SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
Anand Gandhi, a Mumbai-based filmmaker and media producer known for his debut feature film ‘Ship of Theseus’, spoke on the evolution of technology through Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) at a Masterclass held at IFFI 2017 in Maquinez Palace.
He said that any kind of art including paintings, photographs and cinema acts as a means to record and form archives for future use or reference. As such even matter captured through virtual reality can be used for archiving and recording purposes. He mentioned that a small-sized camera can record a 360 degree panoramic view, and presented a live example by recording the entire auditorium through a small GoPro camera.
Explaining the concept of teleportation Anand said: “If I place this camera on a robot placed on a wheelchair, and if it is sent to Paris, I will be able to see Paris through the virtual reality (VR) headset. If I insert microphones in the ears of the robot and if I wear headphones here, I will be able to hear whatever happens in Paris. If haptics (interaction through touch) are installed in the robot, I will be able to feel the touch senses through the gloves that I will have to wear. Hence without being in Paris, I will experience the location.”
He mentioned that although 360/VR is a new concept, many have not used VR headsets. It was however expected to be in high demands as this technology is one-of-a-kind. Anand said: “Perhaps people find headsets heavy and they do not use them. However, 360 degree videos are quite popular and are available on YouTube as well.”
Anand further spoke about the new tools that can be added to 360 degree videos. He presented two videos, one of which had subtitles. These subtitles would move on screen from time-to-time as the user drags the cursor on screen to view all sides covering the 360 degrees. He said: “Earlier these subtitles had to be placed everywhere. With advancement in technology, one can now code them to be viewed on the screen as the scene in the video is moved.”
He concluded saying that technology is advancing with time. “Cameras have become so advanced that they are able to catch high resolution data from reality. Now it is time to look for ways to capture emotional experiences. Also, how to engage audience using this new technology is a challenge that must be tackled,” said Anand.