Idaho Tourism has ventured into the world of virtual reality, teaming up with 360 Immersive, LLC of Boise to offer viewers a chance to virtual-experience a variety of the state’s most popular summer outdoor recreation activities.
The first installment of videos includes:
• Rafting the Payette – A family-friendly float trip.
• Snake River Canyon Experience – Paddleboarding to Shoshone Falls, zip-lining in the Snake River Canyon, and BASE jumping.
• Boise Summer Experience – Floating the Boise River, Zoo Boise, Capital City Public Market, biking the greenbelt, and boating at Lucky Peak.
• North Fork Championship – Whitewater kayak competition and fan experience.
• Adrenaline Rush – A compilation of high energy, heart racing summer activities.
“To our knowledge, Idaho is one of only three state tourism offices in the country who are using virtual reality experiences in their marketing efforts,” said Idaho Tourism manager Diane Norton. “We’re excited to be a part of this emerging technology, to give people who’ve never done these activities the opportunity to feel what it is like, and to let the world know that Idaho is an exciting place to visit.”
Using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, users can put themselves in the center of the action by moving their screen in 360 degrees (left, right, up, or down). Laptop and desktop users simply use a mouse to click and drag around the video. Adding an inexpensive VR viewer such as Google Cardboard or Gear VR head-mounted display gives users a more immersive VR experience.
“We created these VR experiences to allow people to take control, and see for themselves what makes Idaho a great place to visit,” said 360 Immersive CEO Jennifer Lastra. “VR is a new medium of storytelling that will transform human experiences, along with numerous industries in the tourism, consumer goods, and health care sectors.”
Idaho Tourism will incorporate these VR videos into its marketing efforts via social media, with a focus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. After analyzing the results of this southern Idaho launch, Idaho Tourism offocials say they will consider expanding the VR experiences to include seasonal activities and activities in other regions of the state.
All of Idaho Tourism’s VR 360 immersive videos are available on Visit Idaho’s YouTube Channel, Visit Idaho’s Facebook page and on www.visitidaho.org.