The BBC is to launch a dedicated production team for virtual reality content. VR Hub will be headed by Zillah Watson with a brief to take VR content into the mainstream.
The latest piece of content, and the last of its VR experiments, is today being released. Home – A VR Spacewalk launches today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and enables would-be astronauts to embark on a spacewalk 250 miles above the Earth’s surface.
It’s been inspired by the same NASA training programmes used by the British Astronaut Tim Peake, who has been trying the system for himself.
“Exploring space is something that motivates a lot of young people to enter careers in science and technology. This is a really exciting time because the new generation will have unprecedented opportunities to really fly into space. The Home Virtual Reality experience brings that opportunity even closer, in a very authentic and accessible way. I hope that having this chance to engage in such a realistic spacewalk experience will help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.”
Home – A VR Spacewalk has won multiple awards, including a Cannes Lion, and has been shown at film festivals around the world, but this is the first time it has been made publically available.
“Home is an extraordinary piece of content that enables viewers to get as close an experience as possible to what it must really be like to visit space. In the future, we’ll be looking to use the lessons we’ve learned in making fantastic pieces of content like this to develop even more impressive, immersive and inspiring experiences for audiences,” said Watson.
Watson’s VR Hub will work closely with programme makers and digital experts across a variety of genres.