Oculus Rift and the Future of Content Marketing

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Every journalist and content creator should be assessing emerging technologies. Technology now affects how we tell stories and we’re about to cross new thresholds that will allow us to engage audiences in unique ways.

Virtual reality (VR) is one of those technologies and thanks to platforms like Oculus Rift, the visions of VR pioneers like Jaron Lanier are starting to be realized at a scale never before possible.

To plug into the world of VR and assess the implications for content marketing, /newsrooms landed an opportunity to visit the Occupied VR studio in Toronto. We wanted to see VR, but not just any old VR experience. We were looking for one of the best VR content experiences we could find.

Occupied VR did not disappoint and the experience started the moment we stepped off of Queen Street through the glass door and walked into their space.

Walking up the stairs to the dimly-lit studio, old floorboards creek under foot. Boxes are stacked between sofas, and large black curtains hold back sunlight. Cables, lights, monitors and intense creative energy permeate the studio and small row of Apple computers with Oculus headsets anchor the room.

I’m joined by Selin Sheppard, /newsrooms’ Director of Analytics & Insights, for our maiden voyage into the world of Oculus Rift. The film we’re sitting down to see was created by Occupied VR in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker, David Cronenberg.

“It’s all about good content,” says J. Lee Williams of Occupied VR. “That’s what we do. We focus on really good content.”

Williams prepares us for the experience by talking about what we’ll expect and warns that we can tap out if it’s too much. Apparently, some people don’t react well to the experience and are overtaken by feelings of vertigo or nausea when their brain is plugged in to VR.

We start rolling a camera to capture Selin’s reaction, and I tell her to expect some questions about the experience when she’s done. After all, the impact VR could have on content marketing is tremendous. But at the moment we started filming, all Selin was focusing on was the butterflies in her stomach.

She sits down in a chair in the middle of the dimly-lit room, a vibrating pad hugs her back and legs. It makes it feel more real. The famed Oculus goggles are strapped on, and Beats headphones snuff out any last semblance of reality.

Video posted above.

Selin Sheppard

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Chris Hogg

Chris Hogg

Vice President, Content & Coverage at /newsrooms
Chris is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Content & Coverage at /newsrooms where he is responsible for strategic and publishing teams who build content marketing and live event coverage for brands. Chris is an entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in digital media, social media and broadcasting. He has a deep passion for innovation and disruptive, high-growth businesses where technology and digital media intersect.
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