Isobar Weekly Inspiration: Issue 4

Facebook is testing 360-degree videos for news feed

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During the last Facebook F8 Developers Conference help on March 25th in San Francisco, the company announced the launch of “spherical videos” – videos that allow you to move around inside the video and view it from different angles. The aim is to get an immersive, 360-degree video experience into your Facebook News Feed.

The launch is a small taste of how Facebook plans to move into the world of virtual reality. Spherical videos are a first step towards even more immersive experiences through Oculus Rift.

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MyHealthPal – designed by a patient for other patients

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MyHealthPal is a unique analytics platform that enables people with long-term health conditions to manage their wellbeing. It was founded by Mike Barlow, a tech entrepreneur who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease aged 41. Having discovered there was no effective way to manage and measure the effectiveness of his medication, track symptoms, log mood, diet, exercise and other metrics and their impact on his quality of life Barlow, then created MyHealthPal which works by gathering the patients day to day data points into an easily monitored dashboard. It is unique in that it has been created by someone who really understands the condition and what users will need from the platform.

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To read more about the app click here.

 

Virtual reality headset lets potential buyers explore multiple properties

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Launched in India, CommonFloor Retina is a virtual reality device that enables real-estate buyers to view VR videos of multiple potential properties from their living room.

CommonFloor Retina is a cardboard VR headset — part viewfinder, part Oculus Rift — which brings virtual reality real estate to the masses (a headset costs approximately $16). To begin, users insert their smartphone into the device with the CommonFloor app running. Then they simply hold it up to their eyes and become immersed in the representations of prospective properties. The user controls the view with their head actions, enabling them to move around each of the rooms of the house, giving them a better understanding of space, layout and ambience than 2D renderings can.

If you want to know more about CommonFloor Retina click here.

Key Observations

– Virtual reality is quickly taking off with companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft heavily investing in this realm (Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and HoloLens respectively). As they do, the future of Internet increasingly seems to be defined by augmented reality and the ability of digital to enhance what we see around us. By capitalising on this trend towards a more AR-lead digital world, Facebook is clearly making sure that it stays relevant in the not so distant future.
– The development and availability of wearables is running hand in hand with the exploding interest in the digital health space. People want to find new ways of interacting with brands especially when it comes to their health as they become increasingly more health conscious. The fact that MyHealthPal is created by a patient adds a layer of credibility to the whole application and is likely to guarantee cut through in a rapidly crowded marketplace.
– As brands continue to invest in virtual reality, immersive experiences along the different steps of the consumer journey (like the one CommonFloor Retina provides) are starting to become more common. Consumers expect smart, tailored and interactive content that facilitates the decision-making process.

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