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The project story

Perspectives on business opportunities

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.  

Virtual tours

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.

Challenges

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?  

Way forward

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.

From recording the virtual tour of the Hafsten collection.

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.  

Conclusion

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.  

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Read more stories about business opportunities.

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News The project story

Turning 360° technology into business opportunities

Through this project we have confirmed that 360° pictures and videos can indeed be used for educational purposes. But can it also open business opportunities for companies? The answer is yes.

Making art more accessible

By combining 360° photos and videos, Screen Story in collaboration with Stavanger Art Museum, made three virtual tours with the purpose of making art more available for the masses.

Experiencing art can be an enticing experience, but not everyone has the opportunity to visit an art museum for different reasons. Be it physically challenges, geographical impracticalities or an ongoing pandemic. By making a digital representation with the use of 360-video/photo technology, anybody can visit the Stavanger Art Museum and the exhibitions Kitty Kielland, Frida Hansen and The Hafsten collection.

“We have some pretty unique works of art here that’s in the forefront of Norwegian art history,” says Hanne Beate Ueland, director of Stavanger Art Museum.

From shooting the Hafsten collection. Elin Lillebråten from Stavanger Art Museum guides the visitors through the virtual tour.

When the pandemic hit, they closed the museum and sent everybody home. They had to find new ways for the visitors to enjoy the art.

“To experience an art museum is very much about walking into a space and being surrounded by the art. We talked to people who we respect within technology, and they suggested that we contact Screen Story, and we did. They had this project going on with 360-video. We immediately found that quite interesting and inspiring, and it turned out to be project where we could collaborate quite easily,” Ueland continues.

Turning ideas to business

Screen Story took on the task and saw an opportunity to gain new know-how in the field of 360- technology. Project leader at Screen Story, Øyvind Torjusen, says it was a perfect fit.

“This proved to be a great case for the 360ViSi-project. Screen Story’s main task in this project is to look at the transferability to business, and create a 360-product which in turn can be commercialised. Having an actual need from an institution such as the Stavanger Art Museum is a much better starting point than a made-up scenario,” he says.

And action!

The recording process took a total of six days, with over 170 images and 48 videos shot, all in 360 degrees. A script consisting of about 18 pages written by the three mediators, each presenting a different exhibition. A whopping 3.25 TB of data was needed for all the materials.

Shooting in a museum can be a challenge. Lighting conditions are often set in such a way to preserve the art, and not optimal for shooting with a 360-camera which requires a lot of light. And because of the nature of shooting in 360 degrees, there’s nowhere to hide a light rig which complicates shooting even more.

Stian Skjerping prepares to shoot the very first 360 project Screen Story did for Stavanger Art Museum, the exhibition “In the clouds”.

“We had to bring up the brightness of the fixed lights to the maximum while shooting, but even then it was a bit too dark in some of the rooms,” says Stian Skjerping, videographer at Screen Story.

This meant some extra hours in post-production to brighten the footage.

“But when you brighten the footage you add more noise to the image as well, which meant we had to use some noise removal tools to clean it up,” he continues.

Making a great user experience

When all the footage was colour corrected and cleaned up, the assembling of the tour began. Every image and video must be linked together so that the viewer can move seamlessly through the exhibitions. Along the way, new ideas and solutions were discussed to make the user experience the best possible.

The Hafsten collection is one of the 360 exhibitions Screen Story has made for Stavanger Art Museum.

“Stavanger Art Museum wanted a simpler way to reach more content, so we came up with a top bar with a menu where you quickly can navigate to all the videos, as well as get help navigating,” says Pål Berg Mortensen, editor at Screen Story.

Moving around a 360 virtual tour can be a challenge, because it’s a relative new product, so there are no set conventions yet. It was therefore important for both Screen Story and the museum to make the tour as intuitive as possible.

“We made an intro where you get some instructions on how to navigate, hopefully making it less intimidating,” says Mortensen.

The museum also wanted to incorporate more information and content about single works of art.

“Early on there were discussions about including more information on individual art pieces, and how that would work. The solution was to create a pop up menu that appears when the the art piece is clicked on. The user can then choose to watch a video about the piece, or see it in high quality and read more about it,” Mortensen explains.

More benefit than traditional video

The Stavanger Art Museum were fascinated by the experience of being able to actually walk through the exhibitions, and see several use cases for the 360 virtual tour.

“It’s something we are able to use, not only towards the general audience but also in our dialogue with other artist we are working with for the coming exhibitions,” Hanne Beate Ueland says.

