It wasn’t too long ago now that cinematic virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt released its first 360 degree video to the public, showcasing a live performance from Sir Paul McCartney on the Android operating system (OS) with support for the Google Cardboard smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD). The company has kept busy since then, bringing the same experience to the Oculus Rift PC HMD and releasing another VR concert experience, this time from Jack White. And it’s not stopping there; three other new Cardboard-based experiences are now available from the company.
Highlighting the new releases is the public launch of The Hobbit VR Experience, which was first revealed at the premiere for the latest movie in the franchise, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Using a Cardboard, viewers can step into the fictional world of Middle-earth and follow Ian McKellen’s Gandalf through the Shire as he sets off various fireworks, similar to how the character was first introduced in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. This marks the first movie-based release for Jaunt.
Also available are two more music apps. The first is titled ELLE: Jacquie Lee Photo Shoot, taking viewers behind the scenes of a fashion photo shoot starring rising pop star Jacquie Lee, runner up for NBC’s The Voice. The other experience is a new VR concert app starring R5, another rising pop star group from Hollywood Records. The app showcases a performance of ‘Heart Made Up on You’, as recorded at MSR Studios in New York City.
All of these apps, including Jaunt’s previous releases, can be found in the new Cardboard-dedicated section of the Google Play Store and are all free to download. Jaunt’s increased emphasis on mobile-based VR makes sense given that Google this week revealed that over 500,000 Cardboard HMDs have been shipped and used across the world. The device has quickly shifted from an interesting experiment into a more serious proposition, then.
VRFocus will continue to follow Jaunt’s work in VR, reporting back with any further releases and updates.