The Future is Now: Experience Virtual Reality Content

Trappe Digital LLC may earn commission from product clicks and purchases. Rest assured, opinions are mine or of the article’s author.

Virtual reality video and content consumption is still new for consumers and brands. Not everyone has a headset and even the people that do still need to look for videos worth watching and experiences worth consuming.

This article discusses how to consume VR content, find good content and dives into the overarching issues with VR content as well as how brands can tell VR stories now.

What is virtual reality content?

Virtual reality content is presented to you through a virtual reality headset. It’s highly immersive and you feel like you’re in the situation. A lot of this type of content happens in gaming currently, but it’s also used in training for police officers and some people consume virtual reality content. Personally, I see a huge opportunity for football games to be streamed in virtual reality. You can also watch some shows in virtual reality on Netflix.

Read next: VR Sync: The Next Best Way to Watch Virtual Reality Together!

How to use a virtual reality headset

Headsets come at a range of prices and most work easily with your iPhone or other smartphone. You simply insert the phone into the headset and start the video.

To start a video once it’s loaded, you simply move “the mouse” on the screen by moving your head into the spot where you want the mouse. It takes some getting used to but it works. VR content creator Parker Howell said headsets will become better and better – and that includes comfortability.

Options for VR headsets

Here are just a few options of headsets.

The Meta Quest.

The meta quest

VR Headset for Nintendo Switch

vr for Nintendo switch

Many VR headsets can be combined with your phones.

Vr headset for phone

At conferences, events, or any other gathering where a group of people is together, you can also use a service like VR Sync, which allows everyone to watch the same content at the same time – together. 

VR at conferences

Of course, there is way more types of virtual reality, headsets that you can look through.

How brands can produce virtual reality videos

Of course, somebody has to produce the videos for people to watch. That’s where brands come in. Buy a camera or hire a firm like Parker’s.

The sky is the limit for creativity so to speak:

  • Shoot a tour of your warehouse
  • The office
  • An interesting home office
  • The trail
  • A construction site – if you have legal access
  • Really anything that is visual and around you.

Buy a virtual reality camera


How to stand out with VR video

Virtual reality video is still fairly new, so I can give brands that produce this type of content a chance to stand out.

Here are some tips on how to brands can stand out with virtual reality video especially now as they’re still few people producing them:

  • Make sure your video uploads clearly state that the video is virtual reality.
  • Shoot something unique. Tell a story that others haven’t told yet.
  • Make sure to share across all relevant channels and explain to people how to watch it. I, for example, had no idea how to even get a headset or how to use it before it was explained to me.

It also helps to find visual stories. People talking at a table probably isn’t the best example.

How to find virtual reality videos to watch?

I discuss this at more length below, but the YouTube smartphone app seems to a front runner here. Download that.

Then search for “virtual reality.” Or “roller coaster virtual reality.” Or whatever topic you want to watch. I also share some videos I’ve enjoyed below.

My first experience with consuming VR

I’ve joked: Virtual reality to avoid actual reality.

And while that was a bit of a jab it’s true. Virtual reality when done well can demand 100 percent of concurrent content consumption attention. Does that still exist today? Rarely for me – except maybe in a movie theater where they kick me out if they see my phone screen on.

While I consider myself somewhat of an early adopter, sometimes I ignore some new tech longer than a true early adopter would. That was the case with virtual reality.

I’ve seen the headsets including in the British Airways Lounge at London Heathrow. A few times even. I ignored them. I was busy watching airplanes or trying some beverages.

And then on a layover I ended up sitting right next to them so asked to get a demo. Here’s how that looked:

“The mouse is in your head. Look to what you want to watch and then click right.”


Yup, the mouse moves by my eyes and head moving.

They showed me a space craft story from the point of view of the astronaut. Kind of cool to look around, but something like that wouldn’t keep my undivided attention for longer than it did.

Was my carry-on still nearby?

Who was walking by?

Were they giving me looks?

What time is it?

Did I get any notifications on my phone?

LOL. You get the idea.

I like the concept but also quickly posted on Facebook that I don’t like how disconnected it makes you from things around you. You can still hear and I was slightly wondering why there were no headphones? Some headsets have built in headphones and you can also use your iPhone, which is the device that actually streams the footage anyway. I assume AirPods work too.

Either way, my initial criticism also might turn out to be the technology’s biggest strength. If we can get people to keep them on and watch our content, we basically have their attention. You literally can’t look at anything else. No second or third screen thing with virtual reality!

Of course it again comes back to creating content people actually want to consume!

We’ll see how it all evolves, but my guess is most consumers won’t keep it on for an overabundance of ads. Maybe it’ll push us all to do even better storytelling.

Since it’s still a new channel there certainly is a chance for early-entrance storytelling companies to set the pace and see what works.

How do you share a virtual reality headset? “Let me see, dad!”

VR guru and friend Cathy Hackl offered to send me my first basic VR headset. Along with her book on the topic.

The headset was a hit around the house, to say the least. “Dad, can I see?”

And then the headset gets passed around from me to the five-year-old, to the 12-year-old and then usually back to the five-year-old. And if I’m lucky I get it back when the video is just about to be over.

One way to share VR experiences is to use a service like VR-Sync, which rents out VR headsets to groups.

I love the concept of virtual reality and how it can really improve video storytelling. Well-done virtual reality videos are fantastic to watch and they really do offer a surrounding experience. For example, this video of a parachute jump is just fantastic to watch.

YouTuber Sara Dietschy really has outdone herself shooting and publishing the video. And people are watching – almost 6 million as of this writing. Of course, hats off for even considering jumping out of a plane and then doing it.

This is one of the videos that I could barely watch because the girls wanted to see it and were super excited to see how realistic and amazing the footage was. I agree – from the few seconds I was allowed to watch.

In case you haven’t tried, watching a virtual reality video through the headset basically allows you to feel like you’re in the video. So you look to the left and you can see what’s on the left. You look to the right and you see what’s on the right. You look up and see what’s up.

YouTube allows you to actually watch all videos in virtual reality mode, even if they weren’t shot in VR. Really quickly, here’s how you do that. Once in the video click on the three buttons on the top right of the video and then that will bring up this menu at the bottom, where you can click to view it in virtual reality-in this case called Cardboard – which is the name of the Google headset.

So when done well virtual reality videos are fantastic and given there are so few out there it’s really a differentiator.

So far, I’m on track to be a huge fan of virtual reality video storytelling. But there are some disadvantages and downfalls:

  • How can you watch something together as a group?
  • There just aren’t enough videos out there yet. For example, my 12-year-old and I were heading to Europe and we were discussing whether or not we should take the headset. And I’m not so sure I can even download enough videos on my iPhone to justify carrying the headset with us. But if there were enough videos I certainly would.
  • It’s still kind of hard to use.

But overall this should be a great tool for even better storytelling in the times to come.

There probably will be more apps and videos using VR over the near future. The Google Street View app on iPhone is already in the game. You can view streets in VR:

I also see potential with virtual reality for NFL games. Take the overhead sky cam view for example:

Wouldn’t it be awesome if this view was in virtual reality and you could watch the game totally immersed through a virtual reality headset? Of course, I have no idea how difficult that would be to produce but from a consumer perspective it sounds amazing.

The camera attached to referees is another way in that direction.


Virtual reality content  is still in its infancy, and the opportunities for brands are endless. Especially for brands that have visual things to show virtual reality content can be a differentiator.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Listen to my podcast