She sees a clear benefit over “traditional” video:

“One of the most interesting things for us, that separates 360-videos and images from a normal video of a exhibition, is to give people an actual experience of being there and walking around, looking at the artworks, but also reading, and finding more information. That adds a complexity and quality to the project that we liked.”

“It’s great to see that the customer was satisfied with the tour and appreciates all the hard work behind it,” Skjerping says.

The potential for a “360 virtual tour product” is definitively there, and Screen Story has learned a lot in this process moving forward.

“We wanted to create a truly immersive experience where you can interact with the pieces of art, and absorb the atmosphere in the exhibitions. And I think we managed to do that. This is only the beginning of what is possible with the 360-technology,” Skjerping concludes.

You may also want to read these stories about 360 technology and business

EuroLeague Metaverse: Success case

The business side of 360 video simulation

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The project story

EuroLeague Metaverse: Success case

In a previous post, we described what a metaverse is and how can it be used. Interestingly, only a few months later, Quasar Dynamics, partner of the 360 ViSi project developed a metaverse for the basketball EuroLeague Final Four competition.

The EuroLeague is a European professional basketball club competition, widely recognized as the top-tier league in Europe. It consists of 18 teams and its first season took place in 1958.

EuroLeagueLand explained

The main objectives of the EuroLeague were to attract attention as metaverses were raising popularity, engage with the youngest fans (generation z) and to be considered as an innovative sports league.

“To achieve these objectives, we had to think about multiple features that could be interesting for basketball fans who could not physically visit the fan zone in Belgrade,” explains Lead developer at Quasar Dynamics, Jaíme Diaz González.

These are the features Quasar included in the EuroleagueLand.

  • A complete 3D environment of the fan zone where users can visit the main sponsors (Turkish Airlines, Adidas, BKT etc.)
Main land in the EuroLeague Metaverse.
  • Every sponsor had its own and unique room, where fans accessed exclusive content
Sponsor Turkish Airlines’ VIP room in the metaverse.
  • 3D Avatar customization, so that users can freely change their appearance.
Users could create their own avatars.
  • Interact with other users through a chat or with animations like dancing, cheering and greeting
  • Play 5 custom minigames related to their sponsors and Basketball. You can try two of the games here: Three Point contest and Throw.
  • Unlock rewards if users scored high on the games. The score was translated into basketZ tokens were used to access exclusive content like a live interview with Shane Larkin, one of the best EuroLeague players, or DJ sessions
  • You were even able to watch live streaming of the final four matches with your friends.
Final matches streamed live in the EuroLeagueLand metaverse.

“The hardest part of the development was making the EuroLeagueLand metaverse fully accessible to all users. We were able to optimize it for any kind of device (Android, iOS, Windows) and with any web browser,” says González.

Therefore, you can try it here with your favorite device and an internet connection.

Why is it considered a metaverse?

The EuroLeagueLand can be considered a metaverse because it is a complete 3D world where users can navigate using their preferred device. They can interact with each other and live unique experiences kilometers away from the real event.

“We were able to achieve impressive numbers. 30,000 unique users got connected during the 7 days of the finals,” González states.

“Finally, we think that metaverses are still too new. Its definition may change from one person to the other. However, we are sure that in the future many real events will have its virtual counterpart,” he concludes.

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News The project story

The business side of 360 video simulation

With the ambition to highlight business opportunities for private companies using 360 video, the day started with a presentation from Stavanger Art Museum and Screen Story. They talked about their successful collaboration with 360 visualisation of art exhibitions. Read more about it here.

ADE shared their experiences about commercial and educational 360 and VR solutions that they have developed. A Learning Management System (LMS) developed was presented, which includes practical trainings in health care and the technical sector.

Quasar Dynamics presented their other projects with immersive technologies, for instance using VR goggles for people with different disabilities, and a horror Playstation game they are soon to launch.

Guest input

Guests VID Specialized University and the company Mediafarm have collaborated to create student active learning activities.

They explained their journey from the beginning of working with 360 video, what they have learnt and shared advice on everything from actors vs real patients, locations, scripts, how to create emotional impact, placement of camera, lighting, user interactions, playback solutions, subtitles, graphic interface needs, technical considerations and more.

The 360ViSi project team was invited to try out one of their education solutions with VR goggles.

Elizabeth Armstrong, UiS (in front), Javier Ortizá, Quasar Dynamics, and Mari Linn Larsen, UiS, deeply concentrated in a 360 environment.
Mike Taylor from the University of Nottingham tested one of VID’s 360 video education tools.
Arne Morten Rosnes (VID), Severin Ommundsen and Morten Orre (Mediafarm) shared their experiences and best practices from creating interactive 360 video for education.

