BBC Unveils VR and 360 Degree Video Projects

Sir David Attenborough uses a VR headset
Sir David Attenborough uses a VR headset

The BBC has revealed a number of VR and 360 degree video projects ahead of their premiere at Sheffield Doc Fest tomorrow, including the BCCs first experiments with true VR, following its initial work with 360 degree video.

The projects include The Turning Forest, a fairy tale told using realistic 3D sound built for the for Oculus Rift VR headset; Romes Invisible City, which re-uses assets from the BBC1 documentary of the same name in a VR experience that can be delivered through web browsers and low-cost headsets like the Google Cardboard; and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, a ground-breaking new form of history documentary that enables users to observe history from the perspective of those who lived it.

“Truly interactive VR video is in its infancy and can be expensive to create, but total or partial animation or CGI can be used very effectively and efficiently, while other production techniques may yet emerge or become more accessible over time” said Andy Conroy, controller of BBC Research & Development. “All of our true VR experiments seek to address different challenges that will provide invaluable insights for the organisation now and in the future.”

As well as experiments with true VR, the BBC has also released a special 360 degree video celebrating the Queens 90th birthday which gives users a “Queens eye view” of Trooping the Colour.

The projects have all been released through BBC Taster, the broadcasters online channel for content developed as part of its Connected Studio innovation programmes. The site is designed for testing and audience feedback purposes, and presents new, experimental ideas in the testing phase, which may still have glitches and not work across all devices.