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SMW 17: Mobeon's Mark Alamares Talks 360/VR Immersive Storytelling

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2017. I'm Tim Siglin, Contributing Editor with Streaming Media Magazine and Media Strategy Principal at ReelSolver Inc. I just came off moderating a panel on live storytelling for VR video and 360 video. And one of my panelists is here with me today. Mark, introduce yourself.

Mark Alamares: My name is Mark Alamares. I'm with Mobeon. We provide streaming and production services, as well as consulting for advanced media such as AR, VR, MR, XR--whatever the term, whatever reality you wanna call it today. We're also spearheading a lot of new technologies in helping companies communicate with their audiences and within the organizations themselves.

Tim Siglin: So you've done the recordings and streams here at Streaming Media shows for a number of years, both here and in New York?

Mark Alamares: It's actually been about four years, I believe.

Tim Siglin: Okay. And so you're used to sort of the traditional conference, or enterprise scenario where your subject matter experts are being streamed out live. What would be the difference between that kind of a stream and sort of a 360 immersive stream? What would the audience get to see that's watching this livestream from elsewhere?

Mark Alamares: Well right now, we're at an interesting stage specifically for, I guess, VR or 360 panoramic streaming. It adds a little bit of more immersiveness, as they say, giving you a full perspective in a more of a spherical aspect where you're able to look around and see things that you wouldn't see from a flat screen, or a flat 2D screen like a mobile phone or a television, or a monitor. There's more information for you to process. And it feels like you are actually attending an event. But once again, even though the technology is fairly new, there's a lot of new exciting technologies that actually will make it much more immersive as if you're actually there.

Tim Siglin: So besides something like attending a conference and sending the audience to hear a keynote speaker, or going to a concert and sitting in an immersive experience, what are some of the other storytelling opportunities with virtual reality video and, or immersive video like 360 degree?

Mark Alamares: The opportunities is as the technology improves, I think that we're gonna get to a point where people and I guess, surroundings will be captured in real-time and you'll be able to stream that. Again, we're still far off from that. But it's gonna give us a large palette specifically for broadcasters as well as artists to kind of communicate the story.

There's not going to be any type of limitation in doing so. And since right now, the technology is so new there are some limitations that take you away from the experience, and take away from the narrative. And so once those barriers are crossed, I think that it's just gonna be an endless opportunity to get stories across.

Tim Siglin: Okay. Interesting. Which do you think will sort of come out first into the mainstream, VR video or 360 video?

Mark Alamares: Well, 360 video has made its mark, specifically in the mainstream where it's being consumed off of mobile devices, and tablets and mobile phones specifically. As well as being able to view that video in headsets that are connected to desktop machines with high-end processors and GPUs.

So I say that we are reaching that point where it's becoming much more accessible. But I think that consumers looking to beyond that. Once you've experienced it, you want to look towards something that's a little bit more sophisticated.

We’re not there yet, but we will be. As the technology does improve, we're gonna get to a point where we'll be in total immersion where we're able to almost duplicate reality specifically. And one of the things that's gonna be integral to that is being able to stream real-time body scans of people or performances in video game engines.

Tim Siglin: Well, thank you very much for your time.

Mark Alamares: Thank you.

Tim Siglin: Again, Mark from Mobeon.

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