Excursion to companies

The project team visited two different companies located in Stavanger, who both use simulation tools for training and education purposes – in very different ways.

Aker Solutions delivers integrated solutions, products and services to the global energy industry, and uses simulation extensively. For instance, the company simulates complex offshore operations in order to prepare staff, to reduce risk of accidents and injuries, and to enhance efficiency.

Aker Solution’s simulation dome, where crane operators and other personnel can train and plan how to execute heavy lifts. Weather and waves may be changed to affect the situation. Clear communication with personnel on the platform deck is crucial, and also part of the simulation.
Aker Solutions has an advanced simulation centre used to train personnel before complicated operations in the offshore oil and gas industry.

The team also visited Lærdal Medical who creates realistic simulation-based learning for healthcare education, for instance the world-known Resusci Anne manikin.

Bodil Bø from the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Stavanger looks at the premature manikin from Lærdal Medical, which is used to train health personnel.
Lærdal Medical’s most advanced simulation manikin is called SimMan, which here being programmed at the factory.
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News The project story

Metaverse potential for education

Image: Facsimile from Meta’s Oculus workrooms.

Analysis by Jaime Diaz, Quasar Dynamics

Metaverse is a concept defining the next generation of the internet, describing an immersive, multi-sensory experience based on the use of multiple devices and technological developments. A 3D universe that combines multiple virtual spaces.

How can the metaverse be used?

We understand the metaverse as the combination of technology and software that moves the user’s mind to an environment that is different in sensory perception from where they physically are. This would include the use of VR headsets, controllers, or haptic suits (see image).

A haptic suit (also known as tactile suit, gaming suit or haptic vest) is a wearable device that provides haptic feedback to the body. Photo: Teslasuit.

Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today’s best video games grab and keep the attention of players. It supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet.

Some of the possible uses that metaverses could have in educational experiences are described below.

Laboratory experiments

The real laboratory equipment, tools and machinery are expensive. Imagine a chemistry class where a teacher wants to observe the formation of four acids that occur in acid rain. Such an illustrative presentation would require multiple pH sensors, test tubes, protection glasses, burets…

In addition to the economic realities, we should not forget the risks that these kinds of experiments entail.

Quasar Dynamics, one of the 360 ViSi partners, created a complete 3D laboratory to emulate a very common practice in engineering degrees where the students had to use a power supply, a function generator, oscilloscope and a polimeter.

To interact with the environment, students used VR glasses and controllers. As the students “broke” the tools frequently by connecting the wrong poles, this was the best way to save costs but yet learn by using a practical method.

Museums and tours

Imagine if students could visit the most important museums in the world every week.  Metaverse enables this mental transition to the 3D museums.

Quasar Dynamics also developed a 3D art gallery where artists can upload their artworks, such as 3D sculptures, configure the gallery with furniture or add videos and audio recordings. You can visit the gallery here.

Immersive conferences

Meta also released interesting software for real-time 3D conferences. Even with its business focus, it can be used in education, especially for students that have to interact remotely.

In the workrooms, attendees can wear VR headsets or just use flat-screen computers. They can start drawing on a virtual board, add images or different content for others to see. When using VR glasses, an avatar of the user is displayed showing the user’s own tracked hands. This working method could be the future for meetings or work presentations for online education.

Advantages and disadvantages

The metaverse has the advantage of being a completely 3D experience in real-time, allowing the developer to build an environment without the barriers that reality imposes. For example, it is possible to recreate the interior of the International Space Station without having to be there.

However, the metaverse is a young technology that still needs development. Some environments are still laggy if you do not have a powerful, expensive device that many companies are not currently supporting.

In addition, there is some fear that the metaverse will create a generation of people with poor social skills due to a lack of interaction with the real world.

In summary, the metaverse is the future. Not only for educational purposes but also for a lifestyle. We must ensure that students benefit from its technological advancements while still remaining competitive in real life.

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News The project story

360ViSi case on national television in Norway

Interactive art exhibitions created by Screen Story for Stavanger Art Museum, as test cases for the 360ViSi project.

The Erasmus organisation aims to involve private companies in their Knowledge Alliances and create business opportunities for them. Why? Because it will increase the quality and relevance of the project, boost innovation and enhance knowledge sharing.

In addition to the four universities participating in 360ViSi, three companies from the private sector contribute: Screen Story from Norway, ADE from Finland and Quasar Dynamics from Spain.

Screen Story creates interactive art exhibitions

The 360ViSi project was launched around the same time as the corona pandemic exploded and the world went into shutdown, making it challenging for the project partners to test technology and methods.

