Amazing new technologies provide creative storytellers and experience designers with opportunities to remix well established modes of interactive digital entertainment in fresh and exciting new ways.
One such example is the 8K 360 degree time-lapse of the Dubai International Airport that was created by the team at dubai360.com and uploaded to YouTube on June 11, 2015.
This is the world’s first interactive video that enables viewers to explore the world’s busiest international airport in amazingly high resolution as planes zip to and from the terminals and across the skies. A total of 88,000 individual shots were used to create four time-lapse videos that the viewer can pan and tilt through using a widget in the upper left corner of the YouTube player.
This is the kind of experience that could only have been dreamed about in the early days of the Internet when downloading a low resolution and heavily compressed 30-second trailer for movies like “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace” could take up to 30 minutes on a broadband connection.
Video technology and download speeds have evolved dramatically over the past 16 years. Today, the best digital video format available is 8K Ultra HD (as demonstrated in this 360 Dubai video). It is roughly 16 times the pixel resolution of Full HD (1080p) and is comparable to the visual quality of an IMAX film.
Most modern televisions and advanced computer displays are unable to show off the astonishing 7,680 × 4,320 pixel resolution offered by 8K Ultra HD. Consider that even the best stand alone display offered by Apple, the 27″ Thunderbolt Display, has a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1440 pixels.
By today’s standards, this time-lapse of the Dubai Airport is amazing. But, just imagine how this technology will be used in the next five to ten years by masterful storytellers, producers of special-effect-driven feature films, and designers of interactive video games. The next wave of digital technology can’t get here fast enough!