BBC Earth, the arm of BBC Worldwide which produced the recent Planet Earth II series has revealed a new partnership with Oculus, bringing three virtual reality (VR) experiences to Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
The VR experiences will feature three very distinct animals, a Caracal Cat, an Oogpister Beetle and Black Bears. This will be BBC Worldwide’s first foray into 360-degree storytelling, with the first being Cat Flight, which integrates computer generated imagery (CGI) with 360-degree video. Viewers will be see how the Caracal Cat survives in the wild, being able to freeze the Caracal mid-jump and adjust the zoom so that users can get up close and personal.
For the second experience, Oogie, BBC Earth created an interactive CGI game featuring the Oogpister Beetle as it scurries through the African Savannah. Based on real life footage, players become the beetle and encounter the daily challenges of this creature. Users need to guide the beetle to safety, avoiding hazards, obstacles, and deadly predators in a world where leaves are the size of buildings and tree trunks the size of cranes.
Finally there’s, ‘Bear Island’, an interactive 360-degree video following Black Bears on a journey to the banks of an Alaskan river. The footage will feature multiple perspectives so that viewers will be able to explore the parallel storylines how they like.
Julia Kenyon, Global Brands Director for BBC Worldwide said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Oculus to give audiences a completely different insight into the natural world. By allowing users to immerse themselves in the environments of these three animals, we are hoping to bring people rich and unforgettable adventures different from any traditional natural history series.’’
All three experiences will be released separately on Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR platforms this month, available free to download for the first three months.
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