VIRTUAL ADS IN-GAME, IN-VIDEO
Swing Ads, still under development, is Minkonet's new VR ad service. It allows advertisers to place interactive, virtual ads on the 360-degree video being streamed live.
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The ads are "native object" ads: Virtual ads are placed on the virtual game environment itself. For instance, if there is a virtual vending machine, a Coca Cola add will be placed as a poster on that machine itself. The ads are not shown to the gamers but only to viewers watching the game with Swing.
The ads can be virtual objects themselves or even video-within-the-game or game-within-the-game; in other words, more interactive than simple product placement. This will allow, later when commercialised, for game developers to sell their in-game items as virtual objects. Viewers can find out more about the ad by looking at them for over 0.5 seconds, after which the specific details of the service or product on display will be shown -- not a pop-up screen but a screen configured for the game's virtual environment.
"Swing Ads was a natural successor service to Swing and Swing 360. We thought deeply about how to make the VR viewing experience even more immersive and more importantly, profitable," said Kim. "Our ads are native objects within the game -- that enhances viewing experience and gives incentives for game makers and sponsors as well."
Minkonet can also place in-game ads, not just-video ads -- the ads will be seen by the gamers during game play, not just viewers watching the live-stream. But Minkonet opted to just apply the technology to the replay for the gamers to concentrate.
Nine patents on VR technology are pending in the US and three of them are technologies related to Swing Ads. One of the patents is on reducing the "dizziness" that is a major complaint in current VR use. In South Korea, four patents are already registered and 10 are pending.
Minkonet showcased its 360 VR live-streaming at the GDC Europe 2016 last month. It plans to unveil Swing Ads to the world at Unite LA in November and GDC 2017 in San Francisco.