News platforms, whether in print or televised form have been experimenting with virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video, to deliver engaging immersive content that they hope should draw more viewers to the technology and their own brands. ABC News partnered with VR production company Jaunt for Inside North Korea VR, and The New York Times collaborated with Google to give out free Cardboard head-mounted displays (HMDs) to coincide with the launch of the NYT VR app. Now Russian news network RT has announced the launch of its own VR app, RT360 on Android and iOS.
The RT360 app features 360-degree videos and news articles, like mini-documentary Donbass 360: The Ravaged Heart of Europe, about Donetsk Airport, which has been destroyed by fighting in eastern Ukraine. Other 360-degree content on offer includes a selection of newscast airings from RT’s Moscow studios, footage of this year’s Victory Day parade in Red Square, and a panoramic tour of Moscow from AirPano.
“The 360-degree video, virtual reality format opens up new horizons for journalists. It shifts the perspective for the first time in the history of storytelling. Reporters and broadcasters can no longer simply tell the viewer which way to look by pointing the camera in their chosen direction. Now, we can bring the audience to the center of the story,” said RT’s Director of Marketing and Strategic Development Alina
Mikhaleva in a statement. “The virtual reality technology will hit the market in earnest next year, and we are very happy that RT is one of the world’s pioneers in producing news content in such an innovative format.”
The RT360 videos can be viewed with or without VR headsets like the Google Cardboard. RT’s content can also be found on the networks YouTube channel and Facebook page.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest VR news from around the world as announcements are made.