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BBC Earth teams with Oculus to deliver VR experience

BBC Earth has joined forces with Facebook-owned Oculus for a three-part series that will take participants into a virtual animal world. The venture marks BBC Worldwide’s first steps into the virtual reality ...
January 5, 2017

BBC Earth has joined forces with Facebook-owned Oculus for a three-part series that will take participants into a virtual animal world.

The venture marks BBC Worldwide’s first steps into the virtual reality arena, but, according to the commercial arm of the British pubcaster, it won’t be the last.

“Ambitions to produce more of these experiences in the future will also complement motivations to offer audiences with new and engaging ways to enjoy BBC Worldwide content,” the statement says.

The three VR worlds the audiences can experience include a Caracal cat (pictured), an Oogpister beetle, and a black bear. They will be released for free during the first three months, starting in January, on Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR platforms.

The experience of the Caracat will be explored in Cat Flight, which allows viewers to see how these predators survive in the wild through integrating computer-generated imagery into a 360-degree video.

In Oogie, users get to take on the form of the Oogpister beetle, which resides in the African Savannah. VR users guide the beetle to safety in an interactive CGI game based on real-life footage from BBC Earth.

The third experience is a 360-degree video, Bear Island, where users join black bears on a journey to the banks of an Alaskan river.

The series is targeted for nature fans of all age groups.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Oculus to give audiences a completely different insight into the natural world. By allowing users to immerse themselves in the environments of these three animals, we are hoping to bring people rich and unforgettable adventures different from any traditional natural history series,” said Julia Kenyon, global brands director for BBC Worldwide, in a statement.

 

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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