It turns out, however, that when some doors close, others open. Screen Story was asked to help their customer Stavanger Art Museum to find new solutions to overcome the problems the pandemic forced on them.

Øyvind Torjusen from Screen Story.

– The art museum had to close its doors for a while due to national restrictions, but still wanted to make their newest exhibition available to the public. Thus, we could create an interactive online version, and at the same time use it as a test in the 360ViSi project, says producer Øyvind Torjusen in Screen Story.

Broadcasted on national news

When restrictions were lifted and Stavanger Art Museum reopened its doors, the museum had discovered the value of digital exhibitions. The exhibitions reach a larger audience, and especially those who do not have the opportunity to visit the museum physically. Therefore, Stavanger Art Museum continues to create interactive digital solutions together with Screen Story.

See one of the digital art exhibitions here.

https://stavangerkunstmuseum.no/events/hafsten-samlingen-i-360

Broadcaster NRK made a report on national television news about the latest exhibition and interviewed a group of elderly people who experienced it through tablets. You can see the story (in Norwegian) here:

https://tv.nrk.no/serie/distriktsnyheterrogaland/202110/DKRO98102621/avspiller#t=2m59s

– This proves that 360 video technology represents business opportunities for companies like us. We will definitely offer this kind of solutions to more customers in the future, says Torjusen.

From Norwgian broadcaster NRK’s news story.
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News The project story

Company point of view to the 360ViSi Editor

Learn about the Turku Game Lab here.

Together with Tarja Enala, a senior advisor at Business Finland, the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion, the visitors were introduced to the 360ViSi Editor and explained how 360 video can be used in education.

Project engineer Mikko Österman gave the visitors a guided tour through the software that enables teachers to compile and edit simulations from separate 360-videos.

Mikko Österman presents 360ViSi Editor to Mr Ajit, Dr Ritez Kumar, Mr Anuj Chahal and Dr Sunil Tomar.

The visitors saw how a simulation can be built and what features it already has.

“From our point of view, the concept is great”, says Dr Kumar. “The idea can be applied in many fields. It is going to happen since the resources to learning premises are limited.”

Dr Kumar continues that the positive side of the software is that it allows students to proceed at their own pace and practice at any time. That has also a bigger impact:

“The concept also democratizes the sometimes elite rehearsing opportunities.”

Dr Kumar, NeoSim Oy
Principal lecturer Mika Luimula and vice Rector Juhani Soini presenting the Turku Game Lab while the project is being demonstrated in the foreground.
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Demonstrated immersive reality on Valencia StartUp Market

VLC Startup Market is an event organised by the Innovative Development Area of the Valencia City Council. The goal is to create a great showcase for startups, thus bringing all the innovation and technology that is developed in València closer to the public.

From Quasar Dynamic’s exhibition stand.

360ViSi partner Quasar Dynamics was one of the exhibitors, and also developed a promotional 360° where Pilar Bernabé, the councilor for economic development in Valencia, presents the event.

Quasar Dynamic also created a virtual reality futuristic environment where the public could access information about the startup market, such as map, programme, exhibitors, events etc. In order to interact with the menu, the user just had to stare at the different elements.

See a video of what they created here:

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Company cooperation across borders – because of the 360ViSi project

That led to a demo with the Norwegian University of Stavanger and based on their recommendation, the Finnish project team from Turku University of Applied Sciences was keen to hear more about the company and its products.

ONsim offers its customers VR headsets and easy-to-use 360° training solutions mainly to the medical sector whereas Turku UAS is, as a part of the 360ViSi project, both creating new methods for nursing education and developing the 360ViSI Editor enabling practically anyone to create simulations from 360° videos.

With a mutual passion for VR and simulation, the meeting between ONsim and Turku UAS was a sparkling start to the cooperation. Both ONsim and Turku UAS teams are enthusiastic about developing not only their products but also each other’s ideas. With cross-fertilization in mind, both the project and the company are looking forward to future cooperation.

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News The project story

Made art exhibition available in the pandemic – with 360° video

Photo: Screen Story

According to the team at Screen Story, this was a great opportunity to apply interactive 360° video to a real user case. With the help of 360° technology, they were able to make the exhibition into a digital version – open to anyone, for free.

Explore the exhibition

The exhibition is still available online, so feel free to visit it. Navigate around and have a look at this example of one of the many ways to use 360° video.

In contrast to a normal video, the interactive 360° video allows you to choose what you want to look at and where you want to go, just as you would if you attended the exhibition physically.

https://stavangerkunstmuseum.no/360/iskyene/

Behind the scenes

Have a look at how Screen Story made the interactive 360° video for Stavanger Art Museum.