Developing Virtual and Augmented Reality at the BBC – BBC Reality Labs

We’ve had quite a busy few years.
So we’ve commissioned lots of 360
pilots, and then we’ve
created full on true VR
experiences as well.
Some of those have gone on to win
awards and it was all about kind
of seeing could we make them,
what did the audience think of it,
what we think VR could mean
for a public service organisation.
So from that the BBC has now
decided to invest further in it.
So we’re launching Reality Labs.
So we’ll be looking at best practices,
open standards, working
with some fantastic partners and
creating some audience experiences.
As well as virtual reality, we’re also going
to be looking at augmented reality as well.
It’s really exciting for us to see how
real life and digital life can be fused
together and how we can create new
storytelling experiences as part of that.
We think that technology like VR and
AR will become mainstream when
people can get it on devices they
already own so they don’t have to spend
a lot of money on kit. As part
of that we’re looking at dispersing
that technology to as many people as
possible to as wide an audience
as possible with things like WebVR,
which allows you to deliver virtual reality
experiences through your web browser
and that could be on your desktop,
on your mobile phone or
a dedicated headset.
We’re also looking at other audience
facing applications like our BBC Taster
VR that allows us to deliver immersive,
interactive 360 content to our
audiences. The augmented reality demo
we have at IBC this year is showing how
we could easily use current AR
technology to help people’s
understanding of historical objects,
for instance. We think it could
be a really interesting way
to tell stories in the future.
When you get into stuff that can take
over your whole senses or bring stuff,
that isn’t real into the real world
it allows you to tell stories that are
completely impossible.
With Reality Labs, we really hope to give
audiences and producers a real taste
of what’s to come in the future.
And it’s really interesting times,
this could really change
the whole shape of the digital
landscape and for us
to be part of that is, fantastic.

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