A Use of the Oculus Rift: Journalism

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Harvest of Change

This past September, The Des Moines Register developed a news feature on a farming family in Iowa, on how the industry is changing.  Recorded with 360-degree video, it is an innovative and excellent use of the Oculus Rift and the promise of virtual reality.

Unlike in traditional video, while the family head makes remarks VR allows a glance at the rest of the family's joyful reactions.

Unlike in traditional video, while focus is on the family head making remarks, VR allows a glance at the rest of the family’s joyful expressions.

What is beneficial about the medium is because it is immersive, the experience brings out a very personal view of the subjects, and the “news story” carries a lot of empathy. I don’t think that it feels this way simply because it is different from our regular 2D video experiences, but I suspect it is because the ability to look around demands that you must physically direct your attention. In addition to that, being able to look around for additional context can be very enriching as well.

It’s intended to be used with the Oculus Rift, but you can still view the feature on their website with a browser plugin from Unity, or download a package and view it WASD/mouse game-style on a computer.

Lol, where is Johnny off to?

Lol, where is Johnny off to?