Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Interview with Bruno Sibella
What is "VR"? Virtual reality means near-reality and usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation. In more technical terms, Virtual Reality is a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment, which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. 4VR is focusing on a specific application of this technology, where we create interactive panoramas. These panoramas are 360-degree photos where we "hang" content that a user is able to interact with.
How did you get involved in VR and consequently with the company?
Together with my wife Izabel, we are co-founders of this business, that's how we've got involved. And we were brought into this because of our extensive professional experience in creating high-quality movies and photos. VR is base on 360-degree photos and videos, therefore it was almost a natural move for us to get to know better how to use the special cameras, capture the 360-degree content and, the hardest part, how to organize everything in an intuitive way.
How did the business start?
This group of 4 very special friends, myself included, came together sparked by the idea of starting an enterprise in Canadá. 3 of us were already living in Kitchener, and we have invited another friend who is currently living in the US but would also like to move in here. We complement each other and together we are a team that likes to collaborate to create something that is bigger than the sum of our individual abilities. At the end of the day, we are 4 families, co-founders, and respective spouses, all contributing to some level towards our endeavor. Of course, each has strengths and we focus a little in certain areas. As my background is shooting and producing all sorts of photos and videos, together with my wife Izabel, we are in the heart of creating VR content for our customers.
How have the businesses that you have contacted so far reacted to this innovative concept? What is the advantage for a business to use VR?
Initially, there's still a little bit of skepticism. There's a general common sense that VR is expensive, demands a lot of time to produce, costs a lot of money, and can only be experienced by someone with a proper VR device. None of this is correct. And here is where everybody gets excited because 4VR is making this amazing technology available to any business, whether small or large. 4VR makes it happen, even for businesses that are far behind in their digitization. In other words, 4VR helps businesses to perform their branding and go digital with their website.
What have been the challenges in starting a business in the VR industry?
We had to find the right tools to work with that would make the process easy and affordable. Also, we had to come up with our own platform to host the VR content we create. In fact, the need for our own platform sparked what we believe is the breakthrough, the innovation that will not only help to host the VR content but also offer a very special way to navigate and interact with. This navigation is under construction, but I can tell you that everybody will be thrilled with how intuitive our platform will be.
What is the process of producing a video from when a company hires you?
First, we discuss what is the major objective. In general, the client wants to show the business. We assess if our client has or needs to work in the business branding and website, as people will start visiting and seeing their image and would ideally make business through the website. Ideally, we try to visit the location or locations in advance, to plan ahead. Then, there's the shooting day, which is when we spend 1 or 2 hours making 360 videos and photos. After that, we will produce the Virtual Reality Tour, using 360 photos and videos, as well as other materials made available. We also develop a QRCode to make it easy to advertise the VR Tour.
In some of the videos, an "i" appears. Can you explain what people should do with it? Is this function part of the package they sign up for? Or is it extra?
Go for it! This "i" means there's something more there. Sometimes it is a photo, sometimes a video explaining a process or telling the history behind a product or its components. Most of the time, this "i" is there to call the users' attention to a speaker, someone that will explain something, like the user was there talking with a person.
Is there anything else you would like to add about VR?
Well, coming out of these different pandemic times, most of the businesses in our community are struggling to get back on their feet. We want to help them to reconnect with their old clients but also to gain new clients. Everybody is saying that now we are going to have a new normal. That seems to be true, but 4VR wants businesses everyone that wants to reinvent themselves to know we can make the new normal to be better.
On another note, your radio show is about to have its three year anniversary. Are there any plans to celebrate in this difficult time?
The Brazilian Show on CJIQ is becoming 3 years old. Different from last anniversaries this year we will not be able to gather the community physically together to celebrate. But we are preparing a special virtual show. We are planning to remember great moments from all this time we are doing the show on Saturdays broadcasted on CJIQ 88.3fm to Kitchener/Waterloo and southern Ontario region and also on Facebook and Youtube.
The challenge is to hold our hearts because we really wish to have everyone together at the park once more. We are thinking about something fun and include some music from our audience.
Thought out the show we reached people all around the world, we could bring joy and fun facts to many listeners and viewers. We could help members of the community in times of need, also we could speak about local community business. The "show" is a partnership between Portuguese speakers and us behind the microphones.
Now we are looking forward to our 4th year on the air. Always on Saturdays, making "the best Brazilian show of CJIQ".
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch @TheBrazilianShowOnCJIQ to receive news and dates of the event. See you there, online :)
Thank you so much for all your help Christian.
Please, let me know if I can help with anything else.