USA Today revealed that they have taken to the skies in the debut episode of their virtual reality news show, VRtually There. The new show is the product of a collaboration between USA Today’s parent company Gannett and YouTube, whom will have the rights to stream the show exclusively for the first 60 days of each episode.
Each affair aims to have 3 unique adventures that take full advantage of the VR medium and the premiere will easily give viewers a case of vertigo with its collection of high-flying adventures. First up, viewers get a look at an F/A -18 Hornet fighter jet and its home aircraft carrier.
The debut episode first gives information on the Hornet’s performance and even gives a close-up look at a launch. Second, we take a brief look at some fearless daredevils. Highliners are people that travel mountain to mountain via tightrope walking and VRtually gets a first-person view from those conquering their fears over the 100+ ft drops. The Highliners share their individual feelings on the extreme sport while also touching on the science of the gear they use regularly. Lastly, we’re transported to a slightly more calm event at the world’s largest hot-air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This show is one of a few, similar to Hulu’s news show currently in production, and execs from USA Today and Gannett have high hopes for the future of the platform.“Our in-house VR content production is unique to the industry, allows us to showcase our great journalism across the network and allows us to expose our vast audience to this innovative storytelling,” said Joanne Lipman, CCO of USA Today Network. Kevin Gentzel of Gannet follows up fittingly, “This is the time to build the audience, get them used to the medium and what’s possible.”
VRtually There can be viewed on USA Today’s mobile app on Android or IOS or on YouTube via your desktop browser or mobile VR devices.