- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two New Orleans-based firms have partnered together to capture some of the city’s most popular events and venues using virtual reality technology.

R&D; Design, a marketing agency, has teamed up with Joieful - an online platform that provides information about various attractions and allows users to book experiences - to produce 360 degree virtual reality video content in a new program called Project NOLA VR.

David Holtman, co-founder and managing director of R&D; Design, said Joieful is a platform where someone can book various venues, restaurants, attractions and events.

“They asked us to capture their tours, capture their different venues they represent using VR,” he said. “If someone wants to book a venue, they are able to have a 360 degree experience of what it’s like to dine there or party there.”

Holtman said it’s an innovative way of engaging potential customers and showing them what the experience is going to be like before they go on the tour.

Most recently, the two firms partnered to produce high-quality video of all the major Mardi Gras parades this season.

In less than a day, 360 degree video footage of the Krewe of Endymion parade nabbed more than 11,000 views on their Facebook page, and to date, has more than 15,000 views. Holtman said they used six GoPro cameras and a camera rig to capture the 360 view of the parade.

“Our intention is to capture as many events as possible,” Holtman said. “We’re applying for press passes for every major event and festival that is happening in New Orleans.”

Holtman said 360 degree video allows people to immerse themselves in a scene rather than just viewing a video online.

With the popularity of VR growing, Holtman said the opportunities are endless with this technology.

“With such influx of interest and entertainment from the public, it wouldn’t be surprising if 360 degree virtual reality video content is the next big thing in branded content provision,” Holtman said.

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