Travel in VR: Unlocking the spirit of adventure

We’ve all dreamed it – climbing up a craggy, jungle covered cliff-face and as we get to the top, we stumble across an ancient treasure, the likes of which has never been seen before. There’s a part of us which will always want to be an adventurer. At least now, with VR making leaps and bounds and brave brands leading the way with story rich experiences, we could be closer to living out our daring dreams, from the comfort of our own home.

“ We could be closer to living out our daring dreams, from the comfort of our own home.”

Forget what you think you know about travel in VR – journeying to distant places in the virtual realm is all about unlocking the spirit of adventure through technology. Sky recently announced that through the virtual power of holograms, David Attenborough will soon be guiding eager adventurers through the treasures of the Natural History Museum. Their ‘Hold the World’ show not only lets would-be Indiana Jones’ learn about the lost artefacts but through a combination of video game tech and TV doc, become part of their own adventure.

And, if Attenborough’s wander through ancient artefacts has got you itching for adventure, you’ll be happy to hear there are a whole host of experiences already out there, leading the way in VR travel.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

When it comes to virtual travel, it’s hard to talk about experience and VR in the same breath without mentioning this live action summit of Mount Everest. Offering viewers the chance to scale the icy summit from the comfort of their own sofa, Sports Illustrated teamed up with Time’s ‘Life VR’ platform to create their own adventure experience with a difference .

“If you’re looking for a way to bring adventure to the everyday, this is a good place to start.”

Captured in 360 degrees, it was among the first VR travel experiences to offer first person, live action content – streamed straight to your headset. All those icy twists, near death climbs and treacherous terrains weave together with smart graphics and VO to tell the rarely told (or seen) story of an Everest adventurer.

And when it comes to platforms, to ensure everyone had access to the adventure, the experience was published across a range of headsets, including Oculus, Gear, Vive and the humble but equally immersive Cardboard. If you’re looking for a way to bring adventure to the everyday and break the frozen VR mould, this is a good place to start.

Brave New Worlds

In keeping with the theme of brave, bold storytelling, Discovery are no strangers to travel VR with a difference. In fact, their Discovery VR platform is the perfect place to unlock your inner adventurer. Whether you fancy trudging the swamps of Florida, protecting pandas in China or hunting bigfoot in monster country, the boundaries of adventure are being redefined.

“VR and 360 are the perfect vessel for adventure”

It’s no longer simply about watching someone else trekking through the rainforest or navigating shark infested shipwrecks. Now, we want to be a part of the action (without the risk of losing a limb). VR and 360 are the perfect vessel for adventure, transporting us to a pocket of the world we’d ordinarily never be able to see. Broadening our horizons with content which we not only immerse and lose ourselves in but puts us at the heart of the story. If Discovery’s walk on the wild side is anything to go by, we could be in for the virtual adventure of a lifetime.

Sky’s the Limit. Virtual-reality-travel-base-jumping-jaunt

 

Last but not least is an adventure VR project to give even the most seasoned adventurers vertigo. Jaunt VR, pioneers of future storytelling, teamed up with outdoor production gurus, Camp4 Collective, to explore what happens when travel, adventure and VR collide.

  “Immersive storytelling can enhance an experience and give us a peek into the remotest of places -capturing the real essence of adventure.”

Giving athletes the chance to push their limits in a new type of adventure storytelling – the future ready pairing captured a day in their lives and brought the great outdoors to the equally great indoors.

Their VR series, ‘Home Turf’, captures what it is to be a high wire slackliner, expert biker and all round adventurer as we see not only how they pull off these epic feats, but hear first hand how they prepare. It’s a great example of how immersive storytelling can enhance an experience and give us a peek into the remotest of places -capturing the real essence of adventure.

Travel VR has gone beyond the pictures. It’s not just about showing you a place in 360 but giving you the scuba goggles and saying “Go ahead, jump into that shark infested water from your sofa.” In fact, the President of Jaunt VR summed it up the best saying, “These almost surreal locations are places most people will never travel and now they’re getting unprecedented access.”

Used in the right way, VR could take travel to new adventuring heights. Just don’t forget your virtual backpack because with this kind of experience ready and raring to go, the sky’s no longer the limit.To help you craft thrill seeking travel experiences (or even delightful virtual wanders round a Tuscan vineyard) we’ve pulled together some of our top VR tips. And if you want to create your own epic adventure, get in touch. 

  1. Think about what your adventurers want: When you’re thinking about your experience, ask yourself what your viewers actually want. Do they want to be immersed? Are they after high action thrills or awe inspiring adventure? Put yourself in their shoes.
  1. How can you enhance the adventure: If you’ve just crafted a Bear Grylls worthy adventure, how can you enhance it so your audience get the most out of the experience. Consider using binaural audio to give the feeling they’re surrounded by the sound.
  1. What story hasn’t been told before: There’s no use simply copying an experience that’s been done before. If you’re crafting your own, tell a story that hasn’t been told before. Try playing with graphics or voice to enhance the 360 tale.
Want to make your next VR experience truly immersive? Download our FREE VR GUIDE HERE
Amy Durrant

Amy Durrant

Amy is a copywriter and all round creative type at Pebble Studios. With bundles of agency experience at Karmarama and her past life as a music, technology and design journalist, she has a love for all things creative.

Creative, Pebble Studios

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