With its stunning imagery and commitment to in-depth coverage, you’d think National Geographic is the perfect publication to start working in VR. That’s going to happen very soon.
Speaking at this month’s Digital Content Newfronts event in New York, National Geographic announced that it would be launching its very own VR division, named the NG VR STUDIO. According to a press release, this new team will take viewers to “the front lines” of the society’s coverage. That will include following the crew of National Geographic Explorers series to 360 degree content and a tie-in to the upcoming television event, MARS, in which users will be able to attempt to build a home on the distant planet. They’ll also join photographers and filmmakers Brian Skerry and Renan Ozturk on assignments.
This has the potential to be huge for VR. National Geographic has been published for well over 120 years now and is considered to be a leader in its field, especially when it comes to photography. The idea of some of its world renowned photographers and filmmakers taking out 360 degree cameras to capture content that others can view as if they were there is a very exciting one, and could be a gateway to bringing the technology to the attention of many more people. We don’t know when we’ll see the studio’s first work just yet, however.
In fact, there’s a lot to learn about the NG VR STUDIO. For starters, we’d be fascinated to know what type of 360 degree cameras they’ll be using, and if it will enable them to film in 3D or higher resolutions. It will also be interesting to see if the publication will employ any of the techniques that Google is helping to introduce through its Google Jump program, includes parallax to simulate positional tracking and more. We’re certainly hoping to see more advancements in this field at Google I/O this week that National Geographic could take advantage of.
Either way, this is one studio we’ll definitely be looking out for going forward.