Video Technologies to look out for in 2017 (and beyond)

The trend for brands to create content designed to be sought and not pushed to people’s televisions and devices, is creating a golden age for content. Video technology has progressed in leaps and bounds in this time as well. Partly this has been fuelled by rapid increases in mobile and fixed internet speeds along with the almost universal adoption of smartphones in developed countries.

With the digital infrastructure and actual content starting to play catch up with technologies (4K and augmented reality are two cases in point here) 2017 is shaping up to be a golden year for video technologies.

Here we look at five important trends in video technology and ask what it means for consumers.



Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) was first conceived of as a gaming platform, but, now that many of the early adopters have taken it on board, it will be interesting to see how it evolves into something outside the gaming marketing (or if it can). In 2017 we’re starting to see an increase in investment in VR as tech companies are set their sites on their target markets by either launching more accessible and affordable systems that work with smartphones such as Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Daydream, or higher quality tethered systems like Facebook’s Oculus Rift or HTC’s Vive.

Currently, the majority of VR-enabled games are developed on low budgets by smaller software companies and are aimed at hardcore gamers who have taken the technology on board. In order for these systems to enter the mainstream, they need to be seen as more of a benefit to popular gaming titles, rather than just a nice accessory.

As an immersive experience VR also has many practical benefits, including as a tool in the classroom, giving students the opportunity to explore a range of events and activities from their desk. It’s also being used as a way for doctors to assess patients without them having to leave the house, or in remote parts of the world where patients cannot easily attend a surgery or clinic. From a marketing perspective it has huge potential in the leisure, hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as the more obvious applications in the music and events industries.


Augmented Reality

It’s tempting to see augmented Reality (AR) as VRlite but that is to sell short it’s advantages over complete virtual reality.In 2017 we are already seeing the technology start to take off, as big name manufacturers launch their latest gadgets. New AR headsets, including Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap, will provide consumers with a new and more immersive way of using the technology.

Perhaps the breakthrough moment for AR though was the launch of Pokémon Go, which made video marketing agencies across the world sit up and ponder the possibilities of a literal digital breadcrumb trail.Whilst more simplistic, Snapchat’s meteoric rise continues with users showing no discernible signs of growing bored with ways to make their faces look funny. Suffice to say the marketing potential here is huge but largely untapped at present.

In the retail and real estate sectors, the technology has huge potential, allowing customers to see exactly what they look like in a piece of clothing or browse their new home in a totally virtual environment.



360° Video

The addition of 360° video to a brand’s social media content is a fantastic way for them to engage more with their users. For instance, by integrating Facebook 360 content, a company can provide consumers with a point of view from which they can control what they look at and when, with the use of the browser’s controls or a VR headset.

Google has recently carried out some trials to show the marketing potential of 360° videos, providing brands with evidence of higher click-through rates, as well as an increase in subscriptions, shares and views. The immediacy and uniqueness of the videos encourage more users to share the content, opening up the potential audience even further.

These videos can be adopted by brands in various ways. They enable them to put the viewer into a certain environment, which can evoke empathy and create a feeling of realism, and they also give the content a game-like appearance, through the use of movement and perspective.



Live Video

One of the most popular forms of live video content is Facebook Live, which offers significant advantages for marketers. Following its introduction in 2016, this technology is expected to have a greater influence this year, as it’s increasingly used to engage with audiences in real time. You can expect stiff competition from the likes of Twitter’s Periscope, of course, as the battle to dominate social media video heats up.

Pre-recorded videos still have a place in a marketing strategy, but with live content, consumers get to see a more authentic view that hasn’t been highly edited. Data from Forrester Research shows that a brand will get three times the level of engagement from a live video, compared to a pre-recorded one, and by 2020, 82% of global internet traffic will consist of videos.

As more and more consumers get their news and information through social media channels, brands are having to adapt how they publicise this and the forms of media that they’re using. In the future, we’ll see a greater use of live video content, including the introduction of dedicated video units to increase the amount of coverage and the speed at which publishers can get content out.



The Death of 3D TV and the rise of 4K

3D was first seen in the home in 2010, after it had been used successfully in cinemas. However, confusion over the different technologies, the need to wear compatible glasses and the cost of 3D systems have all contributed to a poorer than predicted uptake of the technology. The deathknell for the home 3D market was sounded by Samsung announced in 2016 it would no longer be building the tech into its new televisions.

In 2017 we’re seeing manufacturers continue to focus on resolution with Ultra HD4K the technology of the moment. With an increasing number of series and shows on Netflix now streaming in Ultra HD, the content is starting to catch up with the tech (which has been fairly ubiquitous on new telly’s for some time now). Expect the next big battle to be between how this tech is rendered – with TV giant Samsung preferring QLED and its Korean rival LG preferring Quantum Dot technology.

There will still be a small core of 3D fans that will stick with the tech of course and it’s likely that we’ll see the concept of the three dimensional moving image resurrected again in the future.

About the Author: Evelyn Timson is Managing Director at UK based video production and marketing agency Aspect Film and Video.She has worked with well known brands like Coca Cola, Samsung, Microsoft and the British Library and National Trust in the UK. You can connect with Aspect on Facebook or Twitter.orsee a selection of their award winning workon their YouTube Channel.