CNN, one of the biggest news agencies in the world have officially launched CNNVR, a virtual reality journalism unit (watch the introductory trailer). The move is an extremely disruptive one which is set to disrupt news delivery across the globe. With almost 50 360 videos already up, CNN is well positioned as a VR content producer. The 360 footage will also be natively available on the CNN Android and iOS mobile apps. According to CNN, this makes their mobile app the third largest VR capable mobile app after YouTube and Facebook. CNN’s 360 content will also be available for viewers on VR headsets like Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream, and Oculus Rift as well as all VR compatible PC browsers.
VR has in recent months really taken the world by storm and all major video content producers are joining the bandwagon to take advantage of the immersive technology. Evidently, there is no turning back on 360 content. CNN will be looking to produce live-streamed VR content as well as regular VR content. A couple of months ago, Twitter also announced their support for 360 videos in what was a major development in the world of VR.
It will be interesting to note how other news agencies will react to this development. VR will particularly be very immersive for reporting news in war zones, a domain that CNN currently dominates.
However, on the local scene, it will definitely be ages before we see local news agencies adopt the concept of VR. This is for a number of reasons ranging from the general slow adoption of new technologies in Africa to the mere fact that data is extremely expensive and consumption of 360 content is generally low.
VR has shown tremendous potential in various industries such as film, extreme sports, travel and tourism to mention just a few. The field of VR is definitely something worth keeping a close eye on.