The BBC has already dabbled with virtual reality (VR) technology. The group’s first experiment was War of Words, a mobile app that presented a VR visualisation of a poem from Siegfried Sassoon. Last year also saw it partner with REWIND Studio for a 360 degree experience based on its popular dance-based reality show, Strictly Come Dancing. Today, however, the BBC is announcing its first major VR project. The group is working on a VR documentary that will be released later this year for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR head-mounted displays (HMDs).
That documentary is currently named Easter Rising: Voice Of A Rebel, and is part of the BBC’s efforts to mark the 100th anniversary of the historic insurrection in Ireland over Easter Weekend in 1916. Viewers will be transported to the streets of Dublin and follow in the steps of Willie McNieve, a 19 year-old that made a stand against the British during the event. McNieve’s own account of the event was recorded and then rediscovered years later, allowing for an accurate recreation of that weekend. The BBC also describes the piece as an ‘artistic journey’.
Easter Rising: Voice Of A Rebel is being created by BBC iWonder with the help of London-based production company, Crossover Labs, and VRTOV’s Oscar Raby. A 2D video version of the documentary will also be available later on in the year. The BBC has also promised more interactive documentaries to come, but hasn’t mentioned if these will also utilise VR technology.
For the latest on the BBC’s work in VR, check back with VRFocus.