The New York Times is offering a cute video captured at a Chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya showing one of the chimps stealing a 360-degree camera for a closer look.
The chimp almost seems to eyeball a keeper before grabbing a stick and using it to pull the camera through the fence. She then investigates it more closely along with another chimp.
It is a pretty fantastic nature clip that also highlights some of the difficulties of 360-degree video. Despite being filmed in a format explicitly designed for viewing in VR, I wouldn’t want to see more than the first few seconds in an actual headset because of the way the chimps jostled around the view. That said, the clip likely wouldn’t have as much meaning if it was filmed with a traditional camera that only captured part of the action. As it is, I instinctively moved my mouse cursor to look around the scene to try and glimpse what the chimp was looking at before dragging in the camera — something I’d do naturally with a glance inside a VR headset.
This is of course not the first time we’ve seen a chimp interacting with VR technology. Late last year clips were posted online showing a chimp interacting with the HTC Vive and reacting to it the same way humans do.