Sky News has launched its first virtual reality news report. Migrants Crisis – The Whole Picture gives viewers a literal first person look at Europe’s refugee crisis.
With a Google Cardboard headset and the Jaunt app for iOS and Android, viewers will be able to turn their heads through 360 degrees of video footage captured in Greece by Sky News teams, using the new Jaunt One camera, an upgrade from the older Neo rig used to capture this Hobbit experience we got some eyes-on time with last year.
John McAndrew, director of news output for Sky News, said: “This new technology has enhanced our story telling, giving our viewers a deeper and richer visual experience. For the first time we can take viewers to the scene of a news story in a way that is more immersive than ever.
Related: Facebook will let you (and Beyoncé) produce your own VR content “The report gives viewers a unique perspective on the migration crisis. By taking them inside the tents where people are living and seeing what it’s like to stand on a crowded beach with possessions scattered along the shoreline, you get a new understanding of what is happening.”
It’s unconfirmed if Sky News is working on a Kay Burley filter which adds extra layer of sadness to people’s eyes.
This along with other Jaunt VR experiences, including ABC News’s Inside Syria feature can be accessed from Jaunt’s site. The content section of Jaunt’s site features a number of VR experiences that can be enjoyed on iOS and Android phones with a Cardboard headset or on Oculus Rift, for folks who’ve been lucky enough to snap up one of the development kits.
Sky has been investing in Jaunt since 2013 and the two companies have tested out 360 camera gear on a number of Sky original productions including Penny Dreadful, Fortitude and Got to Dance, as well as sports including motor racing and boxing.
It’s unclear if VR will be a feature of Sky Q, the new connected TV system unveiled by Sky yesterday. As all of the Sky Q set-top boxes can double as WiFi hotspots, they could theoretically be used to deliver live VR content straight to people’s eyeballs. At the moment, Sky and Jaunt are still exploring the possibilities of their partnership and haven’t announced whether they intend to work on a live VR service. But we can speculate all the same.