VR is a tough cookie for storytelling. There are many obstacles to overcome before we get to mass adoption. Part of the problem is the viewer experience – with limited experiences tied to advanced hardware and VR goggles. It’s an isolated viewing experience. Much of the joy in consuming TV and movies is the group experience and VR just misses the mark when we can’t exchange a look or share a laugh with our friends and family as we watch.
In 2016, Lockheed Martin designed a one-of-a-kind VR experience by turning an ordinary school bus into a group VR experience. They used transparent HD displays combined with high-end computing hardware and built a VR experience using the Unreal software engine. Using the custom-built displays, the entire bus essentially became a giant VR headset. The bus’ motion mapped to the Mars video rendered in real time. Kids could look out their window or turn their head across the aisle to experience the Martian landscape in 360-degrees, while the real world inside the bus continued to exist.
The experience, led by ad agency McCann New York, won numerous advertising awards, including 19 Lions at the 2016 Cannes Lions festival. While Lockheed Martin continues to focus on getting humans from Earth to Mars, they’ve also cooked up a pretty great use-case and vision for the future of VR entretainement experiences.
Check out the longer BTS video below.