VR Experience Gives Viewers Realistic Experience of News
Consumers’ trust in media, governments and corporations is in decline, while in the US, civil division is increasing between the two political parties (Edelman, 2018; Pew, 2017). A new project from Eindhoven-based designer Jim Brady proposes virtual reality (VR) as a tool to heal these fractured relationships, exploring how its application in the news could foster understanding and empathy.
As explored in our S/S 20 Design Direction Rise, consumers are demanding transparency from the service providers they engage with. This is spurring the development of products that offer a behind-the-scenes look into how they technically operate and utilise information, giving users an unfiltered appreciation of goods and events.
This approach is at the heart of Brady’s Mobile Journalism, a VR experience presenting a political protest as told from the perspectives of various characters. Users click on a hand-held controller to change between scenes – from the first-hand perspective of a protester surrounded by others holding flaming cannisters, to a gas mask-wearing police officer, or a birds-eye view of the event unfolding below.
Although the project uses digitally created footage, it predicts that capturing real-world events could be a future application for VR technology. In this scenario, people and places can be captured from multiple angles, enabling viewers to gain a realistic appreciation of events, as well as the perspectives of different parties involved.
The project was presented as part of this year’s Dutch Design Week – see our full coverage of the event here. For more on how consumers and brands are responding to this ‘post-truth’ era, see Positive Realists.