We think we’ve officially entered the future with the release of “Hong Kong Unrest”, an eight-minute documentary that allows viewers to watch the Umbrella Movement unfold… in 360 degrees.
With the right equipment, you can get up close to the action while protesters and police clash, or choose to look right up at the sky if you so wish.
Check out the virtual reality experience here.
immersiv.ly, the company that made the video, makes a “multi-platform app to showcase news reports produced in virtual reality and 360-degree video”.
It claims “Hong Kong Unrest” is the “first news report of its kind”, and is gung-ho about this kind of video becoming the new and improved way for the masses to consume media.
To make the video, immersivl.y’s head of visuals, Edward Miller, mounted six GoPros on a block on a boom, allowing him to raise the cameras high up when needed during the protests in October of last year. He then stitched the six video feeds together to form a 360-degree video.
For the full experience, you’ll need a virtual reality headset, like the Oculus Rift.
In case you’re not an early adopting tech geek of the highest degree, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality head-mounted display, which is a fancy way of saying they’re goggles that allow you to experience a 360-degree virtual world.
According to immersiv.ly, “Hong Kong Unrest” test audience members said, “I felt emotionally involved in the action… I cared.” Another said, “It was like really being there.”
Can watching the news like this change the way we relate to current events on the other side of the globe?
Who knows, but we’re definitely going to head to the Wan Chai Computer Centre and go get a pair of Oculus Rift right now.