I just tried out the ABC News VR Jaunt app with my iPhone 6 and Cardboard and was pretty impressed with the Inside Syria story. It definitely gave me a feeling of being there along with the reporter.

The fixed camera setup (the shadow can be seen) allows the reporter to move around while still being in view and they are able to tell the viewer to look at particular points of interest. One advantage of this might be not requiring the labor cost for a camera operator while still enabling the reporter to have some movement. The reporter can station the camera in a central location and then move around the area. I can easily imagine a camera drone following the reporter while also capturing a spherical 360 view.

I did experience some of the challenges with the viewing. In a couple of cases I had to turn completely around to look behind me which might be inconvenient in some situations. An example of that might be in an airline seat. One issue that I had with the app was a low battery popup appeared pausing the viewing which I had to acknowledge by removing the phone from cardboard and putting it back in to continue. he importance of sound directing the viewer where to look was also necessary in at least one section where the reporter was not in view because I had my head turned and he may have pointed to something I should have been looking at which I missed.

As viewing device technology (such as the Oculus Rift) improves both the resolution of the viewer will increase along with convenience of use aspects. One example of this was another “video” (is that the correct way to refer to it?) started with the credits almost behind me and the area in front of me was completely black. I had to look around to discover something happening behind me.

All in all cardboard, ABC News VR and the Jaunt VR app worked well enough and I had no real complaints.

A link to a description of ABC News VR with links to the related apps can be found at http://abcnews.go.com/US/fullpage?id=33768357