Visiting Hard-To-Reach Destinations With VR

Visiting Hard-To-Reach Destinations With VR

Technology is evolving quickly and changing the way we see and think about the world. TV documentaries are changing too, with virtual reality (VR) the next logical step for production companies to take when it comes to showcasing some of the most beautiful and unusual locations on the planet.

And that’s exactly what the BBC has been doing, through its series of VR programmes that are available to watch on an Oculus or Samsung VR headset.

C21Media recently reported that the latest VR documentary from the broadcaster will take viewers to the Democratic Republic of Congo, in a follow-up to the VR documentary ‘Damming the Nile’.

This is about much more than simply showing off stunning landscapes though. The documentary is presented by the BBC’s Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead, who takes viewers on a tour of the capital Kinshasa, as well as looking at how politics and war have affected the nation.

Viewers will also venture into the rainforest where they can have an immersive experience hunting with a pygmy tribe, as well as come face-to-face with gorillas.

According to the BBC “you’ll see the huge potential of the Congo for yourself, prompting you to ask how a country so rich can remain so poor” if you watch this documentary.

The team shared a video explaining the making of the programme, which revealed the high-tech camera used to capture the VR shots, as well as how they used drones to enhance the VR experience they were able to deliver.

For many people, the idea of visiting the Congo will be beyond them. It’s not a destination that the majority would consider travelling to, but programmes like this can give people an insight into new parts of the world – and as the BBC documentary demonstrates, can include more than just stunning scenery.

But it’s not only the news provider that’s been experimenting with VR documentaries. The applications for travel VR services are obvious, and one airline has been making use of the technology to help encourage people to book travel experiences.

Mobile Marketer reported on the series of VR videos created by Dutch airline KLM. The first one it released takes viewers on a tour of the Thai jungle as celebrity chef Kiran Jethwa goes in search of the world’s best coffee.

The videos are available through the airline’s iFly KLM Magazine online platform, and can be watched while you’re on a flight. KLM has even been providing passengers with VR headsets as part of a pilot project to see how travellers respond to having VR entertainment on a flight.

The news provider noted that the aim is to “help people escape the confines of a stuffy airplane cabin by virtually transporting them to an expansive computer-generated environment”.

As the technology becomes ever more advanced and its capabilities improve, there are likely to be even more travel companies making use of VR to transport people to destinations and encourage them to book a trip to see the real thing.

But as can be seen through the BBC’s use of VR documentaries, they can also be a powerful educational tool that can bring situations to life and help people better understand a place or situation that is far removed from their day-to-day lives.

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