This Week: There’s been lots of coverage of the NYT VR app which launched last weekend (anyone can download it, you don’t need to be a NYT subscriber). Mark Thompson said, “The New York Times has been telling stories for 164 years. This feels like one of those grand moments where the way you tell stories has changed.”
Buzzfeed Studios are also trying out 360 – here’s a blog on their film on the aftermath of the Californian Valley fire. 6.2million people had watched it when I checked this morning.
Facebook have announced a number of improvements to better support 360 video/VR including iOS and Gear VR compatibility. They are making it easier for people to upload and share 360 content, and they are supporting 360 ads.
Samsung Gear VR headsets
The Gear VR is now available for pre-order in the US – they are expected to ship on 20 November.
Haptics that let you feel a punch – the Impacto armband.
Interesting VR content…
You can now take a virtual tour of the British Museum (in partnership with the Google Cultural Institue).
High end brand sponsored VR is pushing technical and creative boundaries. There’s an interesting behind the scenes video for Nike VR experience “The Neymar Jr. Effect” (produced by Digital Domain/Immersive Media)
At the Geveva International Film Festival I tried a prototype for an incredibly ambitious immersive installation - “Enemy” - exploring global conflict. You stand in a room between two life-like CG “enemies” - in this example an Israeli and a Palestinian. You can walk around, and they tell you about their motivations and their dreams for the future. It’s still a prototype, but the CG is really impressive, and a great demonstration of why CGI VR has so much more power than 360 video because of its interactive possibilities. It will be completed September 2017. French homepage.
On show in Geneva were several projects from a CERN sponsored VR hackathon to tell stories about science. “Difficult People” combined 360 video and spatial sound to recreate a POV experience of living with ADHD.
And Solfar Studios/RVX announced Everest VR. They claim to have created a definitive CGI model of Everest using advanced stereophotogrammetry techniques. But we’ll have to wait till 2016 to try it.
Zillah Watson, Editor, BBC R&D