VR is making an impact not only in games, but in the delivery of balanced news, with the student – developed Little Maxima VR News application, available through Oculus Rift.
Pritesh Desai, a student in the Syracuse University in New York, has created and released a news site that utilizes VR in the typical, “see more stuff floating around you” way, with a noble and admirable twist. the VR News app, called Little Maxima, is able to display multiple reports covering the same news item, so that the reader is able to make their own decision on how the news is to be interpreted.
Desai put it this way: “You can read what left-leaning CNN has to say about gun rights or abortion and you can also read what right-leaning Fox news has to say about the same topic.”
“Instead of just reading about bombing in Syria, imagine actually being taken there in VR. You can see the destruction caused by the war and how it is affecting Syrians with 360 images and videos along with the article.”
Desai wants to present the news in such a way that the reader isn’t affected by what he calls a “filter bubble” – most clearly seen in social media sites like Facebook where you are bombarded through your feed and the feeds of people you follow with opinion that usually mirrors your beliefs, preventing you from being exposed to opinions contrary to the one side of interpretation of news that you’re exposed to.
Desai is intent on building this app into the best news reading app, and he intends to do this by combining the multi-faceted news delivery system described above with VR’s inherent ability to immerse the reader – even at this early stage of the app build, the reader can “visit” the place where the news originates from and see “in person” the surroundings where the news item occurred.
It’s a great idea, giving us the ability to see where the news is and being presented with multiple news items and leaving it to us to interpret. It’s like a gentle reminder to research the facts first before leaning left or right, and Little Maxima does it in the best possible way – by putting right in the middle of things.
Images credit to Uploadvr.com