Monday, August 01, 2016

Mr. Robot VR

There was a recent VR video marketing campaign for the TV show Mr. Robot, from the USA Network, that I thought was interesting. I have never seen the show, but wanted to try this out since it was a somewhat unique campaign in VR in that the content would only be available during a limited time window. Here is a quick summary.

It was Thursday 21-July 10:45am PT. You needed to install the Within app, (I'm using an iPhone 6S with a Google Cardboard style case.) In there was  a tile for the Mr. Robot episode. From there you could preload the data the day before, a 1.1GB download. There was a countdown until 10:45am PT.

At that time I got a push notification on my phone that the episode was available to watch. Open the app, click the Mr Robot tile and you could see a 30 min countdown, which I assume was the only time could could actually launch the show.

So I watched it. Took about 10 mins. As I said I've not see the show, so I had no context, but it was kinda interesting. You are placed pretty close to the characters, they move around the scene a bit. I was sat in a swivel chair so I was able to follow them around me the few times they walked behind but that wasn't strictly necessary. They typically stayed within the main FOV in front of you, but your attention was drawn to the sides to some degree, (e.g. door knocking, light flashing, etc.)

Once it was done I was back at the Within home screen briefly, but the app appeared to crash. I reopened, click Mr. Robot again and was told the episode has self destructed. So not just a timed experience, but a 1 time per device experience it seems, (although I wonder if I could quickly delete and reinstall the app to get a new IDFV and get around it, since I've not setup any kind of account with Within.)

I wasn't sure if it had cleared the data off my phone, but checking my storage space usage for the Within app it looks like it did.

Note that this content may be coming back and not so limited after all...

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