So Christmas is over, New Year’s has come and gone, and it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming. But we do have one cure for the post-festive blues.
The BBC was kind enough to record London’s epic New Year’s Eve fireworks show in 360 degrees this year. For those that don’t know, it’s become a tradition for family and friends to gather at the River Thames, just opposite the Millennium Eye (the big round thing) and a little ways down from Big Ben (the big clock thing) and countdown to midnight. When the clock strikes twelve, untold amounts of money (over 12,000 fireworks) are blown up in a decadent display of bright lights and big bangs.
This year’s display was no exception, and you can now grab a Google Cardboard, Daydream View, or other mobile VR headset and watch the proceedings as if you were really there. Big Ben starts its thunderous clanging at about 9 minutes in, and then you’re treated to different views of the blinding show. The soundtrack pays tribute to some of 2016’s fallen icons, meanwhile, including Prince and David Bowie.
The event was attended by over 110,000 people. Not many of them will have gotten a view this good. And you’re not cold or bundled up with a bunch of other people. The future is good, isn’t it?
The BBC is steadily getting much more involved with the VR industry. On top of 360 videos such as this, the organisation also has full VR experiences like The Turning Forest, which released on Daydream late last year, and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, a fascinating VR documentary detailing the account of one survivor of the Easter Rising uprising in Ireland over 100 years ago.
These were some of the most unique and intriguing uses of VR I saw in 2016. Let’s hope the organisation has plenty more to offer VR in the New Year.