It’s virtual – and it’s reality

It all started 30 years ago. Back in 1986. A time where Ronald Reagan was the president of the United States. The Berlin wall was still standing and Email was called electronic mail and was primarily used by universities and the military. The same year a small creative group in Austin, Texas started to discuss the future of the medias and entertainment, all with a shared passion in music.

By: Maria Jin Hee Winberg

Ever since the first event, SXSW has taken on a life on its own. Growth has been steady and in ’94 Interactive and Film was introduced. There have been many great changes since the opening in ’87, but the core of SXSW is still have same wish to be: “(…) a tool for creative people to develop their careers by bringing together people from around the globe to meet, learn and share ideas.”(Richard Swenson in SXSW History)

This year Spires United attended to get inspiration from inspiring and creative people from around the world. To understand and see the upcoming trends and technology. One thing that became an ongoing theme was the great focus on Virtual Reality. I have read about it but never tried it before. And what an experience. The ability to be present – to feel you are actually there in a virtual space. It challenges Anthony Giddens definition of communication in the separation of time and space. One of his points are, that the presence and the relation is less intensive and present, but when you try VR it gives you the exact feeling of being present.  When skype was introduced, it reduced the geographical distance – and made it possible to see and follow each other across borders. The opportunity that comes with VR is bringing you closer and it brings the opportunity to see and be present in a 3D experience. One of the greatest experiences I had with VR was a 12 minutes long art exhibition. It made it possible for me to stand in the middle of an exhibit hall and watch small art pieces. All of a sudden, I don’t have to be at the exact Art Gallery at the exact time the exhibition is on, but I can actually get the same feeling being 100 of miles away and still get the same experience as if I was there. The development is moving fast and several companies showed how they have implemented VR as a natural part in for example music and film.

We are sure VR is going to play a big role in future and gives us amazing opportunities to share passion without being limited by distance. It enables the possibility to be mentally present although you are physically distanced. Our CEO at Spires United, Esben Gadsbøll has a great passion for VR and explains why: “I have tried VR several times and I am amazed again and again. The experience of 3D “in your face” – everything gets so close and I forget most of what is around me in the “real world”.”

He is, like the rest as our team, very excited to see where VR will go in the coming years. It’s still in the early process but it’s going fast. Because the big players (Samsung, HTC, Playstation etc.) they want this out now. There are many new technologies all the time and not all are interesting after the first hype has gone over. He is also convinced VR will be a big thing and he has ordered his first VR camera – a camera that can be added to his collection of headsets from Google and Samsung (and also soon from HTC).

At Spires United we are exited to follow the development and to see how it can add a new dimension to online communities in the future.