It’s an interesting combination. Associated Press are more known for their wire services and syndicated written stories than their video, while AMD has been more successful competing on price than they have on performance.
But both companies aren’t holding back with their latest venture: a 360 degree virtual reality news channel.
Titled 3600 Videos and Virtual Reality, the channel so far has a series of pieces where being able to visualise and explore the physical location of the story is paramount. There’s 3600 videos of a Rare Supermoon Eclipse; the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere; a tour through the world’s largest automated sorting facility; life inside a migrant camp in Calais, France; a tour of one of the most expensive hotel suites in the world; and what it was like to be on the red carpet at this year’s People Choice awards.
If the videos look too blurry initially, it’s probably because you’re watching them at 360p or lower; I strongly recommend you view them in at least 720p, if your internet connection allows.
Apart from the benefit to journalism and telling stories through a new medium, AMD’s involvement is pretty intriguing. It’ll undoubtedly serve as an opportunity to show off the company’s LiquidVR software, and the association will also help AMD better understand the practicalities of producing 360-degree/VR content.
AP says on their site that they’ll retain full editorial control over the channel too. “This new channel, powered by AMD Radeon graphics processors, will feature AP’s latest VR and 360 journalism. AP editors will retain complete control over the editorial content presented via the new AP virtual reality channel.”
It’s all in the early stages though. Only 2D, 360-degree videos have been uploaded so far, and there’s no word on what the technical requirements might be for 360-degree VR-only content going forward. There’s no discussion of what headsets will be supported either, although it’s understood that content will be created for all headsets including the Samsung Gear VR.