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VR Gameshow: Compete with the World and Win Prizes.

So what do you think of when you com­bine super high fideli­ty 3D, real-time stream­ing, and glob­al connectivity?

You get a VR Gameshow called “The Future Universe”.

If all goes well next year will be the first time TV view­ers and mobile-device own­ers will par­tic­i­pate in a vir­tu­al and inter­ac­tive live game show pit­ting in-stu­dio con­tes­tants against a poten­tial world­wide group of peo­ple play­ing at home on their phones, tablets, and lap­tops, all com­pet­ing for prizes.

The Future Group a Nor­we­gian com­pa­ny has a deal in place with one of the largest pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies in the world to begin air­ing The Future Uni­verse in prime-time 2016 in a sin­gle, major coun­try. They are expect­ing to air the futur­is­tic TV show in coun­tries all around the world.

Bård Anders Kasin, the founder and CEO of The Future Group, and a tech­ni­cal direc­tor at Warn­er Bros. who worked on The Matrix films says VR is still large­ly a sin­gle-user expe­ri­ence. Future Group’s show is try­ing to lever­age some of the ele­ments that make VR com­pelling to a lot of peo­ple. “We’re not just putting them in there with gog­gles,” says Kasin. “We’re putting them in a vir­tu­al world as char­ac­ters, in real time.”

You would be play­ing against the con­tes­tant on screen through your opti­mized stand­alone mobile device, the games are in the realm of Angry Birds and that style of play. “Imag­ine peo­ple in the stu­dio are dri­ving Mario Karts through the streets [of a vir­tu­al] New York,” Kasin says. “[The stu­dio] audi­ence would see them dri­ving in Mario Karts. The at-home audi­ence could be doing the same task [on their mobile devices], and if you do bet­ter or worse than them, you can see [the] peo­ple in the stu­dio dri­ving past you.”

The Future Group’s idea is that each pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny at the net­works will be able to cus­tomize their game shows to local nich­es and com­mu­ni­ties, all the way up to coun­try vs. coun­try gam­ing expe­ri­ences. The game will be free to every­one, but those that want to eli­gi­ble for game prizes would be required to pay a small fee and set up a pro­file. Mobile play­ers can spend as much time as they want in the game, try­ing to rack up points that they can spend on a vari­ety of prizes offered by spon­sors. Those hand­picked to play in the stu­dio, how­ev­er, will only com­pete for cash prizes.

The com­pa­ny imag­ines high­ly tar­get­ed ads based on the per­son­al infor­ma­tion users pro­vide, Kasin says, “What’s unique here,” as opposed to a motion pic­ture, “is that we’re doing it in real time. All the ren­der­ing and the graph­ics, we can do it instant­ly; “this lets adver­tis­ers jump from your TV screen to your mobile or desktop.”

At present, they’ve raised $7.5 mil­lion and is cur­rent­ly look­ing to raise about $10 mil­lion in addi­tion­al financ­ing. As described, it’s extreme­ly ambitious—implementing tech­nol­o­gy in a way that hasn’t been done before—and relies on large num­bers of peo­ple being engaged enough in what’s going on to be will­ing to pay to play. Some oth­er com­pa­nies using the pay for spe­cial con­tent only on mobile devices have racked in over a bil­lion dol­lars in rev­enue. Future plans also include a sys­tem where any­one with the skills to pro­gram a mobile game could design con­tent for the game show.

We hope this is going to hap­pen, The Future Group def­i­nite­ly comes out of nowhere and has some pow­er­ful media ideas, but as you know imple­men­ta­tion is every­thing. The truth of the mat­ter is every­one in the indus­try should have the heads in the same kind of think­ing. Cre­at­ing ways to get more immer­sion of cus­tomers through rich involve­ment and the tech can help with that.

Art cour­tesy of Kun­dar Leement

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