Rendever Blog

Surprise! There is more to VR than 360° videos!

“How many videos do you have on your platform, and can you share them all with me, so we can see what is possible?”

This is a frequently asked question we hear during initial calls with prospective partners. There is a common misconception that the only (or primary) way to use virtual reality is to watch 360° videos. But the truth is… video-based experiences are only a fraction of what a well-designed and engaging virtual reality platform offers. 

Don’t get us wrong – we love video-based experiences! In fact, we have a team dedicated to producing and publishing new video experiences weekly. But below, we’ll outline why they’re not the only way to use a virtual reality platform. 

Start with static 360° imagery

VR can be an intimidating technology. It’s not uncommon for senior living residents to show signs of skepticism or hesitation when the headsets first come out of the box. Our Community Engagement team will tell you from experience: slow and steady wins the race! Show residents the tablet view (either directly on the tablet or cast the tablet screen to a larger TV in the room) so they can preview the image before diving into the headset view. When they’re ready to try the headset, start with static images to help establish a level of comfort. Then build your way up to those epic skydiving and race car driving video experiences! 

Personalize the experience 

Get residents invested in the experience by making it personal to them. Where are they from? What was their profession? Do they have hobbies or passions that you know of? One of the first experiences we recommend to Rendever communities is a visit to one’s hometown, using our Search feature. Simply type in an address or a town and be transported to the familiar scenes of home. An experience like this stimulates both emotional connection and meaningful conversation. 

Brian Geyser, Maplewood Senior Living’s Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Population Health, states it best in this interview with HealthTech Magazine. Geyser says, “We have residents who are just shocked they can see the house they grew up in. They’re pointing to their bedroom window and telling stories about a tree — there used to be a fort up there, and so on. It just brings this flood of memories back.” 

If you rely solely on video-based experiences, opportunities like the one Geyser described above would not be possible without extensive planning and substantial additional costs associated with sending a film crew to a specific location to create a very specific experience. With Rendever, we can make this type of experience happen in a matter of seconds. 

Audio versus discussion

Many of our video-based experiences have narration, environmental sounds, or background music. The audio component can really elevate and add to the experience – however, we always recommend leading a discussion usings prompts provided throughout the video so that residents can connect more deeply. 

One of the benefits to non-video experiences is that without the audio component, staff are able to leverage the trivia and discussion questions built into the platform – and residents may be more likely to talk about what they’re seeing and how they’re feeling when there isn’t an audio track playing through their headsets.

We are NOT Netflix

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Some other VR providers out there will compare themselves to Netflix. Let us be clear: we do not. We offer so much more than a single library of videos. In fact, in the years we’ve been in business, our clients have hosted nearly 15,000 sessions, spent a collective 2+ years in VR, and only about 25% of those experiences were video-based

Our platform is designed to deliver experiences instead of content. If residents passively watch a video and then leave the room, we haven’t achieved our mission. While there’s so much that can be done with video (there’s a reason it’s such a global media focus!), the connection that people make during and after the shared experience is even more amazing and exciting!

Mix it up! 

We publish new experiences to the platform every single week. One of the ways we go above and beyond in helping staff is through creating weekly session guides. Each session guide is centered around a theme and includes suggestions for activity guides, interactive applications, videos, search locations, post-session activities, and more. The best sessions include a balance of different features, so we always encourage staff to mix it up and try not to rely on just one feature. 

So what is our response to the age old question: “How many videos do you have on your platform?” 

Well, we have hundreds – quite possibly *the largest* library of 360° videos in the industry – covering a hugely diverse range of categories and topics. But if you think a list of our video-based experiences will show you everything that is possible with Rendever, then we’d better schedule a demo so that you can really see for yourself! 

We often say that the only limit to the capabilities of our platform is our imagination. If you’re interested in learning more about the various aspects of Rendever’s platform, click here to set up a short tablet demonstration.

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