations, and on the other hand not spending too much time on the product, ultimately making the product too expensive for the customer.
With this in mind, we have also been exploring ways to work with 360° technologies in a more time efficient way. Is there any way we could save some time in the editing process? How can we reduce file sizes, and processing power needed?
We think the main way forward is to simplify our projects. Less emersion, and more storytelling. As soon as you give the audience the ability to have hundreds of different options in every single frame of content, the project becomes very slow and time-consuming, making the project very expensive for the customer.
We believe that simple 360° video, with as few cuts as possible, has a big potential. Many of our customers have expressed a need to capture more information than a regular camera can record. They want to record every single interaction that happens in a room/environment. This is almost an impossible task for a regular cameraman, but a very simple task for a 360 camera. Social science, teaching, sports analysis is just some of the areas where we see opportunities.
Training and education
Another area we see massive potential in is training. For instance, the emergency services already do a lot of simulation training on different scenarios. They simulate situations like serious car accidents, with many actors and equipment in a specific (often remote) location. These types of emergency preparedness events are completed several times a year on different locations all over Norway.
360° videos of these scenarios would make them more accessible, and it is also more cost effective than running scenarios in real life. The 360° scenarios can be reused, and only require actors and location-design once. There are numerous other businesses and industries doing different types of on-site training, where 360° solutions could be a substitute or a supplement to the training.
Art exhibitions in 360°
For art museums we continue to believe in virtual tours. In our work with Stavanger Art Museum, we have acquired solid feedback about the solution.
The client is very happy with the product itself, but as of right now the main challenge is cost. As this virtual tour was part of our research, we were able to give them a substantial discount. To be a business opportunity for us in the future, this will not be possible. However, if we can figure out more cost-effective ways of delivering the same kind of product, we think it can be a great business opportunity.
All in all, we are looking forward to continuing the search for good business opportunities for 360° technologies in the corporate market. We believe there are still new areas to explore, and that this technology will be a part of the corporate film market in the future.
Online Educa Berlin isanannual global, cross-sector conference and exhibition on digital learning and training. The conferencegathers participants from around the world to learn about developments in learning technologies.
University of Stavanger was invited to talk about 360° video simulation and used the 360ViSi project as case subject. Video producer Mari Linn Larsen and Media Engineer Kåre Spanne presented the project in front of an audience of 60 people.
“I am very pleased that so many wanted to hear about our experiences from the 360ViSi Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance and were interested in learning how to use 360° simulation in their own education,” says Mari Linn Larsen.
The feedback from the participants was positive, and many of them had questions.
“The presentation sparked an interesting discussion in the room, where we could elaborate further on the kind of situations where 360° simulation can enhance education and increase the access to training,” Kåre Spanne explains.
Partners from all four countries participated in the project meeting. The aim was to bring all partners up to speed on each other’s cases and progress, as well as preparing for the final stretch of the project.
UoN’s Immersive Suite
University of Nottingham (UoN) has its own Immersive Suite on campus, which the project partners were allowed to visit. Michael Taylor, Kathrine Wittingham and lecturer Gill Langmack demonstrated how the technology works and how UoN used it in the training of nurses.
At the immersive suite, images or video is projected onto three walls, and allows students to interact with the content through hotspots, quizzes.
Michael Taylor has tested the 360ViSi Community Nursing Case in the Immersive Suite, and the project partners were allowed to try the technology with a quiz. See some examples in the video below.
360° images in Xerte
Fay Cross from University of Nottingham presented how the Xerte technology is used to create Reusable Learning Objects, and how 360 images can be applied to the system.
The Xerte Project aims to provide high quality free software to educators all over the world, and to build a global community of users and developers. The Xerte technology was developed at the University of Nottingham. Check it out here!
Other topics covered on the first day were the implications of the EU web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) for the design of Reusable Learning Objects (RLO) and 360⁰ media cases specifically, and Design Thinking as a framework for RLO development.
Project meeting – Day 2
The second day of the transnational meeting started with focus on evaluation. Professor Heather Wharrad (UoN) introduced the evaluation requirements and toolkit for the project.
Each partner university gave an update on the development of and experiences from their respective cases, and presented their methods for collecting data – and preliminary student feedback from each case.
Project parter Screen Story from Norway presented a business case with a new client, which is a direct result of their participation in the 360ViSi project.
Quasar Dynamics, project partner from Spain, has developed a digital tool which will enable educators to produce Reusable Learning Objects without help from technical experts.
The tool is developed based on identified needs from educators in the 360ViSi project. Quasar presented the Beta version of the tool, and invited everyone to try it and provide feedback.
At the end of Day 2, Dr Matthew Pears from University of Nottingham shared best practices for co-creating Virtual Reality and 360 educational resources based on insights from the CoViRR project, another Erasmus+ project University of Nottingham has been a part of.
The last day of the meeting, started with input about chatbots in education from the CEPEH Project by Stathis Konstantinidis, James Henderson and Matt Pears.
CEPEH is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership that aims to co-design and implement new pedagogical approaches and, in particular, chatbots for European Medical and Nursing schools.
There is a growing evidence that chatbots have the potential to change the way students learn and search for information. Chatbots can quiz existing knowledge, enable higher student engagement with a learning task or support higher-order cognitive activities.
The 360ViSi project members were given a mini workshop showing how easy it can be to create a chatbot – about the 360ViSi project.
The transnational project meeting was concluded after the partners planned the final stretch of the project. This involves completing all tools and solutions, collecting data, evaluation, disseminatin and final reporting.
Based on input from other projects, like CEPEH, and due to the successful cooperation in the 360ViSi project, the partners are already considering applying for new Erasmus+ projects, with the aim of combining chatbots and 360 media in education.
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