Virtual Reality and 360˚ video have already stepped into our lives and by now there are a couple of big players who are utilizing the power of this medium. The power of VR is mostly showing in Journalism because of its unique ability to tell powerful stories with an emphasis on translating emotion from the live field to the viewer. New York Times embraced it (VR) wholeheartedly, Huffington Post acquired RYOT, Time Magazine is in VR and lately, CNN announced a step into Virtual Reality reporting. Immersive Journalism seems to have a bright future.
But what about the other digital publishers? Virtual Reality is notorious for being complex and expensive to develop. But one Seattle-Slovenian startup has solved that issue. VIAR has been developing a VR digital publishing platform for about a year and a half. During the time they have been talking to Virtual Reality producers, real estate agencies, and publishers one on one. Each had their own idea on how to use their platform, but where it really started to shine was in the journalism field.
Viar360, the platform has the power to combine 360˚ images and videos together into an interactive virtual reality story. This unique combination isn’t the only benefit. With the power of hotspots – graphic elements that can be placed on top of any 360 videos or image, they can trigger interesting effects such as informational texts, spatial audio or even embedded videos from YouTube.
VIAR is democratizing storytelling with cinematic virtual reality publishing platform that enables everyone to create an immersive 360˚ story without the need of writing a single line of code.
The tool is giving freedom to explore new options of immersive and interactive storytelling to all creative journalists. News media don’t have time or resources to train journalists on how to delve into complicated tasks of building a VR story. Viar360 has everything ready with drag and drop interface.
Viar360 is already being used in 12 top American Journalistic Schools such as Syracuse University, University of Kentucky, Penn State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, San Jose State University and others.
Stacey Fox, an Artist-in-Residence in the School of Journalism from MSU says: “Our students are enthusiastically crafting on a platform that allows them to create deep-dive, interactive 360-degree stories for the world.”
The company just had a public launch at SXSW 2017 and is welcoming new users to try the platform out.