New York Times teams with Google to release slate of virtual reality films

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

New York Times Gives Away One Million Virtual Reality Viewers for New App.

The New York Times will send one million virtual reality (VR) viewers to the subscribers of its print edition next month to promote its new NYT VR initiative. The app, which will be available for both iPhones and Android phones, will debut with a video about refugee children that was produced in conjunction with VR studio VRSE.

NYT VR’s first project is titled “The Displaced” and focuses on three children—across South Sudan, eastern Ukraine, and Syria—whose lives are “uprooted by war,” according to the Times. The Times will distribute a Google Cardboard VR headset to each of its more than one million print subscribers, and will collaborate with the search giant on a series of documentary films to be presented in virtual reality. As the name indicates, it’s a piece of cardboard that can be folded into a pair of goggles, into which a user can insert an iPhone or Android phone.

The Guardian notes that other newspapers in the U.S. and Europe have tried to embellish their storytelling with virtual reality, but that “the cost of devices made by companies such as Oculus” has made it difficult to do so. By delivering cheap headsets to its subscribers, the Times is ensuring that interested parties can check out its new content with no hassle—and that those who don’t receive a Cardboard headset can feasibly purchase or make one if they so desire.

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