All new experiences are now available on the Android OS via Google’s Play Store, designed to be experienced via the seemingly ubiquitous Google Cardboard VR viewer platform. You can also download all of them (bar Jack White’s Third-D) on Windows and Mac, viewable via an Oculus Rift VR headset. All of this content is free to download.
When launched, the ‘viewer’ apps download copies of the videos in question and launch Jaunt’s 360 degree stereoscopic viewer which uses your phone’s onboard accelerometers to present you with a view of the action based on your head movement and direction.
The Hobbit VR Experience
Designed to promote the final part of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit ‘Trilogy’ The Battle of the Five Armies, this VR Experience has little whatsoever to do with the movie itself. Rather, it opts to drop you into the world of The Hobbit and in particular Bilbo Baggin’s idyllic home village of Hobbiton. Follow a distant Gandalf as he traverses Hobbiton, a journey which culminates in a slightly incongruous fireworks show.
It’s a video that’s probably of most interest to fans of Jackson’s epic series of LOTR movies. If nothing else, having the opportunity to effectively stand ‘on set’ whilst in the shire is an intriguing prospect.
Jack White: Third-D
Grammy award winner and founder and former member of the White Stripes Jack White performs. This video gives you the opportunity to stand on-stage with White and his band as they play at Fenway Park’s Bleacher Theater and Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater.
As with Jaunt’s inaugural release, the two-camera recording of an electric live performance remains enticing, although this recording is disconcertingly focussed on the audience and the rear / side of the band’s performance. This does however allow some of the scale from the venues on show here to be illustrated. As for the music, well it’ll depend on whether you’re a fan or not. I can however report that the positional audio recording itself is very effective.
I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of these guys but Jaunt insists they are one of the “foremost up-and-coming young pop/rock bands today.” Either way, this documentary peek into into one of the group’s recording sessions is short but interesting. You can envisage the power of the documentary film form being enhanced terrifically by using 360, immersive recordings. And although the subject matter here is lightweight, being ‘in the scene’ engages you regardless.
Again, a documentary short, following a photoshoot featuring Jacqui Lee – runner-up on popular reality TV show The Voice. As someone who’s always been fascinated with media production, this one’s intriguing if only because you can choose to glance around the photo studio, trying to catch sight of what everyone’s doing in different parts of the room. It made me wonder how incredible ‘making of’ docs would be captured by Jaunt’s technology – that would be quite something.
It’s impressive to witness how much content Jaunt has already managed to capture in its short lifespan, largely keeping the lid on what’s to come. At present, we’re only given access to these very short tastes of what Jaunt has in its vaults and it’s not yet clear whether Jaunt will opt for monetising bitesize experiences such as these or if they’ll also distribute full-length recordings too.
Either way, we’re looking forward to finding out what’s to come next from Jaunt’s 360 video vault.