IBC365: Augmented Reality, Baby Driver & Dunkirk

Stick all three of those together and you probably have the film treatment from hell, but happily I’ve been writing about them separately for IBC365 of late.

Am quite impressed by IBC365: it’s got a good breadth behind it, a wide remit in front of it, is happy to pay for good content, and a good team running it. Certainly, it’s been nice to spread the writing wings a bit in recent months and write about productions again.

Here’s three that I’ve done recently:

Augmented, virtual and mixed: the new realities

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and the return of large format film

Under the bonnet of Baby Driver’s sound design

And here’s a snippet of the AR piece, with the odd useful definition for those that tend to trip up on them (360-degree video, for instance, is not VR…).

Augmented reality has sheltered behind the noise, bluster and smokescreen thrown up by the second coming of virtual reality. While VR has arguably underperformed in the market to date, hamstrung by high headset costs and consumer apathy, AR has been the stealth technology that has quietly crept out and opened the gate.

It’s worth just pausing to check some definitions here, as there is the potential for some confusion. VR entails the projection of a wholly-generated 3D world into an immersive headset with every element created by computer graphics.

The same VR headsets, from the top range Oculus Rift and HTC Vive down to the Google Cardboard and smartphone combinations, can also be used to project 360-degree and 180-degree video.

AR is essentially a graphical overlay of CGI elements onto real world elements, typically generated by a video feed.

Pokémon Go is perhaps the most obvious example, and one whose $600m worth of sales from an incredible initial three-month burst last summer is one that has concentrated minds worldwide. That is more money than the whole rest of the VR games market managed to earn over the course of the entire year, and almost singlehandedly led analysts Digi-Capital to predict that AR would have the majority of sales in a $108bn global ‘X Reality’ market by 2021.

There is also mixed reality to consider.

Sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, this blends together all elements into one, blurring distinctions between real world and visual objects so that it becomes meaningless, and also folds in advances in sensor technologies, optics and computing power to provide, in theory at least, a more realistic experience.