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War of Words Dev: VR poetry a ‘wonderful and an unexpected surprise’, Teases ‘more’

Last week saw the unexpected but entirely welcome launch of War of Words VR, a new virtual reality (VR) Android app from the BBC and digital design and direction agency BDH. The app visualises The Kiss, a poem from World War 1 solider and poet Siegfried Sassoon and was created as a companion to the BBC Two programme War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme and to commemorate the ongoing 100th anniversary of the war. It was a pleasant surprise to see the companies using VR in this way, and BDH has teased that there’s more to come.

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Speaking to VRFocus in an interview that will be published in full later this week BDH’s John Durrant talked about the future of BBC and VR. “It’s the first VR app for a BBC project,” Durrant revealed. “They are obviously very interested in making more. It’s been a wonderful and an unexpected surprise what VR brings to poetry. Poems are a compression of written emotion if you like? In a way they are an old-form of new, short-form media – a literary Youtube clip if you like? The team at BDH are very excited by the unexpected use of the VR technology for immersive events and we’re working on more surprises.”

For now War of Words VR can be downloaded for free and viewed on an Android smartphone using certain smartphone-based head-mounted displays (HMD) such as Google Cardboard. The developer anticipates launching an iOS version of the app in the near future. Following its release another high-profile Android VR app has launched in the form of a 360 degree video of Sir Paul McCartney performing in San Francisco as filmed by cinematic VR company, Jaunt. It certainly seems as if VR projects are set to thrive on mobile devices, then.

Check back later in the week for VRFocus‘ full interview with Durrant on War of Words VR.