14 October 2016
Jean-Yves Chainon & Bertrand Pecquerie
VR in the newsroom: Don’t wait too long, don’t spend too much
If there were remaining doubts as to the potential use of virtual reality and immersive journalism to augment the quality of traditional reporting, this year has quashed these doubts: whether it was the extensive use of 360 video to cover the Rio 2016 Olympics (see coverage from NBC, live 360 coverage through the BBC’s app, or in this 360 video by Immersiv.ly) or the Guardian’s 6x9 VR project, which placed the user in a jail cell to hear inmates’ stories, or Google’s Brexit data visualisation — there have been more than enough examples to prove the journalistic potential of VR. Undoubtedly, the news industry is tackling VR head-on.
According to Juniper Research, VR hardware sales will jump from $5 billion in 2016 to $50 billion in 2021, a tenfold increase in just five years. A few weeks ago, Oculus Rift announced a $500 million plan for content.
Nevertheless, there are some “buts”.