Gannett’s Subsequent Oculus Rift Experiment Takes You Onto The Ski Slopes Of Vail

Gannett’s Next Oculus Rift Experiment Takes You Onto The Ski Slopes Of Vail

Final fall, Gannett unveiled its first try at journalism for the Oculus RiftHarvest of Change, a collection of tales within the Des Moines Register. Particularly, the collection used Oculus to offer readers a tour of the farm featured in one of many tales.

Now the media firm is launching its second experiment on this vein, this time taking viewers to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail, Colorado.

Steven Ahlberg, vice chairman of advert options and product administration at Gannett Digital, confirmed me the, ahem, “World Championships Snowboarding Digital Actuality Expertise” whereas on the Shopper Electronics Present at Las Vegas. As soon as you set the glasses on, you possibly can view time-lapse, 360-diploma footage of the mountain the place the championships will happen, and you may watch equally panoramic footage of skiers as they practice, speak, and hang around.

Ahlberg stated this represents an enormous step ahead from Harvest of Change. Most clearly, it includes movement, and fairly quick movement at that — the good a part of the expertise is nearly snowboarding down the hill, wanting left, proper, up, and down as you go.

Now, it might sound a bit of odd to be creating content material for a platform that also isn’t formally out there to shoppers but. (The variations of the Oculus Rift which were bought up to now are billed as developer kits.) Ahlberg acknowledged that there’s not an enormous viewers but, and that his workforce continues to be “proving this out as a medium.” Nevertheless, he stated that there’s a whole lot of distinctive storytelling potential right here, as a result of digital actuality may give individuals an unprecedented sense that they’re truly some other place, whether or not it’s wanting round a farm or whizzing down a hillside.

Ahlberg additionally pointed to the curiosity his workforce is getting from different journalists as an indication that this isn’t simply “area of interest, navel-gazing stuff.”

The present undertaking was created in partnership with Gannett’s native information channel, KUSA9, and with participation from the Vail Valley Basis, which places on the championships.

Requested whether or not creating this type of VR expertise requires a ton of additional work in comparison with a traditional information report, Ahlberg stated, “Sure and no.” He famous that his group has “templatized a variety of these things,” in order that it may be repeated extra shortly. He additionally stated the know-how (for instance the cameras’ functionality to sew collectively 360-diploma footage) is advancing shortly, even simply prior to now few months. Consequently, the place the Harvest of Change Challenge took “three to 4 months,” this one took 4 weeks.

In the event you’d wish to view the outcomes of that work, you’ll be able to take a look at the digital actuality expertise right here. And sure, there’s a 2D model for these of you who don’t personal an Oculus Rift.

Ahlberg already has some concepts about what comes subsequent, too. For one factor, he stated he’d love to do extra serialized content material, for instance following knowledgeable athlete as they undergo coaching. For an additional, he stated there are fascinating alternatives for promoting. In truth, there’s a model of the app displaying off one “advert idea” — a reproduction of downtown Vail that options an advertiser’s automobiles.