Gaze-Activated VR Lets You Choose Your Own Adventure
MTV hosted a preview of Teen Wolf at ComicCon that featured an interactive virtual reality experience
During a movie or TV show, do you ever look where you’re not supposed to? Do you find yourself watching what’s happening in the background, or maybe paying attention to a secondary character? Now suppose you could look at anything in the scene—even the stuff that would normally be behind you. There’s just one hitch: where you look changes the story. That’s the idea behind MTV’s “gaze-activated VR” demo at ComicCon this year.
At first it seems simple enough. Don a VR headset, and find yourself watching a short promo from MTV’s supernatural thriller series Teen Wolf. But instead of speaking to each other, the characters are speaking to you, the viewer. By turning your head, you can see what’s happening all around you, and in fact, looking in certain directions can cause changes in the plot. In one of the six mini-episodes displayed at ComicCon, characters implore you, “Don’t look at them! Stay with us!” Oops, you looked. Here comes the monster.
MTV partnered with AT&T and VR pioneer Moth and Flame to create the promos, which are naturally limited by time. And while the YouTube versions can be viewed in 360 degrees, the stories follow only one path. Even if you don’t look at the monster in the previous example, he still shows up. Moth and Flame hope that this is just the beginning of the newest frontier in entertainment.
“Full immersion,” says their website, “is the wave of the future.”