Virtual Reality with Purpose | Adobe blog
Jonathan Powell and Brian Mahoney’s backgrounds in the game industry brought them together, but it was a fascination with virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video that solidified their relationship. They formed their VR production company, Look On Media, less than a year ago with a focus on creating solutions for education, healthcare, and business.
Adobe Creative Cloud is an important part of their pipeline, helping them deliver high-quality projects. From the Baltimore Waterfront Future 360 virtual tour to VR stress relief rooms for people undergoing medical procedures to a 360 tour of the Bithenergy Solar Farm, Look On media creates professional 360 video and 3D VR environments that connect with audiences.
Adobe: What is your focus at Look On Media?
Powell: Our main focus is creating VR experiences for education, healthcare, and business. It’s a space in VR where others aren’t necessarily looking right now, but that we find fascinating.
Mahoney: Most VR applications are for gaming or traveling to amazing locations. There aren’t a lot of applications that deliver real value, such as helping people know what to expect when they get an MRI or giving investors a virtual tour of a production pipeline, so it seemed like a no-brainer to create experiences that help viewers accomplish more tangible goals.
Adobe: Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on.
Mahoney: In the healthcare space, we worked with Johns Hopkins to create a 3D relaxation room to help relieve stress and anxiety in kids undergoing medical procedures. The virtual room creates a safe space with calming music and soothing visuals. In one room, viewers can look around and explore the natural and supernatural elements and in another they can enjoy an awesome beach scene with a pirate boat that rolls through. We’ve also done some prototyping of the same application for Chimes, an organization that helps people with disabilities and special needs.
Powell: For Bithenergy, a leading renewable energy company, we used VR to take people on a tour of the 10MW solar facility at Nixon Farm in Howard County, Maryland. Viewers “drive” in the front gate and are greeted with rows of solar panels in place of crops. The 360 video and VR experience lets them explore the panels from various angles and vantage points and includes captions that provide interesting information on the solar project.
Another project we have in process is with Ray Lewis, the former Baltimore Ravens player. He’s the vice president and cofounder of a nonprofit in Baltimore called Power52 that teaches underserved communities how to build solar farms on abandoned lots and then benefit from the resulting power credit. It’s creating jobs, creating education, and giving people this really great power discount.
We’re also creating an interactive virtual museum with Light City Baltimore and Project Mosul, now called Rekrei, for artifacts that have been lost to conflict, time, or otherwise. Using photogrammetry from crowd-sourced photos of pieces before they were destroyed, Rekrei is creating 3D models that we’re incorporating into a VR museum so people can interact with the artifacts and see them to scale. It’s a really powerful tool for preserving cultural heritage and creating a conversation around the destruction of important cultural art pieces.