26th May 2016

Economist and Guardian to launch VR apps

The two national titles are to launch their own virtual reality apps.


The VR apps will provide users with 360 videos and a scaled-down VR experience.

The first VR experience launched by The Economist used computer generated graphics to recreate a destroyed museum in Mosul, Iraq.

Users of the VR app will be asked whether they have a headset - the content they are shown depends on their answer.

Tom Standage, deputy editor at The Economist said:  “In launching it for public release we knew the experience needed simplifying, it needed a straightforward narrative path, rather than a full interactive experience.”

The Guardian has launched a VR app separate from it's main app, as it was too technically complicated to merge the two.

Using a 6x9 experience, The Guardian's VR app can be used either with or without Google Cardboard.

Co-founder and CEO of Visualise, the company which helped to develop The Economist's VR app, Henry Stuart, said: “It’s so that people can view their content in a trusted and controlled environment. It’s already a difficult process looking for good content on existing platforms like Facebook 360 and YouTube 360. There’s a lot of crap, and there’s going to be even more because of user-generated content.”

The Economist has yet to find a way to monetize VR.

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