return Home

How VR, 3D will make journalism more immersive (plus what’s coming next)

Jamie Pallot is at the forefront of virtual reality developments. A pioneer in the field, he is a co-founder, with Nonny de la Peña, of Emblematic Group, which is one of the world's leading producers of immersive virtual reality content.

“I love the innovation of this field, but it also produces so much jargon,” Jamie told the audience at Digital Innovators’ Summit 2017 at the beginning of his presentation. 

Jamie Pallot ()

So to begin, he took his audience through some terminology: 

- Volumetric: thanks to sensors, you can move around, so your whole body is in the experience - more immersive and engaging. “This is the future, what’s coming next,” Jamie said.

- Presence: if you plug the right combination of audio and video stimuli into your brain, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re somewhere else. If you establish presence, you can generate real empathy for characters that you “meet” in VR. “A good recent example is taking the footage from bodycams from police shootings, in actual place where it happened in US. That’s very powerful,” added Jamie.

Immersive journalism, using 3D space to reimagine news, is becoming reality. “I know it sounds crazy, but 3D is coming,” said Jamie. “The news at the moment is flat.” 

Related: FIPP Insight report - How to get into VR and 360º videos 

He gave an example from back in 2012, when his co-founder Nonny de la Peña created a video based on some audio her intern recorded. A homeless person had collapsed in a queue as he waited for food, and Nonny created a basic VR experience of the incident. When she tested it on users, they would go down on their knees to “see” the man, move around carefully avoiding his body, and cry as though it were actually happening. This, said Jamie, was the beginning of immersive journalism.

Why now is the time

Jamie argued that because the tech has come so far, now is the time that we’re going to begin to see VR everywhere. Through outlets with already-vast audiences such as Playstation, Facebook, and Steam, VR will be able to reach enormous amounts of people. 

Jamie explained that there have been some other exciting developments of late: photogrammetry is a 3D simulation of a space which requires only a SLR camera. The image is volumetric, creating a 3D colour-rich experience like a photograph. The resulting image is “astonishingly rich in detail”, he added.

A second development is videogrammetry. This consists of holograms of human beings, for example, with real depth and substance; one example is of a prison cell where you sit with an inmate who tells you what it’s like to spend time in prison.

So what next?

Jamie envisions that we will see in the very near future:

- Cheaper, lighter headsets

- Interactivity and agency

- User-generated 3D

- Social / shared experience - being with your friends as you move around, or instead of having a conference screen, you can feel like you’re actually in the room with your colleagues

- Outward-facing sensors potentially on next Apple device - smartphones will allow you to have these 3D experiences, so that within a few years, 3D capture will be available to everyone on smartphones.

On a more existential tone, Jamie addressed a common question he encounters about why all this research into VR is being done. “It can seem a little sci-fi, I know,” said Jamie. “But the emotional impact of VR is huge and powerful: it has been well-documented, and could even be a little dangerous, because it extracts such powerful empathy from users. But 3D depth perception has the potential to help make us more intuitive and more informed - which is why I think we do it.”

Read more about how VR is already changing journalism in our Q&A with Jamie here

More like this

John Wilpers showcases top trends included in new FIPP Innovation World Report

Quartz's Jay Lauf: Focus on human beings, not just technology

How The New York Times brings the audience inside

Video strategies for a visual world - with AJ+ and AwesomenessTV

Audience engagement: why a platform-appropriate content strategy is crucial

Millennials and mobile prodigies: lessons on ad engagement, with Verve’s Ian James

Vivendi CEO highlights ‘five big opportunities for content creators’

How chatbots are going to change the world and the media landscape

  • The state of brand licensing around the world

    Recently, there has been a period of time where there was somewhat of a slow-down in international brand activity as companies focused on shoring up their bases. However, this year we have seen an increasing number of reports surfacing about media companies adopting a more global outlook again – at least in certain segments. Does this mean a renewed focus on brand licensing, and in what form? And what is the outlook as we head into 2018?

    13th Nov 2017 Features
  • CDS Global and Zeddit announce tech partnership to help publishers grow print magazine subscriptions

    CDS Global and Zeddit announced a strategic technology partnership in the UK and Australia to provide advanced subscriber conversion capabilities for print magazine publishers. The partnership will focus on improving the conversion of visitors to magazine websites into subscribers for CDS Global clients.

    13th Nov 2017 Industry News
  • How Egmont is reaping rewards from creating

    One of the biggest drives for publishers in the past decade or two have been transitioning their print content to digital. For some it is all about maintaining the magazine's brand essence online, yet others have enjoyed success in amalgamating print publications to create new web first brands.

    13th Nov 2017 Features
  • Focus on behaviour, not technology, to identify emerging trends – Future Today Institute’s Amy Webb

    The Future Today Institute recently published its 2018 report into the emerging tech trends that are likely to shape the publishing industry in 2018. Here, we speak to Amy Webb, the founder of the organisation, about the development of study, and explains how better scientific modelling undertaken today can help us to predict future technologies.

    20th Nov 2017 Features
  • Advertising in the era of Google and Facebook

    The Facebook and Google duopoly are creating huge shifts in the allocation of advertising budgets. What does this mean for publishers, brands, and agencies? A panel of industry experts gave some answers during a recent panel discussion at the FIPP World Congress.

    20th Nov 2017 Features


Visit our Youtube channel



FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the world



Get global coverage of your launches, company news and innovations


Upcoming @ FIPP

What’s happening now, what’s coming next

Go to Full Site